Online Bookbinding Class to Begin on Saturday, May 2, 2015

April 10, 2015


Saturday, May 2, 2015 I will begin teaching an online bookbinding class: The Simple Round Back Spine. US$99.00

Readers of the blog will have seen blog posts about local in-person sessions of this class. Students unable to travel to the Twin Cities area will now be able to join me in making this structure through this online class.

You can read about the class on this page of my blog.
This information page also contains a downloadable PDF supply list. 

You can register for this class at this link. 

RoundedSpine090808-7170 copy 2
Right: Examples of the type of book we will make in class. Our book will be 6-1/8 x 8-1/4 inches and will have a recessed and flush-with-the-cover label on the front cover. I will discuss other label options in class.

Who Should Take this Class?

Whether you are a first time bookbinder or an experienced binder looking to make a faster yet still elegant book structure perfect for visual journaling, this class will have the information you need. There are 30 short videos which cover every step of the binding process from tearing paper, sewing the signatures, making the case, and completing the book. You do not need expensive book presses and antique equipment to complete this course. I show you how to adapt traditional methods. 

If you would like to be on my mailing list to get a reminder notice about future classes, please subscribe to my blog in the left-hand column of this blog.

Once registration opens, registered students will be sent a welcome/confirmation note to confirm their payment has been processed. Students will also receive a reminder when the classroom opens on May 2. Additional reminders for classroom activities will also follow during the first 4 weeks of class.

What activities? There will be a weekly webinar within the class, on Saturday, May 9 at 1 p.m. CDT; Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m. CDT; Saturday, May 23 at 1 p.m. CDT; and Friday, May 29 at 9 p.m. CDT. If you happen to be in a time zone where you can't join in, don't worry, the event will be taped and made available to the entire class.

I'm very excited about this feature. It will add an additional element of online student/teacher interaction. Interaction with students is why I enjoy teaching. I love explaining things—and I always learn something from my students as well.

In this class students will have the opportunity to post their books (either finished or in progress) while inside the classroom. They will be able to ask me questions through the in-class message board, but we will also be able to discuss questions during those webinars. Since the webinars will be taped you can watch them again and again if you wish to review the material. 

I hope that you will join me for this fun adventure in online bookbinding. (The class will be offered again at a later date—but the elements of the class may vary depending on this inaugural run.)

In addition to this bookbinding class, I have already begun shooting video for five more bookbinding classes. Each class features a different structure I have found most useful for visual journaling and mixed media in the field and in the studio. Each class introduces you to new papers and different ways to adapt the structures to meet your needs for a customized visual journal. These bookbinding classes will be released over the next 2 or more years, depending on student interest. 

Combination classes featuring the binding of a book and the introduction of various journaling techniques are also in the works. Short technique classes will appear on my course list.

And of course, since so many of you have asked for them, there will be classes in drawing and painting. Scheduled for July, just in time for the Minnesota State Fair, I'll offer a "Drawing Animals in Public" class. (We shot footage for the class at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair and other venues.) Depending on scheduling issues other drawing and painting classes may air before or after that class.

I'm very excited to share with you the techniques I use in a more expanded view than is possible in a written blog. Not only will each class contain detailed specifics about the materials I use and why, they will also contain several demonstrations. You will be able to look over my shoulder as I work. 

I hope you are as excited about this new venture as I am. I have been teaching art and bookbinding for over 25 years in person. I bring that expertise and enthusiasm to online classes. I look forward to working with you to help you build a creative life.

    • Dana Burrell
    • April 10, 2015

    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I’m in!

  1. Reply

    Dana, do you know that’s one of my favorite poems? You’re too funny!

  2. Reply

    Dana, I was just going through the rest of my email and saw you actually ARE IN, you signed up. You’re the first online bookbinding student. I like that very much! Thanks. I look forward to seeing you make a great book!

    • Pat
    • April 10, 2015

    I am also chortling in my joy to hear about the gouache class! All IS mimsy in the orifices.

    • Pat
    • April 10, 2015

    Borogoves (Egads! What is tat spell checker doing?)

  3. Reply

    Pat, I think this is the most hilarious thing ever, that spell checker would “translate” it that way. I think you’ve hit upon something very fun indeed.

    Sorry there will be a bit of a wait for gouache, but we do have some of it filmed already. It looks right now like we’ll probably do the rest after the State Fair in August and then it will depend on how fast I can put it all together in Final Cut so check back maybe this fall or early in the new year (which actually doesn’t seem that far away; I’d better get cracking).

  4. Reply

    Thank you Roz! I am so looking forward to learn from you.

  5. Reply

    I’m in, too! So great!

    And I’m really looking forward to your drawing classes!

    Best wishes from Germany

  6. Reply

    Sounds terrific, I’ll be looking forward to a class on color theory or watercolor! Thanks Roz.

    • Dana Burrell
    • April 10, 2015

    First… me!!! … the benefits of checking the blog reader on my phone while I’m still in bed. I might have been the first person to put their order into Wet Paint too. Thank you, and the folks at Wet Paint, for putting the kit together… and a discount too. Very nice! Then I saw those center aligning rulers. I have quite a collection already but those will definitely make things easier.

    • Dana Burrell
    • April 10, 2015

    Laughing quite hard here!

  7. Reply

    I have wanted to take a bookbinding class for five-ever (that’s longer than forever)! Either they are too far away, not classes for beginners, or at a time when I can’t get to the class. This is so perfect! I just ordered everything and then some from WetPaint. Happy-Happy-Happy

  8. Reply

    Yes!!! I’m so excited!!!!

  9. Reply


    I’m excited about your class! Could you clarify the schedule? Will you be providing us with all 30 videos on May 2nd so we can work at our own pace? or will they be slowly released each week? –thank you!

  10. Reply

    Claudia, I haven’t finally decided if everyone will get just the intro lessons on day one or all of them. I go back and forth. There are a number of factors in this decision, but they aren’t necessary to discuss here.

    The essential answer to your question is that yes people are going to get things pretty much right up front and be expected to make at least a couple books on their own schedule with help from the videos within the first 4 weeks of access, with input from me on those first Fridays.

    What is firmly decided is that I will be in class looking at people’s posts and answering questions each Friday for the first 4 Fridays.

    Hence the need for students to work on their own during that time and finish at least one book (and I hope they make two), so they can ask me questions during those first 4 weeks.

    The class will be available to students to use for one year (Until May 1, 2016).

    But by having me in class to answer questions those first 4 Fridays I hope that I will actually get everyone working in those 4 weeks to make at least two books (this is all explained in more detail in class), and ask me questions while I’m in the classroom.

    There will also be a weekly webinar, as described in the class description, each of the first 4 weeks. And these will I hope, also push people forward to really work on making their books.

    I’m not sure how students will use the various aspects of the class. Some students may feel inclined to post photos of their work at every stage, others may only post when they run into a question and want to stop and ask a question.

    Since it’s the first time this has been offered I’ll have to see how the students work through this and what works best for them.

    I have encouraged students to get supplies before class starts by posting a list of supplies so they can gather them before May 2, but some students may wait until they see the intro lessons and use the first week to buy supplies. That would be their choice and their own pace—but then they might not have any “work” questions to ask me on Friday.

    We’ll see how it goes. And based on how it goes I’ll adapt it for the next time I offer it (which would probably be Winter 2016).

    Thanks for asking.

  11. Finally – and in MY lifetime! 🙂

  12. Reply

    jeanette! That’s how I feel. It has been SO LONG in the making. But I’m excited about this new opportunity to share binding with folks. Thanks.

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