Online Workshop – How to Make Longstitch Bindings

Join our new live online workshop and make longstitch bindings

This online workshop in longstitch binding teaches a traditional method of bookbinding that originates from Germany and dates back to the late 14th century. In this method, sections of paper are sewn directly through holes in the covering material, giving support to the spine, and flexibility to the book. It is a simple and extremely rewarding process and one that can be easily adapted once practiced, to include more complex designs and decorations.

We will provide materials in advance, as listed below, so that we all have the same items at the start of the workshop. We cannot provide tools, as we do at in-person workshops. The list of tools required is also below, some of these can be replaced with tools that you have at home, others may need to be purchased. When booking the course, you will also receive a 15% discount to the shop so that you can buy the tools direct from us if you choose.

We will cover:

  • the importance of grain direction
  • preparing a textblock
  • folding and trimming paper
  • preparing sections for sewing
  • preparing covering material
  • sewing the textblock
  • finishing the cover

You will come away with:

  • one beautiful A6 hand-made longstitch binding in leather
  • a template to continue to make your own bindings at home
  • an introduction into bookbinding
  • a basic understanding of the structure of bindings

The materials pack

We will send you:

  • Textblock paper
  • Covering material
  • Metal button for cover
  • Template to cut and prepare the leather
  • Complimentary needle and linen thread

You will need:

  • A cutting mat
  • A sharp knife – Stanley knife or a scalpel
  • An awl (aka bradawl / pricker)
  • A cobblers knife (a sharp medium sized kitchen knife may be used, at your own risk)
  • A bonefolder
  • A piece of waste cardboard
  • A metal ruler
  • Paper weight
  • Pencil
  • Scrap paper

How it works

Once you book you will receive an email containing a link to a zoom meeting and instructions on how to join that meeting. You will also receive a code for a discount in the the shop, if you would like to buy tools from us.

Online Workshop – How to Make Basic Pamphlet Bindings

decorative pamphlet bindings

Join our new live online workshop and make basic pamphlet bindings

This online workshop in basic pamphlet binding is the first stage of learning bookbinding, and is essential in understanding how a book is created. It allows the binder to gain experience in working with the grain of the paper, the importance of accurate hand-skills, understanding the terminology of a book and putting it into practice. It is a simple and extremely rewarding process and one that can be easily adapted once practiced, to include more complex designs and decorations.

We will provide materials in advance, as listed below, so that we all have the same items at the start of the workshop. We cannot provide tools, as we do at in-person workshops. The list of tools required is also below, some of these can be replaced with tools that you have at home, others may need to be purchased. When booking the course, you will also receive a 15% discount to the shop so that you can buy the tools direct from us if you choose.

We will cover:

  • the importance of grain direction
  • preparing a textblock
  • folding and trimming paper
  • creating end papers
  • sewing a single section textblock
  • finishing the covering
Foredge of basic pamphlet binding

You will come away with:

  • two A6 hand-made pamphlet bindings with two sewing styles
  • an introduction into the hand-skills required for bookbinding
  • a basic understanding of the structure of bindings

The materials pack

We will send you:

  • Textblock paper
  • Covering material
  • Decorative paper
  • Endpapers
  • Complimentary needle and linen thread

You will need:

  • A cutting mat
  • A sharp knife – Stanley knife or a scalpel
  • An awl (aka bradawl / pricker)
  • A cobblers knife (a sharp medium sized kitchen knife may be used, at your own risk)
  • A bonefolder
  • A piece of waste cardboard
  • A metal ruler
  • Paper weight
  • Pencil
  • Scrap paper

How it works

Once you book you will receive an email containing a link to a zoom meeting and instructions on how to join that meeting. You will also receive a code for a discount in the the shop, if you would like to buy tools from us.

Online Workshop – How to Make Japanese Stab Bindings

Japanese Stab Binding
Japanese Stab Binding 2

Join our live online workshop and make Japanese stab bindings

In this online workshop, we will be creating Japanese Stab Bindings. This binding is often associated with decorative books and hand bindings due to their attractive sewing techniques, that once practised, can be adapted to incorporate more complex designs. It is a useful method for binding single leaves, such as artwork, as there is no need for adhesive, allowing sheets to be quickly bound after they have been created.

The Japanese Stab Binding actually originates from the Chinese ‘butterfly binding’, one of the earliest paper bookbinding techniques in Asia where single sheets were pasted together, surrounded in a wraparound cover and stitched along the edge.

We will provide materials in advance, as listed below, so that we all have the same items at the start of the workshop. We cannot provide tools, as we do at in-person workshops. The list of tools required is also below, some of these can be replaced with tools that you have at home, others may need to be purchased. When booking the course, you will also receive a 15% discount to the shop so that you can buy the tools direct from us if you choose.

