First Bookmaking Workshop Was A Hit!

One of the books made by a participant in last Saturday’s Book Making Workshop. Photo by Jee Kim. 12/1/18.

The Community Learns New Bookmaking Skills

This past Saturday, eighteen enthusiastic participants from Washington University and the surrounding community gathered in the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections to try their hand at some basic bookmaking. The workshop was part of a new series of Book Making Workshops that will continue this Saturday with a workshop on tunnel books.

Students examining different bindings in Special Collections. Photo by Jee Kim 12/1/18.

The theme of last Saturday’s class was book binding, and for inspiration, Curator of Rare Books Cassie Brand displayed some of Washington University Libraries’ more elaborate bindings, including everything from a medieval chained binding to a heavily jeweled 19th century binding to modern artist books with intricate foldouts and flag bindings.

Workshop participants sewing together their bindings. Photo by Jee Kim, 12/1/18.

After viewing the materials from the collections, participants gathered in the Special Collections Classroom, where cutting mats, awls, thread, needles, paper, rulers, and other tools had already been laid out for them. Washington University Libraries’ four Book Arts Fellows led a demonstration of how to create a basic stitch binding.

Photo by Jee Kim. 12/1/18.

Each participant in the class got to make two blank books, which they then decorated with a variety of beautiful handmade papers. The two hours allotted for the class quickly flew by as we stitched, cut, and pasted away.

Book Arts Fellow Lara Head showing a participant how to create a binding. Photo by Jee Kim, 12/1/18.

Join Us for the Next Workshop!

If you would like to participate in a bookmaking workshop, there are still slots available for our Tunnel Book Workshop on December 8 from 1 PM- 4 PM in the Special Collections classroom. You can read more about the workshop in our previous blog post, or sign up here. The workshops are free and open to the public. Funding has been generously provided by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Completed books created by one of the workshop participants. Photo by Jee Kim. 12/1/18.

About the author

Rose is a PhD candidate in English and American Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. When she is not working on her dissertation on post-1945 asylum novels or blogging about the amazing materials in Special Collections, she fills much of her time reading, writing, gardening, and wrestling.