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Upcoming Workshops // April to June

April 15, 2018 by Erin Fletcher

Secret Belgian Binding
April 28 (Saturday)
9:00am – 4:00pm
Wishcamper Center, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

During this single-day workshop, students will assemble two variations of this non-adhesive structure, which is simple and can be quickly constructed. It opens flat and is perfect for thinner text blocks.

Introduction to Embroidery on Leather
May 13 – 24
Paper & Book Intensive at Ox-Bow in Saugatuk, Michigan

Historical examples of embroidered bindings typically date back from the close of the 14th c. to the mid-17thc., and were primarily done on silk, satin, velvet or canvas. These highly decorative bindings grew out of a tradition of textile bindings popular in England during the 14th and 15th centuries. The embroidered designs found can be classified in three categories: heraldic, scriptural symbolism, and floral and arabesque designs. The makers of these bindings included both professional (predominately male artisans) and amateur needle workers (typically women in their homes).

Contemporary bookbinders and book artists have been incorporating embroidery and other sewing techniques into their work. The range of materials and methods has certainly expanded beyond the historical examples. Using thread on traditional binding techniques allows the artist to express their vision in an unusual way and introduces a different tactile experience to the binding. Embroidered threads can be used to draw in the abstract or to add highlights and shadows to an illustrative design. The threads can be kept neat or left to tangle.

In this workshop, students will learn a range of hand-embroidery stitches and the best techniques for sewing into leather. We will look at the stitches most commonly found on historical models and ways to use them on a modern binding. We will also discuss ways to transfer the design onto leather and how to prepare the finished embroidered leather for covering. No prior experience with embroidery or leather is necessary, but some hand skills are encouraged.

Embroidered Leather Workshop
June 16 – 17 (Saturday – Sunday)
9:00am – 4:00pm
Conservation Lab at Texas A&M
College Station, TX

This workshop is presented by the Lone Star Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers.

Fundamentals of Bookbinding I
June 25 – 29 (Monday – Friday)
North Bennet Street School
Boston, MA

This is a great workshop if you are interested in the full-time program at North Bennet or wanting to learn a new skill. During the workshop students will explore the basics of bookbinding through a variety of non-adhesive structures and finish the week by making a flatback case binding. We will discuss materials, adhesives, tool use and students will have access to traditional bindery equipment.


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  • 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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