Workshop: Introduction to Bookbinding

Jumble: a 3″x3″ letterpress pamphlet, 2011.

A sketch of the imposition for a miniature boustrophedon.
A square sheet with six folds and three cuts.
In this version, the horizontal folds are all mountains.
The vertical folds are: valley, mountain, valley.

As usual, I’m running behind on everything. Like, right now all over my desk I have a stack of ninety-thousand Penland pictures to edit and post and write about, plus a bunch of interesting books and articles to comment on, not to mention half a million thumbnails of drawings I’d love to draw and pin up online. Also, the grass keeps growing for some reason despite how often we mow it. And I need to wash our house so it stops looking like a house that needs to get washed. (Although, I appear to have more than enough energy to kvetch, so why I’m behind is sort of a big mystery.) Anyway, here’s some long-overdue information about a thing I’m doing this weekend:

Basically my class is going to be a beginner’s workshop for learning how to make simple, fun books from scratch. First we’ll start with an hour or so of generating content. We’ll work fast with markers, pencils, pens, and rubber stamps to create a bunch of patterns and bits of text that we can then cut up, fold, and bind into various structures. We’ll make an Origami book, one or more Flexagons, a basic pamphlet, and a stab-bound flip book. Along the way, we’ll talk about the tools that ought to be in your bookbinding kit, about the best ways to measure, cut and fold paper, and about good sewing practices vs. not-so-good ones. If you’ve never made a book before but always wanted to make one as a first step toward someday making dozens or hundreds of books, this workshop is a great place to start. If you’ve made millions of books already and just want to have some fun making weird little projects with a few other like-minded bibliophiles, then that’s o.k. too.

Anyhow, here’s the webpage for the class, if you need to know where in America it’s actually going to happen. The cost is $20 plus whatever supplies you buy from the store. It’s mostly inexpensive stuff, this time around. We won’t really be doing any printing other than stamping, but maybe more advanced methods can eventually happen down the road, depending on how much interest there is in the community (let me know!). That’s sort of what’s slowly getting worked on offline, in any case.

I’m looking forward to this workshop a ton. Hanging out in an art supply store teaching folks how to make books sounds like the best kind of Saturday ever.

Meanwhile, if only we could just xeriscape the yard and be done with it…stick a bunch of saguaros out there along with a palo verde or two and wrap it all up in an ocotillo fence (and give the persnickety mower to someone who likes tinkering with small engines)…all to make a nice enticing area where chuckwallas and Gila monsters might like to laze about while they work on their tans…

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