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  1. Last Two Workshops for 2020

    October 15, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    We are getting to the end of 2020 (finally) and these are the final workshops for the year. A cheerful hoorah and thanks to everyone who has participated in my online workshops since I began this past summer. I am working on new classes for 2021 and I’d love your input. Tell me what topics you are looking for in a workshop by filling out this form.

    Missed a class this year? Join the Herringbone Bindery Wait List.

    NOVEMBER
    Limp Case Binding
    4 Sessions // November 7 – 15 (Saturday and Sunday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by October 28 to receive your material kit!
    Register here – 4 spots left

    With the advent of printing in the 15th century books were printed in larger quantities creating a higher demand for bookbinders. Limp binding structures came about as a way for binders to quickly construct an elegant and durable binding for this new demand. This beautiful style of binding is suitable for conservation or new bindings. Students will learn the proper sewing pattern for this structure, create hand-sewn endbands and how to properly fold the cover before lacing in the text block.

    In this workshop, students will learn the technique for constructing a Limp Case binding in either handmade paper or vellum. Access to a sewing frame is required for the vellum version of this binding.


    DECEMBER
    Cross Structure Binding
    4 Sessions // December 1 – 10 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by November 20 to receive your material kit!
    Register here – 4 spots left

    The Cross Structure binding is a non-adhesive binding that offers much freedom to the text block. This 20th century design is greatly inspired by the Long Stitch bindings of the medieval era. It is suitable in conservation or new bindings, such as travel journals or decorative bindings. The structure is uniquely constructed by interlocking the front and back cover at the spine.

    In this workshop, students will create 4 variations of the Cross Structure binding working with both handmade paper and leather to create their models.


  2. Upcoming Workshops // October – December

    September 15, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    OCTOBER
    2-Day: Shrigley
    3 Sessions // October 5 & 9 (Monday & Friday)
    Oct. 5: 10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Oct. 9: 3:00 – 4:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College

    The Shrigley is an innovative way to house loose ephemera, postcards, photographs, prints and more. The pages are folded into frames, allowing you to easily add or remove pieces from the book. In this workshop, students will learn the folding techniques to create the frames with various corner styles. Once the pages are assembled and sewn, students will finish their project by making a hardcover case with a ribbon tie.

    1-Day: Japanese 4-Hole Binding
    2 Sessions // October 7 (Wednesday)
    10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College

    Yotsume Toji or 4-hole binding is a common Japanese binding structure with a long history of use. Students will build their model in a traditional manner, while incorporating western tools and equipment to develop a better understanding of the structure. Students will explore ways of modifying the sewing pattern on their own before reconnecting for a Q&A session.

    2-Day: Secret Belgian Binding
    4 Sessions // October 10 – 11 (Saturday – Sunday)
    10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College

    The Secret Belgian binding, also known as Criss Cross binding, was developed by Anne Goy in the mid-1980s and is influenced by traditional Japanese binding styles. The binding is simple and easy to construct; it opens flat and is perfect for thinner text blocks. Students will construct 3 variations of this structure, including a style which uses Tyvek as the binding agent.

    Flatback Case Binding
    2 Sessions // October 24 – 25 (Saturday and Sunday morning)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by October 14 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    The Flatback Case Binding is one of the most common and recognizable structures today. In this workshop, students will learn foundational binding skills to assemble two different styles of covering known as quarter cloth and half cloth. The Flatback Case Binding is easy to construct and is perfect for small publications, artist books, journals and more.


    NOVEMBER
    Box Series
    4 Sessions // November 3 – 12 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by October 23 to receive your material kit!
    SOLD OUT – Add Your Name to Wait List

    Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. In this workshop, we’ll look at just three examples: French-Tray with Drop Spine, Clamshell and Japanese Box Case. Students will learn how to assemble these three styles of boxes while also discussing the ways to measure for custom box-making. This workshop will give you the foundational skills to build and modify your own boxes. It will also explore different ways of creating closures for boxes.

    Limp Case Binding
    4 Sessions // November 7 – 15 (Saturday and Sunday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by October 28 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    With the advent of printing in the 15th century books were printed in larger quantities creating a higher demand for bookbinders. Limp binding structures came about as a way for binders to quickly construct an elegant and durable binding for this new demand. This beautiful style of binding is suitable for conservation or new bindings. Students will learn the proper sewing pattern for this structure, create hand-sewn endbands and how to properly fold the cover before lacing in the text block.

