Creating a book from scratch is a very satisfying process. I find something very soothing about the simple act of folding a piece of paper. Stitching a book is a very mindful activity, you need to pay attention to what you are doing, but it is an unhurried sequence of steps that does not require brain bending concentration. I thought I’d share some photos of the initial part of creating a hard bound book from scratch.
Once the stitching is finished, there are more steps to strengthen and reinforce the spine before preparing the covers and assembling the final book, but those stages get a little trickier to photograph one handed when you’re dealing with glue, so I will try to get Adrian to get some photos next time I’m ‘casing in’ a book.

I’m running a two day bookbinding workshop in August and I’ve designed the class to mimic the way a bindery would operate, where tasks are organised around the constraints of having to wait for stages to dry flat in a book press. In one day, it is a challenge to get a hard bound book finished, but in two days it should be possible to produce one beautiful hard bound book and several other types of book as well.

Of course there are lots of ways to create simpler books and those are the ones that feature in my one day Simple Bookbinding class. Here are a few examples of folded and glued books without any stitching.

I gave a talk recently to a local SWI group at Port Logan where I got the ladies involved in making a simple meandering accordian book (also known as a maze book). This always proves popular on my classes, particularly when I bring this art journal out to show people.

This is constructed from a single sheet of paper, folded and cut in a certain way to make an intriguing and complicated looking book. But actually, it’s really easy to do. Here are a couple more, each one made from a single sheet of 12x12 inch paper.

If you fancy having a go at bookbinding, I am available to teach to groups of between 2 and 8 people – click here to message me.


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