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  1. 100 Day Project // Panels 19 – 27

    April 14, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Here are the next nine panels in my 100 day project.

    Panel No. 19 // Neighborhood No. 2

    This panel is the second half of a design, which was created for a client and ultimately not chosen. The first half of the design appears on Panel No. 5. The stacked houses are created with a range of handmade papers from the Morgan Conservatory and St. Armand. The bottom three papers come from the Morgan Conservatory and appear in periwinkle, coral red and slate grey. The top layer is cut from a light blue colored paper from St. Armand. All paper pieces are attached with PVA and glued to a board covered in mustard Cowhide.

    Photographed on illustration of a painted brick wall made by me.

    Panel No. 20 // Gowanus

    While teaching at the Paper and Book Intensive years ago, I acquired a few sheets of eco-printed paper from Velma Bolyard. I love these papers which capture color and texture from various vegetation and food scraps. I bought the paper with the intention to embroidery details into the paper. And that is what I did for this panel. I used a variety of colors in cotton floss to highlight different shapes and colors in the paper.

    Photographed in front of With Love from Nepal by Imagine (aka Sneha Shrestha), a public mural near Central Square in Cambridge.

    Panel No. 21 // Spring

    I made this panel while taking a stay-cation with my husband at a local hotel. It was a great way to get out of our house and savor some local treats. This panel was inspired by the artwork in our hotel room and is a collage of watercolor painting, embroidery with various colors in cotton floss and colored pencil. Created on medium weight watercolor paper and attached with PVA.

    Photographed in front of Illuminated by Sagie Vangelina, a public mural near Central Square in Cambridge.

    Panel No. 22 // Warmth

    I was thinking about family and my childhood quilt that lives quietly folded up. It is tattered from years of use and I’ve retired it so that it does not receive any more damage. The panel is a quick arrangement of shapes and doodles inspired by the quilt. After the illustrated paper was attached with PVA, lines were scored into the paper with a bone folder by running it against a ruler.

    Photographed on my childhood quilt made by my Grandmother.

    Panel No. 23 // Frosted Flakes

    One of my favorite memories from my childhood was taking a tour of the Kellogg’s factory with my brother and my Dzia, which ended in this great photograph with Tony the Tiger. Earlier in the year, I had created a drawing of a vintage Frosted Flakes box and decided to re-create it here for one of my panels. This panel is a combination of paper pieces, colored pencil and embroidery. Fuchsia Lokta paper is used for the background of the box and Tony’s tongue. The rest of the box is outlined with dark blue cotton floss. Tony’s head and the bowl of cereal are outlined with a corn yellow cotton floss with areas of yellow abaca/cotton paper. Details on Tony’s face and ears are outlined in dark blue cotton floss and filled in with prussian blue Caran d’Ache colored pencil.

    Photographed in front of photograph of me and my Dzia.

    Panel No. 24 // Future Plans

    Absent minded doodles greatly inspire my work. I love to recreate these quickly executed doodles through more time consuming means. This doodle came from a middle school student I had for a book arts class. Students often doodle onto the binder’s board that line their benches. The context of these doodles get lost to time, but when isolated become beautiful pieces of art. The doodle was initially blind tooled onto a piece of pumpkin cowhide and then painted with Acryla gouache in ash green.

    Photographed on the wood flooring of my porch. Made while listening to Kelis and Karen O.

    Panel No. 25 // Plume

    Embroidery through wood has been on my list of experiments for a while. This panel was initially covered with a salmon paper from Itoya Ginza (an incredible paper shop in Tokyo) to cover the edges of the board. A piece of hand marbled wood veneer was cut and laminated to the board. The veneer was marbled during a workshop with Chena River Marblers while I was a student at North Bennet Street School. The board was pierced with a pin vice and needle before being embroidered with a light orange spice cotton floss. The embroidery is done in back stitch and outlines the shape created by the marbling.

    Photographed on the same hand marbled wood veneer.

    Panel No. 26 // Jeanne d’Arc

    Printing on undyed calfskin is a new technique I’ve been playing around with. I was curious if I could capture a realistic image well with this technique. So, I grabbed a still from the incredible 1928 film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc. After paring the calfskin, I ran it through my inkjet printer. Typically I would seal the printed leather, but I am currently out of sealant. The crown on Joan of Arc’s head is couched with a light antique violet cotton floss. Embellishments in dark straw yellow cotton floss are stitched in French knots (some with tails).

