Bookbinding: gold tooling on paper

Course Dates: 16/04/24 - 19/04/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Learn how to develop a language with gold tooling on paper using hand finishing tools, BS Glaire and loose gold leaf. For all levels, from beginners to those with experience in gold tooling using hand finishing tools and gold leaf.
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Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00

Course Code: VD412

Tue-Fri, day, 16 Apr - 19 Apr '24

Duration: 4 sessions

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?

Learn how to transform a drawing into a gold tooled image on paper. The focus of this course will be on individual projects and using simple, shaped hand finishing tools. For beginners, this course will be a great introduction to gold tooling and how it can be used creatively. With experience in gold tooling, this course is a good opportunity to build on and consolidate your knowledge and techniques, and to explore in more depth the potential of the medium. You will explore the creative possibilities of gold-tooled images on paper whilst focussing on ideas and technique in parallel.

What will we cover?

We will work on building skills, which will vary from person to person. The course will be structured so that you will be able to work on your own ideas with regular individual/group discussions. You will be shown a range of gold-tooled paper samples and we will discuss the best ways to put into context the creative visual possibilities of the medium.
Beginners: learning about the tools and equipment, terminology of the medium, basis gold tooling skills such as handling gold leaf, preparation of the paper, care and correct use of a finishing tool and acquiring a good solid impression.
Intermediate and advanced: Build on your existing skills which will vary from person to person. Although the course will be structured, you will be able to work on your own ideas with regular individual discussions.
Please note that this course will not cover lettering.

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

As a beginner:
- Handle gold leaf
- Describe a process using the correct terminology
- Be able to tool with gold leaf on paper
As an Intermediate/advanced student:
- Progress to a higher level of design and craftsmanship.
- Demonstrate confidence in the practice of tooling with gold leaf on paper.
- Transform a design into an image tooled with gold leaf on paper.

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

Foundation skills in gold tooling will be taught/refreshed, making this course suitable for all levels. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information. You will also be invited to take part in group discussion.

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

This is a practical course and will be taught by demonstration, both group and individual and by group discussion. Teaching will be accompanied by hand-outs and a short bibliography on the subject.

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

- Hand finishing tools (only if you have any)
- Gold cushion (only if you have one)
- Gold knife (only if you have one)
- Japanese screw punch (only if you have one)
- Ramer shower sponge, e.g. Boots the Chemist (To be used as a cooling pad)
- A saucer (on which to keep your sponge)
- Size 000 sable brush (make sure it's a good quality brush that holds its point)
- A small bulldog clip
- Staedtler eraser
- 2B pencil.
- A book of loose gold leaf, single thickness approximately 23.5 carat (e.g. Stuart Stevenson, Website:
- 2 soft white woven cotton dish cloths
- tweezers
- Your usual kit of small tools (i.e. pencil, pair of dividers, ruler, scalpel, apron etc.)
- Any paper you'd like to gold tool on, ranging from 60-250gsm, it can be laid, wove, European or Japanese paper.
- You will also be asked to make three paper-covered sample boards. the course tutor will contact you nearer the start date of the course with instructions on what materials to use and how best to make them.
- In addition to the list above, you should also expect to spend up to £20 to provide yourself with materials during the course.

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

VD251 Working with leather: decorative techniques
VD322 City Lit bookbinding Intermediate
VD320 Bookbinding: improvers' workshop
VD303 Leather book with magnetic closures
VD374 Fine binding masterclass III: creative approaches to design binding.

Tracey Rowledge Tutor Website

Tracey Rowledge studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London, and Fine Bookbinding at Guildford College, Surrey. Her practice combines elements of both fine and applied art. She exhibits internationally and her work is held in many private and public collections. Tracey has received various awards, including a Project Grant from Arts Council England in 2019 for ROOM, a collaborative work with David Clarke for Collect Open, London. In 2016-17 Tracey was artist in residence with David Clarke at Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery, UK, which culminated in the exhibition Shelved; this work went on to be re-presented for an exhibition at Gallery S O, London. Tracey also received support from the Crafts Council to go on the 2008 Cape Farewell Expedition to Disko Bay, Greenland. Tracey teaches gold tooling; she is a partner in Benchmark Bindery, established in 2009 with Kathy Abbott, where conservation underpins their bookbinding work. She is also a founding member of Tomorrow’s Past, an international bookbinding collective whose aim is to encourage an alternative and modern conservation response to antiquarian books.

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.