    In this workshop, students will learn the technique for constructing a Limp Case binding in either handmade paper or vellum. Access to a sewing frame is required for the vellum version of this binding.


    DECEMBER
    Cross Structure Binding
    4 Sessions // December 1 – 10 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by November 20 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    The Cross Structure binding is a non-adhesive binding that offers much freedom to the text block. This 20th century design is greatly inspired by the Long Stitch bindings of the medieval era. It is suitable in conservation or new bindings, such as travel journals or decorative bindings. The structure is uniquely constructed by interlocking the front and back cover at the spine.

    In this workshop, students will create 4 variations of the Cross Structure binding working with both handmade paper and leather to create their models.


  3. Tutorial // Paste Papers

    September 7, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    Making paste papers is a really fun and messy activity. In this video for North Bennet Street School, Colin Urbina and I discuss the set-up and share a few techniques for making this decorative paper at home. Even though this video is geared towards kids, this technique is great for any age group. You can find more online content created for NBSS here.

    If you are looking for even more instructional content, I have a growing list of tutorials and I also teach live workshops in-person and online. Check out my list of Upcoming Workshops.

    SUPPLIES:
    – paste/paint mixture (see recipe below)
    – various tools for decorating (combs, rubber stamps, foam brushes, sponges, anything that will make a mark)
    – brushes for painting on paste/paint mixture (paint brush or foam brush)
    – container of water and sponge or spray bottle
    – paper
    – tarp or trash bag

    PASTE/PAINT MIXTURE RECIPE:
    – 1 part all-purpose flour
    – 4 parts water
    Mix the flour and water together and whisk over a double boiler for about 6 minutes or until it turns to the consistency of cream of wheat.

    Once paste has completely cooled, add a dollop of paint (tempera or acrylic). If color is too thin, add another dollop until you achieve the right amount of pigment.

    Erin Fletcher handmade paste paper

    Paste papers have been used since the 16th century as decorative endpapers and cover papers, which are produced by pressing or sliding objects into a wet paste/paint mixture that has been spread on paper. This style of decoration continues to be used today. Here are some great contemporary paste paper makers.

    Hook Pottery Paper | Colophon Book Arts Supply

    Claire Maziarcyzk | Talas

    Deena Schnitman


  4. Upcoming Workshops // September – November

    August 14, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    SEPTEMBER
    Variations on Single Signature Bindings
    4 Sessions // September 8 – 17 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by August 28 to receive your material kit!
    Register here – Only 2 spots left!!

    Books come in all shapes and sizes. Some may span only a few pages, while others become a thick tome. In this workshop, we’ll explore the former as we create a multitude of models with both soft and hardcovers.

    Students will begin this workshop by making a series of simple softcover pamphlets using a variety of sewing patterns before moving on to hardcover structures. All of these structures allow the book to lay flat and are perfect for chapbooks, presentation pamphlets or short stories.


    OCTOBER
    2-Day: Shrigley
    3 Sessions // October 5 & 9 (Monday & Friday)
    Oct. 5: 10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Oct. 9: 3:00 – 4:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College

    The Shrigley is an innovative way to house loose ephemera, postcards, photographs, prints and more. The pages are folded into frames, allowing you to easily add or remove pieces from the book. In this workshop, students will learn the folding techniques to create the frames with various corner styles. Once the pages are assembled and sewn, students will finish their project by making a hardcover case with a ribbon tie.

    1-Day: Japanese 4-Hole Binding
    2 Sessions // October 7 (Wednesday)
    10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College

    Yotsume Toji or 4-hole binding is a common Japanese binding structure with a long history of use. Students will build their model in a traditional manner, while incorporating western tools and equipment to develop a better understanding of the structure. Students will explore ways of modifying the sewing pattern on their own before reconnecting for a Q&A session.

    2-Day: Secret Belgian Binding
    4 Sessions // October 10 – 11 (Saturday – Sunday)
    10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College

    The Secret Belgian binding, also known as Criss Cross binding, was developed by Anne Goy in the mid-1980s and is influenced by traditional Japanese binding styles. The binding is simple and easy to construct; it opens flat and is perfect for thinner text blocks. Students will construct 3 variations of this structure, including a style which uses Tyvek as the binding agent.

    Flatback Case Binding
    2 Sessions // October 24 – 25 (Saturday and Sunday morning)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by October 14 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    The Flatback Case Binding is one of the most common and recognizable structures today. In this workshop, students will learn foundational binding skills to assemble two different styles of covering known as quarter cloth and half cloth. The Flatback Case Binding is easy to construct and is perfect for small publications, artist books, journals and more.


