Bookbinding and calligraphy workshops

Bookbinding and calligraphy workshops and short courses provide an opportunity for individuals interested in exploring bookbinding and calligraphy to build skills, explore materials and become familiar with a wide-range of binding and calligraphy styles and techniques.

Individuals who are new to bookbinding and serious about learning the basics are encouraged to take the fundamentals classes. Some workshops are appropriate for all levels and master classes provide opportunities for professional binders to learn new skills. For the most part, calligraphy classes are appropriate for all levels.

Calendar

Monday, June 8, 2015

Fundamentals of Bookbinding I

Monday – Friday, June 8 - 12, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Erin Fletcher
$695

THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED.

Students will learn the foundations of bookbinding with hands-on experience and discussion. The course will cover non-adhesive structures and case bindings, which will teach structural elements, sewing variations, covering and cutting techniques using various materials, tools and equipment. Throughout the course discussions will cover terminology, paper grain and folding, selecting proper materials and tools, and adhesives and their properties. .

Erin Fletcher was first introduced to the craft of bookbinding while obtaining her BFA at The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) of Chicago. After SAIC, she studied bookbinding at North Bennet Street School under the direction of Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley where she fine-tuned her hand skills and mastered a variety of historical and contemporary structures from non-adhesive to case bindings to fine leather bindings.

Friday, June 12, 2015

19th century field book

Friday - Sunday, June 12 - 14, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Martha Kearsley
$500

THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED.

This 3-day workshop concentrates on making useful books to bring into the field. Based on historic examples of 19th-century field notebooks, students produce a quarter- or half-leather binding, tight-back over sawn-in cords, with a handy pencil-locking mechanism. Issues of utility, ease of use and accessibility are addressed, as well as practical techniques to include specimens, notes and ephemera. This workshop is a great introduction for students interested in working with leather, as edge paring, shaping spine pieces and covering are addressed. Tuition includes $25 materials fee. Fundamentals of bookbinding I or prior experience recommended.

Martha is a 1995 graduate and current instructor in the NBSS Bookbinding program. She runs Strong Arm Bindery, repairing and restoring old, well-loved books. She also designs and builds stationery pieces. Visit Strong Arm Bindery at www.strongarmbindery.typepad.com.
Friday, June 26, 2015

Building boxes for your books

Friday - Sunday, June 26 - 28, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Erin Fletcher
$450

Books, documents and other objects can be damaged by the atmosphere around them; either by dust, temperature or sunlight. Creating an enclosure is one way to protect objects from the environment. In this workshop, students first make a quick book, which they use to build four different enclosures including a slipcase, 4-flap enclosure, clamshell box and pizza box. In addition to the enclosures, students make a leather spine chemise around a book from their own collection.

Erin Fletcher was first introduced to the craft of bookbinding while obtaining her BFA at The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) of Chicago. After SAIC, she studied bookbinding at North Bennet Street School under the direction of Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley where she fine-tuned her hand skills and mastered a variety of historical and contemporary structures from non-adhesive to case bindings to fine leather bindings.

Register

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Leather satchel for Ethiopian books

Saturday - Sunday, June 27 - 28, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Bill Hanscom
$375

Learn to construct a maḫdär, the two-piece leather satchel used for transporting and storing manuscripts in Ethiopia. In this two-day workshop, using a pattern based on historical examples, students create a model of this traditional case by scoring, folding and lacing together pieces of heavy cowhide leather. The models feature many common elements: a case with flap, carrying strap, lifting cord and a telescoping slipcase cover called a difat. Participants of the Traditional Ethiopian Bookbinding workshop should bring their full leather binding, otherwise, bring a book no larger than 5 ½ x 5 ½ x 2 to build the case around. No leather paring experience required. There $40 materials fee is paid to the instructor.

Bill Hanscom graduated from the Book Arts/Printmaking MFA program at the University of the Arts in 2008 after earning his BFA in Graphic Design. He is currently a conservation technician for special collections at the Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard Library, and coordinator and adjunct instructor for the Book Arts program at Montserrat College of Art. His essay on traditional Ethiopian bookbinding practices and techniques will be published by The Legacy Press in 2016.

Register

Monday, July 13, 2015

Fundamentals of Bookbinding I

Monday – Friday, July 13 - 17, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Erin Fletcher
$695

Students will learn the foundations of bookbinding with hands-on experience and discussion. The course will cover non-adhesive structures and case bindings, which will teach structural elements, sewing variations, covering and cutting techniques using various materials, tools and equipment. Throughout the course discussions will cover terminology, paper grain and folding, selecting proper materials and tools, and adhesives and their properties. .

Erin Fletcher was first introduced to the craft of bookbinding while obtaining her BFA at The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) of Chicago. After SAIC, she studied bookbinding at North Bennet Street School under the direction of Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley where she fine-tuned her hand skills and mastered a variety of historical and contemporary structures from non-adhesive to case bindings to fine leather bindings.

Register

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Calligraphy Intro for Teens

Saturday, July 18, 2015
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Maryanne Grebenstein
$150

15% first time student discount does not apply to this workshop.