    Photographed on decorative paper from Fabrikat (an incredible tool shop in Zurich).

    Panel No. 27 // Loud Eater

    I love the back side of an embroidered project just as much as the front. Sadly with my embroidered leather bindings, no one ever gets to see the back side. For this panel, I attempted to sew in reverse to create an outline around the pretzel. The panel is covered in a ruby cowhide with an onlay of natural handmade paper (from Katie MacGregor) for the pretzel. The embroidery is done with medium golden olive cotton floss.

    Photographed on a tea towel.


  2. Upcoming Workshops // June – August

    April 13, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Making your summer plans? Consider signing up for an online workshop. No matter where you are in the world, you can now register for a workshop! All workshops will be recorded and will be available to students who register, so no need to stay up late for class if you live in a different time zone. Can’t wait to see you in class!

    JUNE
    Cross Structure Binding
    4 Sessions // June 8 – 17 (Tuesday and Thursday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by May 25 to receive your material kit!

    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.

    Variations on Single Signature Bindings
    4 Sessions // June 22 – July 1 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 8 to receive your material kit!

    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.

    JULY
    *NEW*
    Quick Enclosures Series
    3 Sessions // July 11 – 25 (Sunday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 29 to receive your material kit!

    This workshop will focus on quick enclosures that can be constructed from sturdy paper and heavy cardstock. Many of the folding techniques presented in this workshop stem from origami, which have been further explored by the imitable Hedi Kyle. In addition, students will also learn how to construct paper slipcases and 4-flap enclosures often used in conservation.

    We will discuss how to cut and measure for custom projects, however the kit will include a small blank book, which will be used to construct the enclosures during the workshop.

    AUGUST
    Box Series
    4 Sessions // August 3 – 12 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by July 20 to receive your material kit!

    ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!

    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.

    2-Day: Shrigley
    3 Sessions // August 23 & 27 (Monday & Friday)
    Aug. 23: 10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Aug. 27: 3:00 – 4:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College – Online

    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.


  3. 100 Day Project // Panels 10 – 18

    April 6, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Here are the next nine panels in my 100 day project.

    Panel No. 10 // Tangle

    These panels are giving me the opportunity to play around with materials I might not consider for a binding and so I grabbed some cording I had picked up from a recent trip to Britex in San Francisco. This panel is covered in tangerine cowhide and chartreuse Moriki paper. Two strands of cord are tacked on with orange and navy blue silk thread. In the bottom corner are two stitched lines of emerald silk thread.

    Photographed on a bookshelf with a John Hook ceramic pig.

    Panel No. 11 // Sad Mole

    My husband and brother-in-law often collaborate together on drawings. I love their style of drawing and the line work can translate very easily into embroidery. This panel is covered in natura buffalo skin with embroidery in dark peach and desert sand cotton floss. Painted elements in opera gouache.

    Photographed next to a planter and plastic stegosaurus. Made while listening to Jónsi.

    Panel No. 12 // What’s Going Around

    I had been wanting to play around with beadwork on leather for a while. The inspiration for this panel came from an image of a petri dish. French knots and beads could easily emulate the growth of the colorful fungus. The embroidery is done in silk thread in navy blue, jade, green aqua, cafe au lait and desert rose. Dark denim glass beads attached with navy blue silk thread. A single paper onlay from handmade translucent abaca paper in teal.

    Photographed on a dinner plate and made while listening to The Strokes.

    Panel No. 13 // Ice Skaters in Spring

    This panel was covered in fair calfskin hand-dyed with various spirit dyes. To apply the yellow dye, I cut strips of paper and dipped them into the dye before brushing it onto the skin. The orange and red dyes were applied with wool daubers to create irregular blobs and spots. Bordeaux powder dye was applied with waffle patterned furniture pads. Longs strands of silk embroidery floss stitched in jade and navy blue.

    Photographed on a navy blue Hay crate and made while listening to Jay-Z.

    Panel No. 14 // Central – Cambridge

    I love photographing the ground under my feet, particularly tiles and subway platforms. I have mistakenly named this panel for Central Station in Cambridge, so the search continues to figure out its precise location. This panel is made from mostly layers of paper. The bottom layer is a piece of peach paper with lines drawn in slate grey to mimic tiling. The darker tiles are cut from dyed Japanese tissue and wheatstraw paper in black from Hook Pottery paper. The central gold tile is a piece of embossed metallic gold leather. The tenji tiles are made from 20pt. museum board and covered in sunburst cowhide.