    NOVEMBER
    Box Series
    4 Sessions // November 3 – 12 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by October 23 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. In this workshop, we’ll look at just three examples: French-Tray with Drop Spine, Clamshell and Japanese Box Case. Students will learn how to assemble these three styles of boxes while also discussing the ways to measure for custom box-making. This workshop will give you the foundational skills to build and modify your own boxes. It will also explore different ways of creating closures for boxes.

    Limp Case Binding
    4 Sessions // November 7 – 15 (Saturday and Sunday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by October 28 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    With the advent of printing in the 15th century books were printed in larger quantities creating a higher demand for bookbinders. Limp binding structures came about as a way for binders to quickly construct an elegant and durable binding for this new demand. This beautiful style of binding is suitable for conservation or new bindings. Students will learn the proper sewing pattern for this structure, create hand-sewn endbands and how to properly fold the cover before lacing in the text block.

    In this workshop, students will learn the technique for constructing a Limp Case binding in either handmade paper or vellum. Access to a sewing frame is required for the vellum version of this binding.


  5. Swell Things No. 54

    July 31, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    1. The subjects in Andrew Gray‘s artwork have this an unmistakable gravitational pull. His keen eye for design and color are most unique and part of the allure. Gray is a Baltimore-based artist creating work influenced by his diverse upbringing and studies within African-American history, Russian propaganda, contemporary realism and color abstraction. The latter is readily recognizable by the unusual color-blocking used in his paintings.
    2. The textile work of recent RISD grad Kelly Lucero Hughes is a beautiful blend of textures, desert hues and captivating imagery. Influenced by the New Mexico landscape she grew up in, Kelly often incorporates physical elements of nature into her work.
    3. I am in love with everything that Daniel Garver has created: every textile, ceramic piece and illustration. I am reminded of the geometric work created by Sol LeWitt. Another favorite artist of mine! Purely simple, absolutely brilliant.
    4. Eboni Hogan is an incredible embroidery artist. Her technique of dense stitches and thick, black outlines gives her work an luminous quality, like stained-glass. She also has an amazing talent for creating realistic textures and movement in her work. The piece above was inspired by Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and illustrates Eboni’s ability and determination to accurately stitch the subject’s lovely locks. 
    5. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m an earring fanatic. Which is why I’m obsessed with the jewelry made by Morgan Hill. I love the asymmetric quality of her work, the colors, the texture, the multi-faceted shapes, I love it all!

    6. Canto Cutie is a literary zine developed by Katherine Leung as a way to collect and share stories from artists who self-identify as Cantonese. Contributors can freely express their thoughts about identity surrounding the Cantonese diaspora and reflect on both historical and contemporary events. Volume 1 is available now!
    7. Tiffany Tang is creating some fabulous ceramic work. In the series, Mini Moons, the color palette is sweet and luscious, which contrasts beautifully with the harsh and heavy glazes. Blue & White, shows a softer and more delicate hand which evokes a more classic look of porcelain. All of her work is engaging and strikingly beautiful. Ceramics has the ability to blur the line between function and art, Tiffany plays with this dichotomy well within her work.
    8. When you are led by a love for color, structure and anything odd, it’s no wonder Daphne Chen has the ability to craft such unique and chaotic patterned knits and weaves. Her work undoubtedly stems from an exploration of identity, place and family. All of these complex ideas morph into equally complex prints, weaves and illustrations.
    9. Mugs: my other obsession! Oh how, I love the work of Mud Witch, run by Viviana Matsuda. Her work is so incredibly popular, that I have yet to snag a mug before they sell out. After inheriting pottery supplies from her late father, Viviana began working with clay as a means to work through her grief. As a fellow curvaceous lady, I love that Viviana’s pottery reflects her body positivity: chubby and curvy.
    10. Working predominantly in portraiture, Jessica Spence is a New York-based artist whose work reflects her own life and black female identity. Her pieces put the focus on the subject’s hair, emphasizing an importance for self-care, the care of others and expression. As an outsider to this culture, I don’t profess to understand the discrimination or stigmatization black women experience based on the way they choose to style their hair. But I appreciate the shear beauty and talent of Jessica’s work and how it invites me to investigate these topics further. Check out this interview on Girls United by Essence.


  6. Upcoming Workshops // August & September

    July 14, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    Interested in learning a new skill or want to hone your bookbinding skills? Come to one of my online workshops in August or September. All of the following workshops will be live instruction through Zoom. Open to students at any skill level!

