At Atelier, we love handbound books. Bookbinding is a kind of creative sandbox where colors, textures and papers are all at your fingertips, and it’s hard to match the sense of accomplishment that comes from making something you can use. But getting started with bookbinding can be intimidating. It’s an art form with a long history, and handbound books are often masterpieces, beautiful tomes filled with handmade papers and bound with decorative stitching. Then, too, a book is such a ubiquitous object that we never think about how it is made; the process seems shrouded in mystery. Make a book? You might as well try making a baseball, or a spoon.
One of the great things about bookbinding, though, is its vast range of creative possibility, from the complexity of a medieval manuscript to the simplicity of a slim pamphlet. In between lies a whole world of styles and techniques for creating books, and it is surprisingly easy to get started. And once you do, you’ll start to see opportunities for handmade books everywhere: recipe books, photo albums, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, and so much more.
This month we’ll be teaching a series of classes called Bookbinding in Miniature. We’ll start to demystify the craft of bookmaking, make sense of different tools and materials, and explain foundational principles such as cutting and folding paper, applying glue, punching holes, and sewing. We’ll discuss how to bring this craft in reach of our everyday lives by making books from the papers we find around us. Each workshop will focus on a different type of book, introducing basic skills that will allow you to begin making books on your own and give you the confidence to jump into bookbinding in earnest.