    Photographed on a bookshelf next to a vintage action figurine. Made while listening to Jay-Z.

    Panel No. 15 // Pulse

    This cork metallic paper has a beautiful texture, but does not wrap well around the edge of the board. The purple rectangle is a paper covered inlay made from 20pt. museum board and handmade paper. It is slightly thicker than the cork and therefore sits a little raised. The inlay has been embroidered with coral red polyester thread.

    Photographed next to a vinyl figurine.

    Panel No. 16 // Greetie

    This panel began to take shape with the inclusion of the two plastic trinkets which were ultimately glued to the finished board. The panel is covered in a medium brown goatskin with hand-painted details in ash green, neutral grey and leaf green. A pekinese stitch surrounds the cloud embroidered in light peach cotton floss with a strand of fuchsia wool thread twisted underneath. Seed beads in dark blue stitched to the ends of each droplet.

    Photographed on a vintage Camel cigarettes tin.

    Panel No. 17 // Everlasting Gobstopper

    This panel was inspired by a student in my Embroidered Leather Binding workshop. We discussed ways she could create a window in the cover and embroider around it. The panel is covered in steel blue Stonehenge paper with a collaged raised onlay. The raised onlay is covered in various handmade papers in dark orchid, bright blue, chartreuse yellow and tangerine. Edges are embroidered with dark grey cotton floss. The window is stitched with blue cotton floss and wraps around the edges.

    Photographed on a vintage serving tray.

    Panel No. 18 // Saccharine

    In addition to playing around with beadwork on leather, I’ve also been wanting to add sequin to the mix. This panel explores a range of sequin and styles of attachment. The sequin are paired with dark denim and fuchsia seed beads and tooling done with matte lilac and holographic foil.

    Photographed on a mushroom print folder repurposed from a Paper Source calendar.


  4. 100 Day Project // Panels 1 – 9

    March 30, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    At the beginning of February, I decided to embark on a 100 day project where I would craft decorative panels. Working on an intense project like this has been on my life list for a while and I hoped that it would force me to be spontaneous and free in my work. The only perimeters I set for myself was to keep the panels to 3×3″.

    With these panels I wanted to let loose and play around with material and technique combinations that have been on my list to explore for some time now. Some panels have inspired others, while some inspirations have come from the people around me. I am already seeing these explorations seep into my binding work. You can follow the daily updates on my Instagram, but over the next 11 weeks, I’ll outline each panel further here on the blog.

    Panel No. 1 // Squiggles

    To jump start the project, I made a list of about 30 ideas and a handful of sketches. For the first panel I pulled from one of these sketches. It’s a simple design of red buffalo skin with a handmade coral red paper onlay. The paper comes from the Morgan Conservatory and was attached with PVA. The embroidery is a simple looped line stitched with Splendor lilac silk thread in back stitch using a combination of 1- and 2-ply thread.

    The panel is photographed on white paper and was made while listening to Jay-Z.

    Panel No. 2 // Boys

    The illustration of these two boys comes from one of my middle school students created during an exercise in blind contour drawing. I’ve loved this illustration and had fun recreating it in embroidery on leather. The panel is covered in dark grey buffalo skin with hand-painted shapes using Acryla gouache in coral red, misty blue and olive. The embroidery is done in back-stitch and French knots in melon and peacock blue DMC cotton floss. The line weight varies between 1- and 2-ply thread.

    The panel is photographed on my bench and was made while listening to Jenny Wilson.

    Panel No. 3 // Summer Drops

    This panel was a random collection of marks made through colored pencil, paper and embroidery. The panel is covered with handmade Katie MacGregor paper in celadon green. I used Caran d’Ache Luminance colored pencils to create the doodles through the piece. Embroidery was employed in back stitch, seed stitch and French knots using DMC cotton floss in light antique violet, electric blue and khaki brown. There are a few paper onlays in fuchsia Lokta and handmade Katie MacGregor paper in rosewood, all attached with PVA.

    The panel is photographed on white paper.

    Panel No. 4 // Playdaze

    As I was building this panel, it began to remind me of a roller skating rink I often visited as a kid. The panel is covered in maroon goatskin with painted circles using Acryla gouache (coral red and misty blue). The embroidery is done both by hand and with a sewing machine. The electric blue circles were created with the machine; playing with the settings created stitches that were loose and irregular. The bright yellow bursts are stitched with Gloriana silk thread. The French knots with dual tails are done in Splendor lilac silk thread.