A day of fun experimentation with chisel-point markers to learn about making letters in calligraphic styles. Students learn about pen scale and pen angle with easy to use markers.

Register

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fundamentals of Bookbinding 2

Monday - Friday, July 20 - 24, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Erin Fletcher
$695

THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED.

This course focuses on hardcover structures. Students begin with rounded back case bindings and end with on-set board binding. Throughout the course students, students fine-tune their skills through practice and learn to focus to details such as, endpapers structures and headband variations. Discussion topics include an overview of bindery equipment such as stamping on the Kwikprint and trimming with the plough.

Erin Fletcher was first introduced to the craft of bookbinding while obtaining her BFA at The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) of Chicago. After SAIC, she studied bookbinding at North Bennet Street School under the direction of Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley where she fine-tuned her hand skills and mastered a variety of historical and contemporary structures from non-adhesive to case bindings to fine leather bindings.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Introduction to blind and gold tooling on leather

Monday - Friday, July 27 - 31, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Samuel Feinstein
$700

In this week-long intensive, students learn the fundamentals of blind tooling and gold tooling on leather, focusing on straight lines and using BS glaire to affix the gold. Used in both traditional and contemporary designs, line-work is one of the most important, fundamental and versatile decorative techniques used on tooled bindings. Students explore the use of curved lines and small decorative tools within a limited scope. A final plaquette is completed using the techniques covered. This is an introduction for beginners as well as an opportunity for students who would like to build on existing skills. The goal of this workshop is to familiarize students with the processes involved and prepare you for further practice. Previous bookbinding experience is recommended but not required. The $125 materials fee, paid to instructor, includes the gold leaf and prepared leather plaquettes for the class.

Register

Monday, August 3, 2015

Youth Book Binding Workshop: Paper, Folding, and Basic Books AM (9-11)

Monday – Friday, August 3 - 7, 2015
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Instructor: Caitlyn Thompson
$300

15% first time student discount does not apply to this workshop.

Students begin by designing and painting decorative paper which becomes the covers of their books. They then learn basic structures including accordions, pamphlets and multi signature bindings. Students learn enough in this one week workshop to construct books at home. .

Caitlyn Thompson graduated from Brown University in 2009 with a duel degree in Visual and Literary Arts. She then went on to complete the two-year intensive bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School under the tutelage of Jeff Altepeter. Caitlyn has worked with private clients regularly, producing an array of projects from journals and photo albums to specialty boxes and fine leather design bindings. She is now attending Tufts/School of the Museum of Fine Arts where she will earn her Masters degree in Art Education.

Register

Youth Book Binding Workshop: Paper, Folding, and Basic Books PM (9-11)

Monday – Friday, August 3 - 7, 2015
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Instructor: Caitlyn Thompson
$300

15% first time student discount does not apply to this workshop.

Students begin by designing and painting decorative paper which becomes the covers of their books. They then learn basic structures including accordions, pamphlets and multi signature bindings. Students learn enough in this one week workshop to construct books at home. .

Caitlyn Thompson graduated from Brown University in 2009 with a duel degree in Visual and Literary Arts. She then went on to complete the two-year intensive bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School under the tutelage of Jeff Altepeter. Caitlyn has worked with private clients regularly, producing an array of projects from journals and photo albums to specialty boxes and fine leather design bindings. She is now attending Tufts/School of the Museum of Fine Arts where she will earn her Masters degree in Art Education.

Register

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Three ways to make a secret Belgian binding

Saturday - Sunday, August 8 - 9, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Erin Fletcher
$200

The origin of the Secret Belgian binding is debatable. It could be a contemporary structure from Canada, United States, Italy or the Netherlands or it could have originated in a Belgian monastery sometime between the 14th and 16th centuries. Setting aside the politics, this workshop explores the Secret Belgian structure and ways to modify it. On the first day, students put together two variations of this simple and quickly constructed non-adhesive structure. It opens flat and is perfect for thinner text blocks. On the second day, students explore modified versions of the Secret Belgian binding created by Anne Goy through playing with the amount of sewing, size of sewing holes and incorporating Tyvek.

Erin Fletcher was first introduced to the craft of bookbinding while obtaining her BFA at The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) of Chicago. After SAIC, she studied bookbinding at North Bennet Street School under the direction of Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley where she fine-tuned her hand skills and mastered a variety of historical and contemporary structures from non-adhesive to case bindings to fine leather bindings.

Register

Monday, August 10, 2015

Youth Book Binding Workshop: Exposed Sewing, Hard Covers, and Artists Books AM (12-14)

Monday – Friday, August 10-14. 2015
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Instructor: Caitlyn Thompson
$300

15% first time student discount does not apply to this workshop.

This course introduces the potential of what a book can become in alternate forms once basic bindings are mastered. We will produce pamphlets, multi-signature link stitch bindings, and hardcover books. For the final project, students will be given the opportunity to either make a small edition using a structure of their choosing, or combine several techniques to create a non-traditional book piece: The Hidden Sculpture Book Structure.

