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  1. Summer Workshops – For Those Hot Summer Days

    June 14, 2022 by Erin Fletcher

    JULY/AUGUST
    Secret Belgian Binding
    4 Sessions // July 9 – 17 (Saturday – Sunday)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 28 to receive your material kit! – 4 SPOTS LEFT

    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.

    Focus on Clamshell
    4 Sessions // July 26 – August 4 (Tues and Thurs evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by July 14 to receive you material kit!

    As a bonus, I’ll select two students and make my demo boxes for a binding in their personal library!

    A clamshell box is a common and elegant way to house and protect a binding. In this workshop students will learn how to measure and cut down materials to make two custom clamshell boxes to house books from their own library. The first box will be covered in full cloth, while the second box will have a leather spine with suede lining the inside. Each box will be finished with a printed label.


  2. Sign-Up for a Summer Workshop!

    May 10, 2022 by Erin Fletcher

    MAY/JUNE


    Modern Nag Hammadi
    3 Sessions // May 31 – June 7 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign up by May 19 to receive your material kit! – Only 1 Spot Left!

    In this workshop, we will explore how some of the earliest known codices may have been constructed. The best-known examples were discovered in a jar near the Egyptian village of Nag Hammadi in 1945. These mostly intact bindings date back to the 3rd or 4th century, but fragments of similar bindings date back further to the 2nd century.

    These single signature bindings are held in their leather covers with the use of knotted leather tackets. The bindings also include ties at the head, tail and fore edge to keep the binding secure. During this workshop we will be using contemporary materials to build two models of these ancient binding structures.

    Artists’ Books with Guest Instructor Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder
    6 Sessions // June 8 – July 13 (Wednesday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:00pm (EST)
    Online through North Bennet Street School

    Register here

    Learn to create your very own artist’s book, a versatile medium for creative expression. This class will offer different folding and binding techniques, creative ways to fill pages with content, and time to develop and share ideas with your classmates. Students are required to complete the pre-recorded session on folding pages prior to the first live session on June 8. During the live sessions, students will work alongside the instructor to build structures for their folded pages.

    Box Series
    4 Sessions // June 14 – 23 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 2 to receive your material kit!

    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 and different ways of creating closures for boxes.


    JULY/AUGUST


    Secret Belgian Binding
    4 Sessions // July 9 – 17 (Saturday – Sunday)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 28 to receive your material kit!

    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.

    Japanese Box Making
    1 Session // July 23 (Saturday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston

    Register hereOnly 1 Spot Left!

    In this workshop, students will learn techniques used to create a traditional Japanese box; an assembly that varies from the more common clamshell box used in Western cultures. During the class students will construct a four-walled box with lid, which will be covered in an elegant Japanese book cloth and held together with bone clasps.

    Focus on Clamshell
    4 Sessions // July 26 – August 4 (Tues and Thurs evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by July 14 to receive you material kit!

    A clamshell box is a common and elegant way to house and protect a binding. In this workshop students will learn how to measure and cut down materials to make two custom clamshell boxes to house books from their own library. The first box will be covered in full cloth, while the second box will have a leather spine with suede lining the inside. Each box will be finished with a printed label.

    Fundamentals of Bookbinding I
    5 Sessions // August 8 – 12 (Monday – Friday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston

    Register here

    Students will learn the foundations of bookbinding by combining hands-on exercises and discussion. The class starts by exploring non-adhesive structures: soft cover pamphlet, Coptic, historical longstitch, and link stitch. The class ends with a look at case bindings, with the creation of two hardcover flatback bindings. Students also learn different structural elements, sewing variations, covering and cutting techniques using various materials, tools and equipment. Throughout the course, discussions will cover terminology, paper grain and folding, selecting proper materials and tools, and adhesives and their properties.


  3. Upcoming Workshops // March & April

    February 15, 2022 by Erin Fletcher

    MARCH
    Flatback Case Binding
    2 Sessions // March 26 & 27 (Saturday and Sunday)
    10:00am – 1:00pm (EST)
    Sign-up by March 15 to receive your material kit!
    ONLY 4 SPOTS LEFT!!

    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.


    APRIL
    Choose Your Own Adventure: Non-Adhesive Bindings
    1 – 4 Sessions // April 5 – 14 (Tues and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
    Sign-up by March 24 to receive you material kit!

