Conservation of Leather Bindings

Monday, July 11

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday-Friday, July 11-15 (5 sessions)

Instructor: James Reid-Cunningham

Traditional leather rebacking utilizes thinned and colored calfskin or goatskin to repair broken joints and reattach loose spines and boards. This technique is less common among contemporary book conservators due to new techniques such as joint tacketing, board slotting, and the use of colored kozo tissues to reattach leather boards. Students have the opportunity to explore all of these techniques. Topics include: removing surface dirt; chemically consolidating damaged leather; lifting leather; techniques of board attachment; paring leather; and inpainting. This course includes in-depth discussions of issues relating to leather, repair papers, dyes, surface coatings, consolidants, adhesives, and tools for lifting and paring.

This class alternates demonstrations with benchwork under close supervision. It is aimed at students with some experience paring leather and covering in leather; more experienced students and those with previous training in leather rebacking are challenged to explore more advanced topics. Students work on 2-3 books during the course. Bring six old leather bindings with loose boards and/or spines, or cracked joints to class. The books should have intact sewing and stable leather. Remember that these books are intended for practice, and shouldn’t have any real value.

Students are responsible for supplying their own tools. A tool list will be sent at least 2 weeks prior to class start.

Please review our Registration Policies before registering.

Online registration closes 7 days before the start of class or once enrollment is full. Please call the Continuing Education Office at 617-227-0155 ext. 130 to register within 7 days of class start.

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