Registration Closes Soon For Simple Round Back Spine

July 12, 2017
Stacks of Zerkall Nideggen awaiting binding into visual journals.


Saturday, July 15 is the final day to register for The Simple Round Back Spine online class that starts the same day. (You can read more about this class at that link.) It’s a detailed class in which I show you how to make an elegant hardcover book with cloth-covered boards and a rounded spine. We will do this without any expensive and specialized equipment. (If you work with paper you probably have the tools you already need such as a bone folder, various cutting tools, and straight edges. For various stages of the binding you’ll be able to utilize easily available items such as bricks for weighting.)

For the first book you make you will need to use one of the following papers

Hahnemühle Gutenberg 130 gsm2 (this paper was made in two other weights—90 or 130 gsm2.).

Zerkall Nideggen (22 x 30 inch, not the larger sheet; it’s an 120 gsm2 sheet; it’s described as tan or sand color)

Arches Velin (Formerly known as Arches Text Wove; it is a 120 gsm2 sheet that is 25.5 x 40 inches.)

The supply sheet will give you additional information.

To download the supply list please go here.

Please note that some international students are having difficulty getting one of these three papers outside of the US.

In the US Wet Paint in St. Paul, MN can help you with all three papers. Additionally the papers are carried by other US vendors throughout the country.

Outside the US not only are there no recommended vendors, students have found that Arches is using “Velin” to describe a whole bunch of sheets none of which is the one we need to use, and Nideggen is difficult to find.

I’ve just been alerted to this by a couple students. Please be aware of this when purchasing supplies. It is important, since I am not on site with you, that you work with one of the above three papers for your first book to learn the nuances of this structure.

Additional books can then be made with any paper, designed to the size you wish. Any 90 lb. watercolor paper is an excellent choice for future books. Most students will find some brand of that available.

Originally this class was offered with only one option—using the Gutenberg paper.

That paper was discontinued by the mill so the class has been restructured to accommodate what are two other readily available papers in the US. Unfortunately students outside the US are finding it difficult to track down these papers because of the mills using different names in different locations. Shepherd’s in England sells the Gutenberg under the name Medieval Laid. They are out of the 130 gsm2 but have the other two weights and both would work. And so it goes.

To register for the July 15, 2017 class click here.

A Change Going Forward

2017 is the final year I will offer The Simple Round Back Spine as a “live” class.

That’s how I define a teacher participation class. (I am present in the class for the first month.)

All subsequent offerings of this class will be offered as “self-guided.”

It is simply not possible to keep up with the paper cancellations and name changes the mills cycle through.  Future offerings of this class will suggest a weight of paper for the student’s first book. The  abundance of instruction in this class on how to prepare materials will then allow student to make an elegant book. The course fee will not be discounted because of the thoroughness and detailed nature of the videos and handout.

Both the current offering and future offerings will grant students lifetime access to the classroom so that they can review the materials and hone their skills over time, on their own schedule—but in this last offering of this class live, please be aware, I encourage students to make 2 or more books during the first 30 days while I’m in attendance. If you do sign up for this session please have your materials (including one of the three required papers) on hand with your bone folder, ready to get to work. Let’s make some books!




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