A traditional course designed to show you how to work in the traditional craft of book binding, construction, renovation & repairs.
The course is suitable for most people; however, participants will need to have a good degree of manual strength in both hands. An ability to read millimetre graduations on a ruler is essential.
Beginners will make a plain paper notebook to familiarise themselves with the basic techniques (folding paper, sewing, trimming, etc.) and the materials used in bookmaking and restoration. A parallel exercise might involve rebinding an old case-bound book.
The more experienced will learn a variety of sewing techniques (including Japanese stitching), different structures of books, albums, boxes, and the use of a variety of materials including kinds of leather.
This is a workshop-type course, aimed at developing manual dexterity, accuracy of working and an understanding of the structure and repair of books and associated items.
Everyone works at their own speed on projects of their own choice – making new books or restoring and repairing old ones – in an informal situation.
The course is taught by one-to-one contact between the student and tutor within the group setting of the workshop. When several students are working on similar projects or techniques, it is possible to teach small groups, but individual speed of working usually means that individuals will be at different stages very soon after starting work.
Learning methods will include instruction, explanation, demonstrations and group/individual discussions.
The tutor is available to give advice on choice of projects and to teach appropriate techniques. The amount of work undertaken between sessions is entirely up to the student.
The Arts & Crafts Centre is fully equipped, but students sometimes like to have their own hand tools (sharp pencil, metal ruler and craft knife) and small specialist tools (usually available from the tutor at cost)
Materials are available from the tutor at an additional cost, usually about £5 per project, but specialist items (e.g. leathers or hand-patterned papers) will be more expensive.
George Davidson has been teaching bookbinding to adults for a number of years. He has an HND in Bookbinding (design) from the London College of Communication (now the University of the Arts) and is a Hon. Fellow of the Society of Bookbinders.