    AUGUST
    Secret Belgian Binding – Three Ways
    4 Sessions // August 4 – 13 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by July 24 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    This workshop will explore the Secret Belgian structure and ways to modify it. The binding is simple and easy to construct for any skill level. The binding opens flat and is perfect for thinner text blocks. During this workshop students will use techniques developed by Anne Goy to alter the traditional appearance of the structure through additional weaving and Tyvek.


    Japanese 4-Hole Binding
    2 Sessions // August 8 & 15 (Saturday mornings)
    10:00 – 12:00pm (EST)
    Register here

    In this workshop, students will construct a common Japanese binding model, traditionally referred to as yotsume toji or 4-hole binding. We will build the model in a traditional manner while incorporating western tools and equipment. This workshop will provide a better understanding of the structure and the foundation for which to alter the number of holes and sewing patterns.


    Cross Structure Binding
    4 Sessions // August 18 – 27 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by August 7 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    The Cross Structure binding is a non-adhesive binding that offers much freedom to the text block. This 20th century design is greatly inspired by the Long Stitch bindings of the medieval era. It is suitable in conservation or new bindings, such as travel journals or decorative bindings. The structure is uniquely constructed by interlocking the front and back cover at the spine.

    In this workshop, students will create 4 variations of the Cross Structure binding working with both handmade paper and leather to create their models.


    SEPTEMBER
    Variations on Single Signature Bindings
    4 Sessions // September 8 – 17 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by August 28 to receive your material kit!
    Register here

    Books come in all shapes and sizes. Some may span only a few pages, while others become a thick tome. In this workshop, we’ll explore the former as we create a multitude of models with both soft and hardcovers.

    Students will begin this workshop by making a series of simple softcover pamphlets using a variety of sewing patterns before moving on to hardcover structures. All of these structures allow the book to lay flat and are perfect for chapbooks, presentation pamphlets or short stories.


  7. Tutorial // Petal Fold Book

    July 12, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    In this video for North Bennet Street School, my co-host Colin Urbina shows me how to make a Petal Fold Book using simple folding techniques similar to the Turkish Map Fold. Even though this video is geared towards kids, this technique is great for any age group. You can find more online content created for NBSS here.

    If you are looking for even more instructional content, I have a growing list of tutorials and I also teach live workshops in-person and online. Check out my list of Upcoming Workshops.

    SUPPLIES:
    – 5 square pieces of paper, plain or decorative (any size, but should be the same size)
    – Glue Stick
    – Bone Folder (optional)
    – Coloring and decorating supplies (markers, colored pencils, or crayons)

    The Petal Fold is a simplified version of a fold used in origami by the same name. By reducing the number of folds from the origami technique, it can be used to create pages that can easily condense into an artist book.


  8. Swell Things No. 53 // Black Women in Fiber Arts

    July 3, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    1. Sarah Branch is a Brooklyn-based artist creating work inspired by artists who have pioneered black arts across all platforms. This embroidered portrait of Shirley Chisholm is powerful and amplifies her position as the first black women to be elected to the US Congress (she was elected for a total of 7 terms from 1969 – 1983). Chisholm also became the first woman and first black person to run for the Presidential Democratic nomination in 1972. You can learn more about this untold historical moment in Shola Lynch’s documentary Shirley Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed (watch on PBS).
    2. I love seeing the process behind Raven Kianna D.‘s delicately cross-stitched pieces on her instagram. The use of tiny stitches makes her work incredibly detailed and realistic. Just Like Life, Nothing Is Just Black And White is one of my favorite pieces. Raven often focuses the view on the subject’s eye or alters their portrait to obstruct their eyes.
    3. The punch needle work of @_dweba is gorgeous and captures the strength and beauty of women in Cape Town, South Africa.
    4. I’m not a knitter, but love to fantasize about knitting beautiful garments for myself. I love this cardigan from Bayron Handmade. Denise Bayron is the brains behind this amazing line of knit and sewing patterns. I appreciate that she includes videos about her pieces to speak about the construction and the best way to wear the garments. Maybe it’s time to pick up a new skill!
    5. For many, fiber art can be a therapeutic form of expression. This is how Adele Deloris Riley describes her work, especially turning the lockdown. Much of the fabric used in Adele’s work is reclaimed from vintage and secondhand shops. In a feature in The Sunday Times Home, she states, “During the uncertain times of the lockdown I found solace in my work. The laborious deconstruction and reconstruction of fabrics provided a therapeutic and joyous release.”