Japanese Stab Binding 3

We will cover:

  • the importance of grain direction
  • preparing a textblock
  • folding and trimming paper
  • creating sewing guides
  • sewing Japanese stab style
  • additional sewing patterns
Japanese Stab Binding 5

You will come away with:

  • two A5 hand-made Japanese stab bindings with two sewing styles
  • an introduction into the hand-skills required for bookbinding
  • a basic understanding of the structure of bindings

The materials pack

We will send you:

  • Textblock paper
  • Covering material
  • Decorative paper
  • Complimentary needle
  • Linen thread

You will need:

  • A cutting mat
  • A sharp knife – Stanley knife or a scalpel
  • An awl (aka bradawl / pricker)
  • A cobblers knife (a sharp medium sized kitchen knife may be used, at your own risk)
  • A bonefolder
  • A piece of waste cardboard
  • A metal ruler
  • Paper weight
  • Pencil
  • Scrap paper

How it works

Once you book you will receive an email containing a link to a zoom meeting and instructions on how to join that meeting. You will also receive a code for a discount in the the shop, if you would like to buy tools from us.

Bartie’s Boutique Fair in Sunny Worthing

St Pauls Worthing

This weekend saw me attending another Bartie’s Boutique craft fair at the St Pauls venue in central Worthing. It was a good day with a lot of talent on show meaning I had the chance to meet some great people and hope that I can portray a few of them here.

These beautiful prints are by We Are Mountain. Sophie has huge amounts of talent with her printing and has been popular in the Worthing Artist Open Houses (more on that next week) – I love the lobster one!

Claire from handmadebyhippo is a mosaic expert based in Brighton, she will create a custom-made mosaic for you – possibly a door number or something for the garden – she is also able to recreate a favourite photo in mosaic, which blew my mind just a little bit!!

Samantha, from Hung On You, is the creator of these wonderful handmade and vintage jewellery pieces (and the amazing stand – might be taking some inspiration from that!), and also the instigator of the Brighton Craft Alliance, which I have set for my future plans – small world, we all meet at these things!

Another slightly different jewellery maker at the fair was Pippa from OoNaNa – who made laser cut jewellery in amazing designs – including, wait for it, chemical formulae!! – Yes, peeps, we can now get our favourite chemical structures on a necklace – Monosaccharide Glucose here I come!!!

Finally from Bartie’s Boutique was Hope from Hope & Ted – a sewing guru offering beautiful handmade goods and sewing classes for kids and adults. This was Hope’s first fair, and she is clearly a natural as her stand looked fantastic! I think I will have to book myself onto one of these classes.

As a final show – my stall. The table at Bartie’s  might have been my best yet, with a full range of books and the tool roll kits finally on display – and YES, I did sell one!

On Eagle’s Wings

Today I was back at the V&A for the first time in the New Year – it’s always nice to return after a break and find familiar faces, so it was a happy return!

The day was also boosted by seeing On Eagle’s Wings exhibition at the museum. This is an exhibition on comic books that myself and a collegue have been working on for the last month or so, each of us doing paper repairs on the covers and display spreads of the comics. Having been involved since the start of the conservation work, it was really nice to see the exhibition come to fruition.

Due to copyright issues, I was not able to get any close-ups of the comics themselves, but in the images below you can see the general layout. It is located outside the Twentieth Century gallery and takes up four of the cabinets there. One of the cabinets is specifically dedicated to the girls comics, which I worked a lot on. Girl is the counterpart to Eagle, which is the key comic book for the exhibitions. The latter was an extremely popular boys comic whereas Girl was one of the leading girl’s comic books, including such items as Wendy & Jinx (a detective duo) and how to do flower arrangements.

I was pleased to see that of those comics that I had worked on, I was not able to see the paper repairs, which is a good sign!

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City Lit Bookbinders Exhibition

‘So much variety and fabulous work with the definite feel of a top of the range gallery – indeed much better than many exhibitions I have seen’ 

The Principle of the City Lit, Peter Davies

As our bookbinding year came to an end, we were given the opportunity to exhibit some of our work in the display cases at the City Lit. Unsurprisingly I was immensely excited about this, and so diligently went to photograph my first exhibited work!!! Our books were displayed in two glass cases on the ground floor of the City Lit, which you can see here.

These show my two books on display, my coptic binding and the limp binding with the circles and ribbons next to Emily’s japanese binding.

I think these two were Bob’s – one was his coptic binding, which he made amazingly by carefully cutting out paper (BY HAND!) to make the intricate designs. For the second one, a disappearing spine pamphlet, Bob made the cover design and then had it printed onto book fabric, which he then used to cover the book – amazing! This final coptic binding was Kate’s, which I loved!