Bookbinding: Registration closes August 2 for Simple Round Back Spine Class

July 27, 2019
Examples of the Simple Round Back Spine structure with cloth covered boards and recessed labels. (The book in the back has a raised label effect we will discuss.)

Registration for “The Simple Round Back Spine” online bookbinding class closes August 2, 2019. 

Class begins on August 3, 2019 with all lessons dropping at once so that students can work at their own pace during the month. I’ll be available to answer your questions. (I recommend that students aim to make two books during this time, consider that when you are gathering your supplies.)

After that students will continue to have access to the classroom, the videos, and the galleries through at least December 31, 2020.  You can also ask me questions after class has ended as the classroom sends me notifications directly.

To read more about the class go to this link. 

While class doesn’t start until August, as soon as you register the introductory sections of class open. You’ll be able to read additional information about class and the supplies so you can get ready for class!

Click on this link to download a printable PDF Supply list for this class: 190727_SRBS_SuppliesHandoutSHOPPINGREV  

Why Bind Your Own Books?

Blog readers and past students know I have a simple reason for binding books. When you learn to bind books you can make your own sketchbooks and journals with almost any paper you enjoy working on (as long as it folds well), in whatever format and size you enjoy working in.

It’s that simple.

And bookbinding is fun. There is something satisfying about making a book that you then fill with your sketches.

I feel so strongly about this that I teach students book structures that are sturdy and made to stand up to field work, but yet can be made in the home, without expensive antique book binding equipment. (My introductory videos in class walk you through the items you will need and the adaptations you can make.)

Once you learn this method of binding you’ll find that you can create lovely books, customized to your needs and desires, with only a short expenditure of time. Then you’ll be back sketching!

I encourage you to join me in this class. You will learn the hows and whys of this elegant binding so you can ensure that one of your most valuable creativity tools, your journal/sketchbook, is set up to support your art.

If you would like to know more about my classes in general please click on this link.

Note: Recently I have had queries from individuals with various hand strength or mobility issues. There is one inescapable task in bookbinding—you must cut your book boards.  There are two ways you can do this and I discuss both in class.

First you can do this by hand. You need a metal edged ruler and a heavy duty utility blade. 

You will need hand strength to press down into the board. If your hand issues prevent this there are really only three options available to you.

1. You can ask an adult family member with good hand dexterity and strength to cut your boards following the detailed instructions provided in class.  

2. You can purchase a board cutter such as the Boston 2618 Heavy Duty Paper Trimmer Guillotine style. These can be typically be found on eBay. I use the 2624 which is 24 inches square as the name would suggest. Other brands of this type of cutter are also available such as the X-Acto Heavy Duty Square Trimmer (available from Blick in 12 to 30 inch sizes. I would not recommend anything smaller than the 18 inch and that will cost $183.65). Swingline makes a similar table top cutter that is 18 inches square and runs $134.04 at Walmart at the time of this post. I mention this so that if you do have hand strength and dexterity issues you and are intent on learning to bind you can factor in this extra equipment expense when judging whether or not this is the activity for you.

3. If you live near a center like the Minnesota Center for Book Arts you can rent time on their large board shears.

If one of those options is not available to you I recommend that you not sign up for the course as you will not be able to complete the tasks.


Other Online Class Opportunities for 2019

This is the second time I will be offering the Simple Round Back Spine class in 2019.

At the current time I do not have plans to offer any classes in 2020. I will be taking time off from teaching to sort out my eyes.  If I change my mind because of sight improvements there may be classes at the end of the 2020. I hope you will check back to my Classes page (which by then will read Classes 2020).

One More Class in 2019

The last class for 2019 will be a new session of  Sewn-on-the-Spine Journal. (Go to that link and scroll down to “October” to read about the class.)

Registration for “Sewn-on-the-Spine Journal: October session” will begin on September 15. I will post a live link on the Classes 2019 page on that date. Registration closes on October 11 and class will begin on Saturday, October 12, 2019.

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