    This workshop is designed to cover a range of non-adhesive structures, just a small handful of the multitude of ways to sew a book. Non-adhesive bindings are great for any skill level, but beginner binders will learn fundamental sewing skills and work with a range of materials. Build this workshop for your skill level and your budget. Sign up for any number of workshops: 1, 3 or all 4! Receive $20 if you sign up for all 4.

    Choose Your Own Adventure:
    Session 1 – Coptic
    Session 2 – Link & Long Stitch
    Session 3 – Historical Long Stitch
    Session 4 – Single & Double Raised Cords

    Limp Vellum Binding
    2 Days // April 9 & 10 (Saturday and Sunday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    In-Person Workshop @ North Bennet Street School in Boston

    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.

    Telescoping Box
    3 Sessions // April 21 – 28 (Tues and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:00pm (EST)
    Sign-up by April 8 to receive you material kit!
    ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT!!

    In contrast to the clamshell box, this style of enclosure has a completely separate lid that slides off the base. In this workshop, students will construct an inner tray set within a frame for the object to rest. A ribbon will be added for easy retrieval of the object. Students will be able to customize the inner tray to fit an object from their own library.


  4. Teaching at Paper & Book Intensive 2018

    August 28, 2018 by Erin Fletcher

    In May of this year, I had the honor of teaching at the Paper & Book Intensive which was held at Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuk, Michigan. If you aren’t familiar with PBI, it’s a two-week intensive camp where participants take three workshops on topics related to bookbinding, printmaking, paper-making, conservation and book arts. Everyone stayed in lodging on the grounds at Ox-Bow and ate together during mealtimes. During off-hours, people spent their time creating, mingling, making toast from the 24-hour toasting station or roasting marshmallows at the fire pit near the lagoon.

    I had been invited to teach my 2-day Introduction to Embroidery on Leather workshop during the first session. In the first session, participants take two different workshops, one in the morning and the second in the afternoon. This meant, as an instructor, I had two different groups to teach over the span of four days. I had 13 students in the morning and 12 students in the afternoon.

    My workshop took place on the second floor of the print building. The space was wonderful. It is a newly constructed building with high ceilings and tall windows on all four sides that looked out into the woods. After getting settled and going through materials, we embarked on our first task of poking lots of holes into leather through a paper template. The room was so quite and still, that a unique soundtrack began to play out. The ping from the pin vise and crunch of the paper template mixed with birdsongs and swaying trees.

    The participants were working with buffalo skin for the samplers. It’s a leather that I love to work with and is very forgiving with embroidery work. Although certain challenges presented themselves with the darker skins. After we finished punching, we went through each stitch one by one. Students were invited to bring their own threads to play around with, so there was a nice mix of materials being used on the samplers. Some worked and some didn’t.

    At the end of the first session, everyone convened into the painting studio for a show and tell. I had been so distracted teaching by my workshop, that I didn’t get a chance to visit the other studios. So it was really great to finally see what everyone else had been working on.

    Above are samples from Letterlocking with Jana Dambrogio (left) and Vasaré Rastonis’ Conservation Binding Model for a 13th Century European Manuscript workshop (right).

    Above are some pieces from Velma Bolyard’s Paper Threads: North Country Shift (left) and Rebecca Chamlee’s The Printmaker as Naturalist (right) workshops .

    Many of my students had little to no experience with embroidery work, but everyone was determined to master each stitch. Threads were sewn and then torn out to make second and third attempts. I was really impressed with everyone’s ability to navigate through diagrams and hard-to-see demonstrations. In the center of their samplers, I asked each participant to design a letter in whatever stitch or stitches they preferred. Some students also began embroidering into bookcloth and paper. The participants in my workshop definitely felt the intensiveness of PBI!

    After session one was complete, everyone had a day off to recoup and relax. I went into town with some PBI pals to shop the local antique mall and each some local grub. Afterward, we walked to Oval Beach at Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful beach and view of the lake. We even made a couple of duck friends along the way.

    As an instructor, I was able to take a workshop during the second session and I chose John DeMerritt’s The Prototype: An Exploration of Edition Binding. I had met John a few years back during my second year at North Bennet Street School and have admired his work and ingenuity, so I was really excited to pick is brain.

    The structure of John’s class was informal, which freed everyone up to work on their own projects. We had materials to play with in order to develop prototypes. As someone who rarely gets a chance to spend time on personal work, it was very welcoming to have these 4 days to work out the details of an artist book that has been lingering in the back of my brain.

