The University of the arts

Introduction to Bookbinding
The University of the Arts

CE 5100N 01 Introduction to Bookbinding

CE 5100N 01

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Beth Sheehan



Summer 2018

  • (Jul. 12 to Aug. 9)
  • Thu 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • 0.00 Credits
  • 0.00 Credits
  • Tuition: $275 / Fees: $15
In this course, students will learn the basics of making books by hand. From cutting and folding to sewing and gluing, we will explore accordion books, pamphlets, Japanese stab bindings, and Coptic stitch. Starting with one-page books and working our way up to multi-section books that make excellent journals/sketchbooks, our discussion will focus on best practices and materials as well as tricks and techniques for modifying the book structures to suit projects and solve problems. This class is excellent for beginners with no book experience or anyone looking to expand their skill set.

Course Overview

Each class will begin with a short introduction to the book structure, viewing and discussing examples and variations followed by step-by-step instructions on making the binding. Some weeks will require students to complete out of classroom assignments. This course will focus on the practical and applicable knowledge of bookbinding while integrating theory and idea within the book format. Students will be responsible for getting work printed for assignments.

What will you learn in this course?

  • Have basic understanding of materials, book structures, and terminology.
  • Have made at least 5 book structures by the end of the course.
  • Have thorough knowledge of the structures and the ability to replicate them at home.
  • Understand general differences between book structures and the pros and cons of each binding.

What will you do in class?

  • Lectures
  • Demonstrations
  • In class work sessions
  • Critiques

What topics will be covered?

  • Zine Fold and Accordions
  • Zine or Modified Accordion
  • Pamphlet Stitch Books
  • Japanese Stab Bindings
  • Drumleaf Book and Butterfly books
  • Coptic Stitch Book

Suggested Readings or Link to other content

Literature: Required Readings will be supplied by the instructor.

Recommended but not Required:

  • Non-Adhesive Binding: Books Without Paste or Glue, Keith Smith
  • Japanese Bookbinding, Kojiro Ikegami
  • How to Make Books, Esther K. Smith

Supplies + Equipment

  • Bone folder or teflon folder
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Awl
  • Cutting tool such as X-acto, Olfa knife, or scalpel and blades
  • Glue brush (cheap chip brush, 1” 1.5” ideally)
  • Glue container with lid (soup containers or Talenti ice cream containers are great)
  • Small sketchbook or notebook (suggested, for notes, planning projects and idea sketching)

    • Bookbinding_Beth Sheehan example1
    • Bookbinding_Beth Sheehan example2