Bookbinding: rare book design drop-back box

Course Dates: 02/06/25 - 12/06/25
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: Online
Cut, construct and cover a standard Rare Book design drop-back box to protect and conserve books, archival material or precious objects and artefacts. Great for artwork presentation too!
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00

Bookbinding: rare book design drop-back box
  • Course Code: VO113
  • Dates: 02/06/25 - 12/06/25
  • Time: 10:00 - 13:00
  • Taught: Mon+Thu, Daytime
  • Duration: 4 sessions (over 2 weeks)
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Nesta Davies

Course Code: VO113

Mon+Thu, day, 02 Jun - 12 Jun '25

Duration: 4 sessions (over 2 weeks)

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

What is the course about?

This course will enable you to measure, cut and construct a ‘Rare Book design’ drop-back box to an exact size of your choice. This style is assembled from two separately made and covered trays and a case. The book tray is four-sided and double-walled.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We will discuss box making materials and construction techniques, most specifically in relation to this design. You will be shown how to make and use a measuring kit and we will explore accurate measuring of an item and accurate and safe cutting of greyboard and millboard. We will look at options for box linings and you will choose one to use with your box.

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

• Accurately measure an item and cut board to make a well-fitting drop-back box.
• Construct a four-sided book box tray with hand access on one side and double walls.
• Construct and cover book box trays and a case neatly using book cloth
• Line book box trays with paper or felt pads.
• Handle tools and materials within Health and Safety guidelines.

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

This is an intermediate level course. Some previous box-making experience would be useful.
Students will be given guidance but it is expected that they will be able to measure and cut accurately or be willing to learn how to do so. You will need to be able to cut board by hand and be confident in handling sharp knives. An attention to detail will be a distinct advantage.

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

• You will be taught online by demonstration, visual aids, practical tasks, whole group and small group discussion, and with individual support and guidance from the tutor.
• You will be taught using Zoom for the LIVE sessions with your tutor and Google Classroom ELearning platform which will store all tasks/notes/resources/ demo videos live sessions links
• You will need to login into our Google classroom before our sessions starts.
• Some work will be undertaken during the online sessions but most will be completed in your own time between sessions. You will be able to access demonstration videos at any time during the course and students will have a 1:1 time with the tutor between each online class.
Technical advice:
• You will need a computer or laptop with a fully updated google chrome browser as this works best.
• Using headphones with microphones will block out all room noise in sessions.
• If you are using a tablet or mobile device will need a microphone, and optionally a camera check if suitable before your course starts.
• You will require a good broadband connection as mobile data 3G/4G or a mobile dongle will not provide sufficient Bandwidth during live sessions.

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

You will need to provide your own materials, tools and equipment for this course. This includes access to a flat work surface of a reasonable size.
Also required will be:
A large cutting mat or scrap board
Measuring equipment including safety rulers
Sharp knives such a standard Craft knife or ‘Stanley’ knife
A set square
Good large and small scissors
A variety of sizes of glue brush,
Grey board or Millboard and appropriate quality book cloth.
A general ‘small tool’ kit used in bookbinding will be useful too if you have on.
A list and further guidance will be provided after enrolment.

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

There are many courses that you might be interested in, including:
VD303 Leather book with magnetic closures
VD320 Bookbinding: Improvers' workshop
VD375 Bookbinding: stub bindings
VD360 Bookbinding weekend: endband extravaganza
Please check the website for the full range of courses available.

Nesta Davies

Nesta is a professional bookbinder and runs her own studio, Leafwork, in Dorset, where she lives. She has taught in the Bookbinding department of City Lit for many years, teaching subjects from Book Conservation through to Artists' Books. She particularly likes introducing new students to bookbinding through the Try-It-Out sessions. "It's so satisfying to meet some of them again, profressing and developing on further courses and becoming creative, confident bookbinders." In her studio she teaches small workshops and 1:1, and frequently afound ghe country for the Society of Bookbinders, Designer Bookbinders and many other groups, particularly textile artists. Nesta loves the tactile opportunites possible in bookbinding and finds using texture almost irresistible in her own work. Her bindings are held in private and public collections, including the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the John Rylands University Library Manchester and the Grolier Club, New York.

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.