    On our final day of John’s class, we were commissioned by Mary Hark (papermaking instructor) to build a box for a paper quilt.

    We devised a design for the box and chose materials as a team. Mary let us choose from a selection of her papers for the box and we choose a beautiful crinkled indigo paper for the tray that proved to be rather difficult and pulled many of us together to trouble shoot. And without proper weights, we had to use body weight after attaching the tray to the base.

    photo credit (right): Cristiana Salomao

    photo credit (right): John DeMerritt

    I was tasked with creating an embroidered paper label for the box. We chose to use the coordinates of Ox-Bow and the dates of the second session as the title, as it represents the time and place of both creations. In the end, the box and quilt were put into the auction and was finally sold to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

    At the end of session two, we assembled once again in the paint studio for another show and tell.

    Above are examples from Béatrice Coron’s workshop From Book Shelves to Cat Walk: Wearable Papercuts and Artist Books (left) plus Chela Metzger’s workshop Early Modern Record-Keeping Book Structures: Model Making and Investigation (right).

    Just a few pieces from Bridget Elmer’s workshop The Typographic Print (left) and Mary Hark’s workshop Papermaking Informed by a Sensibility for Textiles (right).

    Post show and tell, people began to wind down and get ready for the festivities ahead. That evening included a silent auction followed by a studio tour to see the various work created by the artists in residency. Along the tour, I savored some local Ox-Bow brews and chatted with a very talented artist about her brightly colored macramé sculptures. Check out the work of Noël Morical.

    On the following day, everyone gathered at the meadow under the theme of Renaissance in Space. We ate hors d’oeuvres and cheered on the jousters. Afterward we filed into the painting studio for one final dinner, which included lofting balloons from table to table until they popped. A mighty group effort.

    The evening quickly turned into night and people began to say their farewells. PBI was a truly incredible experience and one that I will never forget. Despite the pressures of teaching, my time at Ox-Bow was relaxing and inspiring. Being surrounded by creative and talented people who are both encouraging and supportive for two weeks can be life changing. It’s an experience that I would recommend for anyone that is apart of or wants to be involved in this community.


  5. Upcoming Workshops // May to July

    May 15, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

    MAY:
    Make Your Own Punching Cradle
    May 20 (Saturday)
    9:00am – 1:00pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston MA

    A punching cradle is a very useful piece of equipment for bookbinders. During this class, students create a collapsible punching cradle with a variable length. The collapsible cradle is lightweight, saves space, and is perfect for traveling or working in small spaces.


    JUNE:
    Fundamentals of Bookbinding I
    June 19 – 23 (Monday – Friday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    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.

    Three-Part Bradel Binding
    June 26 – 30 (Monday – Friday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA

    The 3-Part Bradel binding offers a unique aesthetic over a traditional case binding. As the name suggests, the binding is assembled in three parts, which encourages the binder to use different materials to cover the spine and covers. For this workshop, students will use leather to cover the spine and a cloth or paper of their choice for the covers. Students will be guided as they pare their own leather.

    Students will also be using a variety of bindery equipment such as a sewing frame, job backer, plow and Kwikprint to complete their structure. We will also cover how to create a painted edge and stamp a custom label. Experience with leather is not necessary, but encouraged.


    JULY
    Bookbinding 101
    July 8 – 9 (Saturday – Sunday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA

    This shorter workshop focuses on technique as students will construct through the aid of kits. Students will make three different binding structures and create an enclosure to house everything. This workshop is perfect for anyone curious about bookbinding and what North Bennet has to offer. No prior experience necessary.

    Single Signature Binding
    July 14 – 16 (Friday – Sunday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA

    Creating an elegant binding around a single signature can be a tricky task. Students will use a basic sewing technique, known as a pamphlet stitch, to create a quarter leather hardcover binding. The illusion of a standard rounded-back leather bound book is created through the use of a stub and unique style of endpapers. This workshop is suitable for students with some binding experience and those who are interested in understanding how to maniupulate familiar techniques to fit a slimmer text block. Students will also have the chance to work with leather (no previous experience is necessary) and spend time practicing paring.


  6. Upcoming Exhibit // North Bennet Street School Student & Alumni Show

    May 14, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

    Stop by the North Bennet Street School for an upcoming exhibit displaying work made by both students and alumni from programs throughout the school. The exhibit will run from May 16 – 31. Open weekdays from 9:00am to 7:00pm (Closed May 18 and May 29).

