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  • Writer's pictureKari

Bookbinding for Content Creators

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

Prompted by one of the founders of the Georgian Bay Centre for the Arts, I developed a new workshop! She suggested that we do more of a deep dive into bookbinding instead of the half day workshops I have been offering in these crazy COVID times.

So I worked out a set of 5 books that I think will appeal to all kinds of content creators: writers, illustrators, poets, sketchers, life-long learners, quilters, designers, doodlers, photographers, and even book artists!

Sign up at - July 22,23 & 24, 2022. 10 - 5 PM. All materials are included and it's only in person here in beautiful Owen Sound, Ontario!

Book 1 is the nested accordion book. This book sprung from the pure joy and genius of Peter and Donna Thomas who featured this in their inspiring book More Making Books by Hand. The pure joy and genius of the Chiyogami designers who came up with Tiger paper inspired by little model. Rawr!!!

This handy book allows for the display of a panoramic image or separate panels as I did in the model.

Book 2 is the drum leaf binding which was invented by Timothy Ely who wanted to have a format of book that had spreads that were uninterrupted by thread (as is traditional in bookbinding) and that the book would lay flat so you could enjoy your photo/drawing/etc in its fully glory. It's a fun structure to build and can be done in a variety of sizes!

Book 3 is the sewn board binding invented by the very talented book conservator, Gary Frost. He wanted a simple binding structure that would protect a rare book (technically a rare text block) with minimal intervention, so that the book could be protected but the new cover would be minimally invasive. It's a dream of every book conservator! But his invention has taken on new life with people who want a quick to produce, lay-flat book - it's excellent as a commonplace book (what's that you ask? Check it out on wikipedia) or as a journal to write in.

Book 4 is a stub binding album - designed to be used as a project log book. This one is a bit of my own invention but also inspired by the marvellous book artist and book conservator, Stephanie Wolff who taught me a bunch of interesting types of enclosures and pages for stub binding albums. The book is unique in that the content can be replaced by simply opening up the screw posts. The book also includes some fun pockets to store project details like threads, cloth swatches, paint tests. The pockets are based on a traditional Chinese pocket folder often called a Chinese Thread book in English but the proper name is Zhen Xian Bao. The incredible UK book artist Ruth Smith travelled throughout China to record these books and her tutorials were a big inspiration! This book is designed to hold a photo of your complete projects, two sheets of grid paper to show your workings (quilt square or scale model), two pieces of mixed media paper for notes and one three panel panorama page for the design process. Each book will allow the user to track three projects.

Book number 5 is a Vade Mecum (what is that you ask? Wikipedia is my friend again). The name references a latin phrase for a reference book that means "go with me". I'm teaching an updated version of a medieval reference book that was common in the British Isles for physicians and religious instructors. They are called "bat books" by book historians because of the way the pages fold out like bat wings. They were used for medical reference charts and religious calendars and were often made with a loop at the top so they could be worn on your belt. We are updating the pages as they were commonly made with parchment, but the covers were often made from wool felt so we will be using sturdy felt that can be easily decorated later. This book is fantastic option for hiking trail maps!

And here's a rather simple tour of the books in action!

Do not miss out on the fun! Sign up now at to get your spot!


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