Caitlyn Thompson graduated from Brown University in 2009 with a duel degree in Visual and Literary Arts. She then went on to complete the two-year intensive bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School under the tutelage of Jeff Altepeter. Caitlyn has worked with private clients regularly, producing an array of projects from journals and photo albums to specialty boxes and fine leather design bindings. She is now attending Tufts/School of the Museum of Fine Arts where she will earn her Masters degree in Art Education.

Register

Youth Book Binding Workshop: Exposed Sewing, Hard Covers, Artists Books PM (12-14)

Monday – Friday, August 10-14, 2015
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Instructor: Caitlyn Thompson
$300

15% first time student discount does not apply to this workshop.

This course introduces the potential of what a book can become in alternate forms once basic bindings are mastered. We will produce pamphlets, multi-signature link stitch bindings, and hardcover books. For the final project, students will be given the opportunity to either make a small edition using a structure of their choosing, or combine several techniques to create a non-traditional book piece: The Hidden Sculpture Book Structure.

Caitlyn Thompson graduated from Brown University in 2009 with a duel degree in Visual and Literary Arts. She then went on to complete the two-year intensive bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School under the tutelage of Jeff Altepeter. Caitlyn has worked with private clients regularly, producing an array of projects from journals and photo albums to specialty boxes and fine leather design bindings. She is now attending Tufts/School of the Museum of Fine Arts where she will earn her Masters degree in Art Education.

Register

Saturday, August 15, 2015

More historical bindings in paper

Saturday - Sunday, August 15 - 16, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Bill Hanscom
$400

This workshop continues the exploration started in the Historical Bindings in Paper workshop (although the former workshop is not a prerequisite for this workshop). The two-day course examines the history of inexpensive paper-covered books used from the advent of the printed book in Europe through the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century. Participants construct three common German structures (longstitch, trade paper case with lapped components and stiffened paper binding) using the associated sewing variations and end-sheet constructions. All materials are provided by the instructor. Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Bookbinding I. The $40 materials fee is paid to the instructor.

Bill Hanscom graduated from the Book Arts/Printmaking MFA program at the University of the Arts in 2008 after earning his BFA in Graphic Design. He is currently a conservation technician for special collections at the Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard Library, and coordinator and adjunct instructor for the Book Arts program at Montserrat College of Art. His essay on traditional Ethiopian bookbinding practices and techniques will be published by The Legacy Press in 2016.

Register

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fundamentals of Calligraphic Arts 1

Saturdays & Sundays, September 19-20, October 17 - 18, November 21 - 22, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Maryanne Grebenstein
$1100

Fundamentals of calligraphic arts 1: Italic and Copperplate lettering, layout and color fundamentals Meeting one weekend per month for three consecutive months, this course provides a solid foundation in Italic lettering, Copperplate script lettering, layout and color. Students benefit from 48 hours of classroom/studio time at the school with continuous instruction. Between classes, students work on projects at home to reinforce learning and skill-building. Italic lettering concentrate on the basic techniques required for understanding how broad-edged pen lettering is done: pen angle, pen scale and letter slope. Through a series of exercises and practice projects, students learn to change the look of any alphabet by altering the pen scale and other elements. During the Copperplate section, students learn how to use a pointed pen to achieve beautiful script lettering, concentrating on optimal contrast between the ‘thicks and thins’ of the script lettering. In the layout and color classes students complete several projects using multiple pen nib sizes on a single project and work to become proficient in the use of gouache for lettering in color. Supplies for this course are about $150 -$200. Prerequisite: None.

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Questions and suggestions

Jim Morris
Director of Continuing Education
617-227-0155 x130
email Jim

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Other bookbinding and calligraphy classes

This is a partial list of class that have been offered in the past. If there is one or more that interest you, write to Jim Morris. We welcome class  requests.

  • A book of one's own - versatile journal and sketchbook designs
  • A well-appointed desk - practical stationery forms
  • Accordion books
  • Basic paper conservation for bookbinders
  • Book repair
  • Book structures for conservators
  • Bookbinding for teens
  • Bookbinding in america in the 19th century
  • Case binding
  • Cloth case bookbinding
  • Crossed structure bookbinding
  • Embellishing cloth-case bindings
  • Exploring the album structure
  • Girdle books
  • Intro to non-adhesive bookbinding
  • Introduction to marbling
  • Introduction to boxes & enclosures
  • Introduction to hand tooling
  • Introduction to leather
  • Islamic binding
  • Lettering & creating a guest book
  • Limp vellum bookbinding
  • Modernizing historic bookbinding models
  • Non-adhesive bookbinding
  • Oriental bindings
  • Paper conservation
  • Paper dying with plants
  • Paste papers - color theory, production, and matching colors
  • Pop-up books
  • Rebacking bookbindings - paper, cloth, and leather
  • Sewn board bindings
  • The classic leather binding
  • Three month bookbinding intensive
  • Tips and tricks for book and paper conservation
  • Travel journals
  • Caligraphy/guest book
  • Copperplate script
  • Gilding icons and miniatures
  • Hand lettering - five styles
  • Introduction to calligraphy
  • Manuscript gilding & illumination
  • Uncial lettering