    I have two brand new pieces in the exhibit, both recently completed and have yet to be uploaded to my website. But if you can’t make it to Boston, no worries, I will be posting about the graduating student’s set books and my favorite alumni pieces. Those posts will be coming in the next few days.


  7. Upcoming Workshops // April to June

    April 15, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

    APRIL:
    Fundamentals of Bookbinding I
    April 24 – 28 (Monday – Friday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston MA

    There are still a few seats available for this workshop. 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. This workshop is also available in June, see below for dates and link.


    MAY:
    Secret Belgian Binding – 3 Ways
    May 6 – 7 (Saturday & Sunday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston MA

    This workshop is sold out. On day one, students 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. On day two, students explore modified versions of the Secret Belgian binding by playing with the amount and size of sewing holes and incorporating Tyvek.

    Make Your Own Punching Cradle
    May 20 (Saturday)
    9:00am – 1:00pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston MA

    A punching cradle is a very useful piece of equipment for bookbinders. During this class, students create a collapsible punching cradle with a variable length. The collapsible cradle is lightweight, saves space, and is perfect for traveling or working in small spaces.


    JUNE:
    Fundamentals of Bookbinding I
    June 19 – 23 (Monday – Friday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    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.

    Three-Part Bradel Binding
    June 26 – 30 (Monday – Friday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA

    The 3-Part Bradel binding offers a unique aesthetic over a traditional case binding. As the name suggests, the binding is assembled in three parts, which encourages the binder to use different materials to cover the spine and covers. For this workshop, students will use leather to cover the spine and a cloth or paper of their choice for the covers. Students will be guided as they pare their own leather.

    Students will also be using a variety of bindery equipment such as a sewing frame, job backer, plow and Kwikprint to complete their structure. We will also cover how to create a painted edge and stamp a custom label. Experience with leather is not necessary, but encouraged.


  8. Upcoming Workshops // March to May

    March 17, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

    Fundamentals of Bookbinding I
    April 24 – 28 (Monday – Friday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    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.


    Secret Belgian Binding – 3 Ways
    May 6 – 7 (Saturday & Sunday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston MA

    Just a few spots left in this workshop. On day one, students 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. On day two, students explore modified versions of the Secret Belgian binding by playing with the amount and size of sewing holes and incorporating Tyvek.


    Make Your Own Punching Cradle
    May 20 (Saturday)
    9:00am – 1:00pm
    North Bennet Street School, Boston MA

    A punching cradle is a very useful piece of equipment for bookbinders. During this class, students create a collapsible punching cradle with a variable length. The collapsible cradle is lightweight, saves space, and is perfect for traveling or working in small spaces.


  9. Upcoming Workshops // February to April

    February 15, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

    Here’s a list of my upcoming workshops, which will be taught at the North Bennet Street School in Boston.

    Bookbinding 101
    February 28 – March 9 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00pm – 9:00pm

    This shorter workshop focuses on technique as students will construct through the aid of kits. Students will make three different binding structures and create an enclosure to house everything. This workshop is perfect for anyone curious about bookbinding and what North Bennet has to offer. No prior experience necessary.

    Register here.


    Limp Vellum Binding
    March 4 – 5 (Saturday and Sunday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm

    This two-day workshop will focus on the classic and elegant limp vellum binding. Students will learn how to sew over alum-tawed thongs using a sewing frame, create hand-sewn endbands and manipulate vellum.

    Register here.


    Fundamentals of Bookbinding I
    April 24 – 28 (Monday – Friday)
    8:30am – 4:30pm

    There are still a few seats available in this workshop. 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.

    Register here.


  10. Visit Herringbone Bindery at Fort Point Open Studios // June 17 – 19

    June 13, 2016 by Erin Fletcher

    FPOS_SP16_color-1

    Come visit Herringbone Bindery during Fort Point’s Spring Open Studios during the weekend of June 17th. We will have our doors open for the preview on Friday and all weekend long. I can’t wait to show you what I’m currently creating and give you a tour of our space.

    Fort Point Open Studios
    Friday, June 17th // 4:00 – 7:00
    Saturday, June 18th and Sunday, June 19th // 12:00 – 6:00

    Find our studio address by searching bookbinding in the directory of participating artists. You will find the listing of my studio mate, Colin Urbina, who will also be around showing off his bindings. See you then!


  • 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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