Weekend Workshop

On Saturday I was lucky enough to spend the day with friends from the Calligraphers' Guild of Manitoba at a bookbinding workshop. In the modern light filled Art Room at St. John's-Ravenscourt School we worked all day on our Medieval Books Sewn on Tapes.

Our instructor was local artist and friend, Nicole Coulson, with whom I have taken several classes in Calligraphy and Bookbinding.

Nicole's sample book. The cover is made from St. Armand paper and Japanese paper. Nicole made a matching clam shell box to keep her book safe.

For our books, Nicole pre-cut pages of Maidstone printmaking paper and covers of St. Armand etching paper. After we made our tapes from various papers, we were shown how to sew our books together on the tapes. 

The covers were more complicated, involving folds and trimming and slits and weaving. Here's my finished book:

And the books of the whole class:

I can see a lot of potential for variations of the tapes and patterns of weaving and embellishing. However, during the class we heeded Nicole's advice to make the first book according to instructions, and then add variations to the next books we make.


  1. Those look great. I'd love to try that technique sometime soon...
    I was also a "student" this weekend. I spent Saturday learning a "Longstitch Early Codex Leather Binding". Quite straightforward and simple to do, but the results were just fabulous. I wish I'd been brave and asked the other students to set up their books, so I could take a "group shot" of all our work. There was a lot of experimentation with closures and also adding interest to the binding - weaving and tying the threads on the spine etc. Between seven of us, we made about 12 lovely books and were all very happy with the results. (I also blogged about my weekend, so you can see my books there, if you wish!)
    I like how you used strong, plain paper for the main book cover, then wove in other coloured papers - very effective and a good way to learn a new technique.
    I'm off to look for this kind of binding again, in one of my books. I'm sure I saw something similar...

  2. Oh you are so lucky!! I would love to learn that.

    ~Monika in Saskatoon

  3. Lizzie, it looks like you had a great day on Saturday too, and I would have loved to be at your workshop too! (especially the location! ;))
    Monika, I've often imagined you thread paintings as a book cover! I'm sure if you made a book like this, you would spice it up with a needle and thread!
    Ruth, it was a great day! I love attending workshops like this when the opportunity comes up.


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