    6. Pretty Strange is run by Ciara LeRoy in Lexington, Kentucky. Her embroidered lettering is so gorgeous and precisely stitched. Ciara works through self care in her work as a practice-what-you-preach-kind-of-way (which I greatly appreciate). She is making work that is playful, inspiring and beautiful.
    7. Self care is very important right now and Lauren Singleton of Yes Stitch Yes is boosting my mood with her beautiful monochromatic and floral embroidered expressions. I particularly love this tribute to everyone’s favorite personal massager ;)
    8. The unique silhouettes of Niki Dionne‘s subjects are rendered in a wide range of media, including oil pastels, illustrations, rugs and knitted portraits. Even though her subjects are often crafted without faces, Niki builds so much expression into the body language, texture and color palette of her work.
    9. Charlotte Edey is an amazing artist working in print, textile and embroidery. The surrealist quality of her work stems from pulling together symbols and myths that explore an intersectionality between identity and spirituality in addition to experiences of women of color. Each tapestry begins as an illustration that is then translated into a Jacquard woven piece created in a limited edition. The softness of her work contrasts beautifully with the heaviness of her themes.
    10. Simone Elizabeth‘s tufted tapestries are part of a long history of using fiber art to highlight and investigate political, social and cultural moments. Simone’s tapestries are incredible. She transforms each portrait with bright color palettes and bold outlines. The subject in her pieces have the ability to confront the viewer, creating a moment of pause and reflection. Absolutely stunning work.


  9. Cut the Craft Interview

    June 30, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    I was so delighted to be interviewed by Brien Beidler and Amy Umbel on their new podcast Cut the Craft. We had a really fun and in-depth conversation about making. I got the chance to talk about why making books is so important to my practice as an artist and why I love the bookbinding community.

    Check out my interview here or subscribe on your favorite podcast listening app.


  10. Announcing Online Workshops!

    June 29, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    I am very excited to announce that Herringbone Bindery will be offering Online Workshops beginning in August.

    Teaching bookbinding is one of my favorite aspects of my job as a binder and I can’t wait to reconnect with students. Each of the following workshops are designed for students at all skill levels and require very few tools and virtually no equipment (minus a punching cradle). Each workshop includes a kit of quality materials that are prepped by me and will aid you in creating beautiful bindings.

    Secret Belgian Binding – Three Ways
    4 Sessions // August 4 – 13 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)

    This workshop will explore the Secret Belgian structure and ways to modify it. The binding is simple and easy to construct for any skill level. The binding opens flat and is perfect for thinner text blocks.

    During this workshop students will use techniques developed by Anne Goy to alter the traditional appearance of the structure through additional weaving and Tyvek.

    This workshop will be live instruction through Zoom. Open to students at any skill level, but please contact me if you have questions determining if this workshop is right for you.

    In order to receive material kits on time, please sign-up by July 24th. Register here.


    Cross Structure Binding
    4 Sessions // August 18 – 27 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)

    The Cross Structure binding is a non-adhesive binding that offers much freedom to the text block. This 20th century design is greatly inspired by the Long Stitch bindings of the medieval era. It is suitable in conservation or new bindings, such as travel journals or decorative bindings. The structure is uniquely constructed by interlocking the front and back cover at the spine.

    In this workshop, students will create 4 variations of the Cross Structure binding working with both handmade paper and leather to create their models.

    This workshop will be live instruction through Zoom. Open to students at any skill level, but please contact me if you have questions determining if this workshop is right for you.

    In order to receive material kits on time, please sign-up by August 7th. Register here


    Variations on Single Signature Bindings
    4 Sessions // September 8 – 17 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)

    Books come in all shapes and sizes. Some may span only a few pages, while others become a thick tome. In this workshop, we’ll explore the former as we create a multitude of models with both soft and hardcovers.

    Students will begin this workshop by making a series of simple softcover pamphlets using a variety of sewing patterns before moving on to hardcover structures. All of these structures allow the book to lay flat and are perfect for chapbooks, presentation pamphlets or short stories.

    This workshop will be live instruction through Zoom. Open to students at any skill level, but please contact me if you have questions determining if this workshop is right for you.

    In order to receive material kits on time, please sign-up by August 28th. Register here.


  • Visit My Bindery
    My name is Erin Fletcher, owner and bookbinder of Herringbone Bindery in Boston. Flash of the Hand is a space where I share my process and inspirations.
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