Beginners' bookbinding

Course Dates: 13/09/21 - 18/10/21
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Start your bookbinding journey with this accessible, 6 week introduction to techniques and structures. Learn how to make simple folded books progressing to a more complex stitched binding and explore the world of handmade books.
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
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Full fee £299.00 Senior fee £239.00 Concession £182.00

Course Code: VD284

Please choose a course date 

Mon, day, 13 Sep - 18 Oct '21

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

You will be introduced to bookbinding through a series of projects designed to provide a good working knowledge of materials and techniques. You will develop skills in both the production and design of hand made books enabling you to go onto more complex and experimental bindings.

What students liked most about this course run in 2015/16:

"We were allowed to mix our own creativity with formalised structures. I printed out some sheets at home and brought them in so I would bind printed pages rather than producing a blank book."


What will we cover?

You will explore bookbinding through a series of interesting structures. We will experiment with paper folding and
simple stitching to create folded books, pamphlet and zig-zag and long stitch bindings. You will also learn how to sew a multi-sectioned binding with hard cover.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Select and use appropriate materials
- Understand the importance of grain direction
- Make a range of non adhesive bindings
- Make a single section binding
- Sew a multi-sectioned binding.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is for beginners.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for
health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use
numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Through demonstration, practice and discussion you will be taught as a group and individually as required. Handouts will accompany demonstrations. You will be encouraged to investigate the current and historical literature on the subject, and will be informed of publications and events which maybe of interest. The course is structured to manage the work within the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Materials needed to complete the projects are included in the cost of the course but you might like to bring your
own decorative papers and or/cloth to complete the work. The bindery is equipped with most hand tools although
you may wish to provide and use your own personal hand tools. A list of equipment and suppliers will be
provided at the first lesson but if you already have all or some of the following bring them with you. - Pencil,
metal ruler, craft knife, bone folder.
Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencils to printing services, at 15% off.
To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

- VD327 Bookbinding: box making
- VD316 Wooden boarded binding
- VD285 Bookbinding: cross-structure and criss-cross bindings
Book arts
- VD354 Creative arts for bookbinding I: decorative paper techniques
- VD283 Beginner's book arts
- VD290 Bookbinding: paper engineering and pop-ups
- VD292 Bookbinding: Learn to bind artist’s books
- VD262 Ten projects for beginners
- VD290 Paper engineering.
Book repair and conservation
- VD325 Book conservation for beginners II.

Clare Bryan Tutor Website

Clare Bryan is an artist maker who’s work often takes the form of the book. Originally studying Graphic Design at Salisbury College of Art (1983-87) Clare worked in the industry for several years before returning to study Printmaking and Bookbinding at Croydon College of Art (1994-96) and then an MA in Bookarts at Camberwell College of Art (1997-98). She has exhibited widely throughout the UK and has work in various public and private collections including Yale Centre for British Art, The Government Art Collection and the Tate Library. In 2004 she received ‘The Birgit Skiold Memorial Trust Award’ for works on paper. She is a member of ‘FOLD’ a group of four artists who formed in 2002 working with a combined interest in print and bookarts. Clare has taught and run workshops at various UK colleges and is currently a tutor working in Fine Art Printmaking at Goldsmiths University and teaching bookbinding across areas at the City Lit.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.