What is the course about?
On this course you will gain a sound working knowledge of bookbinding. You will learn about book structure, techniques, materials, terminology, tools and equipment, and investigate historical and contemporary themes. Selecting and using design methods and elements in your bookbinding is an integral part of the course. Skills and knowledge gained will complement and support your future bookbinding practice.
What will we cover?
The course will cover the making of a range of bookbinding structures using a wide variety of techniques, including: single-section pamphlets with both limp paper covers and stiff boards, several multi-section bindings case bound in cloth and paper, samples of many types of sewing, and enclosures to protect bindings.
During the course you will bind books with both flat backs and rounded spines and learn rounding and backing and how to hand-sew endbands. There will be the opportunity for more experienced students to undertake extra items subject to discussion. You will be able to work on one personal project during the final term.
Some sessions will include work on the design elements of visual art, with reference to bookbinding and you will be able to make decorative papers to use on your bindings. As a group we will look at historical and contemporary book structures, investigate current and past makers in the craft, and develop design techniques to produce individual pieces of work to a high standard.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Use a variety of sewing techniques to sew single and multi-section text blocks, and single sheets
- Make a variety of different styles of book covers
- Round and back a text-block
- Make a variety of endpapers, and a hand-sewn headband
- Recognise contemporary and historical styles and makers
- Select and use design methods and elements in your bookbinding
- Move on to further study in conservation, fine binding or artist’s books.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is aimed at beginners or those who wish to revise basic skills and build up their knowledge of techniques.
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 will be asked to take part in a small group presentation on a contemporary or historical binder chosen by your group.
You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations. Your work will be assessed and on completion of the course you will receive a certificate of attendance.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught by demonstration, individual and group tuition. We will use the internet to research work relevant
to the course. You will be asked to take part in a small group and pair work within the course. You mayoccasionally find it helpful to be able to complete or revise work at home during the course.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Some basic materials are included in the cost of the course. Other materials such as board and paper can be purchased from the classroom and students will be expected to provide for their own, more specific requirements.
You will need to provide your own basic small tools set once the course commences and you should allow at least £30 for this. You will be advised on this during the first weeks and nothing needs to be purchased before the class starts. Please bring a sharp pencil, notebook and biro to each class. You will be expected to make your own notes to supplement the course handouts.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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- https://www.londongraphics.co.uk/student-discounts/.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Recommended progression from VD190:
- VD322 City Lit Bookbinding intermediate
- VD320 Bookbinding: improver's workshop
You may also be interested in short courses:
- VD357 Limp Vellum binding
- VD316 Wooden boarded binding
- VD434 Bradel binding
- VD360 Bookbinding weekend: endband extravaganza
Repair and conservation courses:
- VD324 & VD325 Book conservation for beginners
- VD351 Conservation for beginners
- VD202 & VD203 Book conservation
- VD292 Book art: Learn to bind artist’s books.
- VD438 Print, design and bind: a book in a week.