City Lit fine binding

Course Dates: 20/09/22 - 04/04/23
Time: 10:00 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
A unique, higher level course enabling you to make a full leather binding with a strong creative element. Learn specialist techniques such as: leather-jointed endpapers, guarding, edge gilding/decoration, tool sharpening, hand paring, covering, inlays/onlays and doublures. Not suitable for beginners.
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In stock
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Full fee £1,379.00 Senior fee £1,103.00 Concession £896.00

This course has now started

Course Code: VD194

Started Tue, day, 20 Sep - 04 Apr '23

Duration: 25 sessions (over 29 weeks)

Call us to check your level, see if you can still join the course or to discuss other suitable courses

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?

This is a detailed, higher level course which will enable you to make a full leather fine binding with a strong creative element. Forwarding and decorative skills and techniques will be explored and practised and students will be encouraged to work to a high individual standard at all times. You will be expected to respond creatively to the content of your chosen book, so it is important that you bring a book that means something to you. This course is for higher level students only.

What will we cover?

All the techniques and processes preparatory to covering a full-leather fine binding, i.e. board lamination; decorative leather-jointed endpapers; preparing stubs (for books in the wrong grain direction); sewing on a frame; rounding and backing; edge gilding or edge decoration; lacing on boards; endbanding; spine linings and the final preparation for covering. All aspects preparatory to the covering process, such as tool preparation and leather paring. Then covering in full leather; decorative techniques; putting down leather joints; trimming out and filling-in and putting in leather or paper doublures.

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

• Make two types of laminated boards
• Guard sections and undertake paper repairs
• Decorate and construct leather-jointed endpapers
• Rough-edge gild the pages of your book or decorate the edges with acrylic paints
• Prepare and sew on stubs (if necessary)
• Sew the book on a frame, and create 25% swell
• Round and back correctly
• Sew multi-coloured endbands
• Chamfer and lace on boards
• Sharpen tools
• Hand pare leather accurately using a spokeshave
• Cover a book in full leather
• Put down leather joints
• Prepare and put in paper/leather doublures (board linings).

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

This is a higher level course aimed at students who wish to increase their knowledge and refine their skill. Learners should have at least two years experience in bookbinding to at least an intermediate level and have had some experience in hand-paring leather. This course is therefore not suitable for beginners.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, 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?

Demonstration, group and individual tuition. You may need to work outside the class to catch up if necessary.

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

The bindery is equipped with most tools but you will be expected to provide your own personal hand tools. The class has some materials which may be bought, but you will need to buy leather and some specific hand-made papers. You should expect to spend around £100 (over the duration of the course) on materials over and above the cost of your chosen book. Information and advice on materials and larger pieces of equipment will always be available.
It is essential you bring a suitable book to bind to the very first session. It should be of good quality paper with a good standard of typography – please ask in advance if you're unsure of what to bring.

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

You may also like to further your learning with a course on gold tooling or leather techniques or by enrolling on a City Lit bookbinding masterclass. There is also VD198 Intermediate/Advanced bookbinding and VD413 Book Club where you can work on individual projects supported by a tutor in a workshop situation. Your tutor will be able to advise you during this course.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details.

Kathy Abbott Tutor Website

Kathy Abbott served a four-year apprenticeship in bookbinding and then gained a Higher National Diploma from the London College of Printing, London (UK) followed by a BA (Hons) degree in Bookbinding from Roehampton University, Surrey (UK). She teaches advanced level Fine Binding and Bookbinding: Intermediate and Higher at the City Lit, London and conducts many other workshops across the UK and overseas. Kathy opened her own bookbinding workshop in London in 1997, where she specializes in Islamic book conservation, western book conservation and contemporary fine binding, and is also a partner in Benchmark Bindery, established in 2009 with Tracey Rowledge, to produce high quality and intelligent bookbinding work. She is a founder member of Tomorrow's Past, an international bookbinding collective and is the author of Bookbinding: A step-by-step guide, published by the Crowood Press in 2010. Her work is held in both private and public collections and her work is exhibited widely.

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.