Simple Round-Back Spine Journal Binding Class October 6, 2012

September 1, 2012

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Above: Simple round-back journals with inset-cover labels.  It hasn't been photographed yet, but we'll be making a 7.5 inch square journal with lovely toned paper pages perfect for journaling—with watercolor, gouache, pen, and colored pencil. Click on the image to view the enlargement.

It's not too early to plan your fall activities, especially if you're a dedicated journal keeper and want to visit the Twin Cities and learn how to bind your own journal! I've got a great one-day class on Saturday, October 6 (10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

People are always writing to me and telling me they can't make multiple trips to the Twin Cities for a multi-session class, or they can't stay for a week-long workshop. Well here's your chance to learn a great binding method for making your own journals.

This is the perfect book to learn to make because you can make it again and again at home, without special binding equipment—just a ruler, X-acto, thread, needle, bone folder, and some PVA (glue). (Oh, yeah, you need a hammer.)

Past sessions of this class made a landscape journal with white art paper. In this session we'll be making a 7.5 inch square journal with toned paper pages that you'll enjoy journaling on in a variety of media.

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Left: a close-up photo of the rounded spine.


You'll have the option of bringing in a label to decorate your final book. There will also be class discussion about paper selection for future projects and instruction on how to adapt this structure to different size formats for all your journaling needs.

So join us and learn how to make a sturdy, elegant book structure you can make at home without special equipment—you'll always have great books to sketch in, with papers you love to use. 

This is the only adult binding class I'll be teaching this fall so if you were thinking of learning a new structure this is the time to do it. (Note: Sadly, no it will not be offered as an online class at this time.)

The class tuition is $140 ($125 for MCBA Members) plus $35 supply fee. (The class counts 8 hours towards category D or B in the certificate program.) You can contact MCBA at the website in the opening paragraph to register via phone or on line.

  1. Reply

    Roz: do you think it will ever be practical to have an online book making class? Would definitely be interested.

  2. Reply

    Ellen I think it would be practical to have such an online class as other folks are doing all sorts of online classes. Also ‘ve become more comfortable (after the Strathmore online class I did in 2011) with not having hands on with my students—that hands on is really something that I find useful in teaching. (It’s also part of the teaching experience that I enjoy the most.)

    But I have yet to find a good way to present the information on line—i.e., which platform would be best, easiest to use providing easy collection of fees and internal structure for students such as a place to post their work and a class related blog or message board. And managing my time involvement. (On the Strathmore class I spent way too much time on the blog and message board, all time that was unpaid. It took away from my paid work time—I do need to make a living.)

    And then there is the reality of finding time to make the essential videos that would make me comfortable with going forward. I’m meticulous in what I present to students as far as working method and procedures so that they can develop good habits at the onset and know the WHY of each thing I ask them to do. (My handouts for classes also tend to run for pages and pages.) In everything I teach I want students to have a foundation from which they can go off in their own direction.

    My focus first would be to publish a book and then augment the book with online teaching, but life has another focus right now.

    So yes it will be practical at some point, but because of the way I teach and want to teach it isn’t practical right now.

    It’s likely, as I’ve been building videos for tearing paper and such that there will be a “test” class in a simple structure first so I can ascertain other aspects (such as time involvement with the students).

    At the same time I’m teaching less each year (again because of time constraints; I don’t make my living teaching), so I really encourage people who want to learn from me to take advantage of the classes offered in Minneapolis, even if it means travel. It might be awhile before they can take classes online.

    All I can say at this time is check the “Classes” category on the blog every couple of months to keep updated. The posts related to all classes (in person or online when available) will be listed in there.

    Life can change dramatically in a moment so it’s difficult for me to even give a projected time line for anything online. I could say don’t expect anything until the end of 2013 or 2014 and then tomorrow get information about setting up an online class forum that seems to work for me and go ahead as early as the beginning of 2013. (But I don’t think that’s going to happen it would fall right in the Portrait Party at the MCBA Visual Journal Collective and that’s to fun for me, and too labor intensive in prep.)

    I’m always gratified to know that people want to take classes with me and understand the frustration of people who can’t travel.

    I hope one day it’s possible for us to work together.

  3. Reply

    Yes indeed—-I would love to have the chance to learn and work with you. We will hope serendipity and good luck conspire to make it happen.
    It is rare to find such inspiring work, and you should know how much your posts,considered explanations, instructions, and sense of fun brighten and inform those of us in the ether of cyber space.

    I also teach ” on the side” and it is a big expenditure of energy for sure!

  4. Reply

    Thanks Ellen.

    • Heather
    • September 16, 2012

    I signed up as soon as I saw the fall class list. Really looking forward to learning another structure from you!

  5. Reply

    Heather—I’m looking forward to seeing you!!!! Will the pup be there too (PLEASE!!!). We know what I’ll be doing at lunch time.

    See you soon.

    • Heather
    • September 18, 2012

    Yes, of course the super dog will be with me!

  6. Reply

    YEAH!!!!! Can’t wait to see you and Becca.

    • Mary Dean
    • September 27, 2012

    Agree with Ellen! Would love an online class with you. What you said makes sense, though. I understand what you were saying. But, I know I would love the chance to learn from you.

  7. Reply

    Mary, I hope that some day it’s possible for us to work together either in person or online. In the meantime I hope you keep journaling, whether in books you make yourself or in books you purchase. The important thing is to keep looking around at your life and observing and noting and adjusting your approach and learning. Thanks for writing.

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