Intermediate Hand Bookbinding (Mornings)

with India Johnson
Wednesdays: July 17, 24, 31, August 7; 9am–12pm CT

In this in-person workshop, build on foundational bookbinding skills to make a hardcover book (also known as a case binding) with a rounded spine. This style of binding features decorative paper with a cloth spine and corners, known as a half binding. We will practice sewing and rounding two books, with the goal of finishing at least one book by the end of class. 

Make your own ‘stuck-on’ headband, made with a cord and book cloth. This is a simple and elegant finish that doesn’t require as much time and effort as hand-sewn headbands. Learn to square up sections on the board shear and round books with a hammer. This workshop focuses on a method for assembling cases that offers a high degree of control over the fit of the case. Achieve neat corners every time with box corners, and experience the magic of slow-drying adhesives, such as wheat starch paste and PVA/paste mixtures. Come away with a strong foundation for growing your confidence in bookbinding and the skills needed to make your own notebooks and journals at MCBA’s Bookbinding Labs.

MCBA provides tools, equipment, and many basic materials needed for this workshop; however, participants are asked to provide the following materials so you can choose the color palette, patterns, and overall design of your book. 

You need to bring: 

    • Endsheet paper: Hahnemuhle Ingres or Hahnemuhle Bugra paper (2 sheets total), recommended. You’ll need enough for one-to-two 6 x 8-inch books.
    • Decorative paper: Nepalese screen-printed papers, Japanese Chiyogami papers, and marbled papers are recommended options. Papers should be medium weight—please avoid transparent or lace-like papers. You’ll need enough for one-to-two 6 x 8-inch books.
    • Book cloth: enough for the spine of one-to-two books, 8-inches tall.
    • Scrap decorative paper and book cloth for practicing some techniques.

Participants must have taken Introduction to Hand Bookbinding (or equivalent) to enroll in this workshop.

Participants are encouraged to participate in Bookbinding Labs in between workshop sessions and after the workshop ends to access MCBA’s studios to continue binding books independently.

Please note that binding is a technical process involving threading needles for sewing, replicating multiple steps after a demonstration, and occasional measuring of small increments. All abilities are welcome to participate in whatever ways feel safe and comfortable.

Experience required
Certificate: 12 hours, Category B or C

$294/participant (10% discount for MCBA members) + $40 materials fee
$147 for BIPOC/Financial scholarship participants (10% discount for MCBA members) + $40 materials fee
MCBA offers two scholarship types for workshops—Financial Hardship Scholarships and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Scholarships—to honor equity and increase access and artistic opportunities for those who have historically been underrepresented in the book arts. For individuals to whom these scholarships do not apply, register at the Adult rate and, if you are able, consider making a donation when registering to support MCBA’s efforts to make scholarships available.

Please note: Registration closes 7/12 at midnight (CT).