    Photographed on salmon pink cotton fabric and made while listening to Jay-Z and Jessica Pratt.

    Panel No. 5 // Neighborhood No. 1

    This design is half of an idea that was rejected by a client during the design phase of their project. I really loved this stack of houses and wanted to see it realized at some point. This panel is covered in mauve buffalo skin with lines tooled in matte bright blue foil.

    Photograph with house blocks and made while listening to Joan as Police Woman

    Panel No. 6 // Sea Vents

    The base leather became the inspiration for the overall design of this panel. It is printed calfskin which was meant to be used for another project, but the printer was low on ink and therefore the color came out wrong. The imagery of the printed calfskin is a photograph of a tide pool (created by Rebecca Chamlee), which inspired me to create a scene of deep sea vents with handmade paper onlays using paper made by Katie MacGregor (celadon with drawn lines in navy blue colored pencil) and the Morgan Conservatory (orchid). Embroidery is done in back stitch in dark melon cotton floss. Long stitches of icy blue cotton floss and gunmetal metallic thread surround the base of the sea vents.

    Photographed on paste paper and made while listening to Jay-Z.

    Panel No. 7 // Veil

    This panel was generated by the drive to use the cloud filling stitch. I wanted to create an irregular pattern with this stitch and allow it live outside the three inches of the panel. The panel is covered with handmade Katie MacGregor paper in celadon green. Dots colored with Caran d’Ache Luminance pencil in spring green. To create the cloud filling stitch, vertical stitches are placed into the paper with old gold DMC cotton floss. The netting effect is created by running a light terra cotton DMC cotton floss under the initial vertical stitches. These running threads were tied at the ends with the tails left visible along the edges.

    Photographed on image from Gowanus Waters by Steven Hirsch and made while listening to Joanna Newsom.

    Panel No. 8 // Tranquil

    This panel is my re-imaging of an object from the Louvre that I found calmed my nerves. The panel is covered with handmade peach Katie MacGregor paper. The object is made from brown St. Armand colored paper and embroidered with various tones of pink: burgundy polyester thread, dark rosewood, light rosewood, and plum cotton floss. French knots created with black brown cotton floss.

    Photographed on marbled paper and made while listening to Joanna Newsom and John Wizards.

    Panel No. 9 // Outing

    I grabbed The Ideation Deck by Julie Chen and Barbara Tetenbaum to help generate the design for this panel. The result combined various textures through paper, leather and embroidery. The panel is covered in tomato red St. Armand colored paper with onlays of soft pearl mint crinkle paper and pastel marbled paper outlined in a whipped back stitch using dark teal green and light nile green cotton floss. The accordion map is an onlay of cornsilk cowhide with edges painted with lilac Acryla gouache. Route stitched in dark rosewood DMC cotton floss with points stitched in French knots using light beige grey DMC cotton floss.

    Photographed against a vintage Replogle globe and kaiju figurine.


  5. Upcoming Workshops // January – April

    January 12, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    JANUARY
    Embroidered Leather Binding
    SOLD OUT // Add your name to the waitlist

    FEBRUARY
    2-Day: Shrigley
    Maine Media Workshops + College
    SOLD OUT // Add your name to the waitlist

    MARCH
    Choose Your Own Adventure: Non-Adhesive Bindings
    1 – 5 Sessions // March 4 – 18 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
    Sign- up by February 22 to receive your material kit!

    The number of ways to sew a book can seem almost endless. In this workshop, students can explore up to six different sewing patterns that are left exposed on the spine offering both structural support to the binding and unique decoration. Learning these sewing patterns, which stem from historical structures, will give students the foundation and knowledge to further explore non-adhesive bindings on their own.

    APRIL
    Box Series
    4 Sessions // April 20 – 29 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by April 9 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. It will also explore different ways of creating closures for boxes.

    Flatback Case Binding
    2 Sessions // April 24 – 25 (Saturday and Sunday morning)
    10:00am – 1:00pm (EST)
    Sign-up by April 14 to receive your material kit!

    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.


  6. Choose Your Own Adventure Workshop // Non-Adhesive Bindings

    December 15, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    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 5! Receive $25 if you sign up for all 5.

    Choose Your Own Adventure // Non Adhesive
    March 4 – 18 (Tues and Thurs evenings)
    6:00 – 9:00pm (est)
    Register here


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. 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


  10. 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.


  • 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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