Last night, I taught a hands-on workshop at the Rochester Brainery about non-adhesive bindings. I spent just over two hours with 15 students. We started by looking through some photos of both pamphlet stitch books and coptic or chain stitched books.
Once we got inspired, we began hand binding with the simplest of binding structures, the pamphlet stitch. We had lots of fun patterned papers to choose from and every color of thread imaginable. This type of binding is really easy and allows for single or multiple signatures.
Then we moved on to the coptic stitch. Coptic binding is one of my favorites, since it allows the book to open and lie flat, making it a great choice for drawing and writing. It can be tricky to master at first, but by the end of the class everyone had assembled a sketchbook to take home with them. We all agree that the hardest part about this type of binding is not getting knots or tangles in your thread!
One of my favorite aspects about bookbinding is that you create something tangible. Taking loose papers and turning them into something bound, useful, and functional is just awesome to me!
It was a fun night for me, and I think the students enjoyed themselves too! Bookbinding can be meticulous and time consuming, and as a beginner, it can be frustrating, but we all got through it together as a group! It was great meeting some new people with similar interests. My only regret is that I didn’t take enough photos of the finished notebooks! I guess that’s what happens when your having fun!
If you haven’t checked out the Brainery yet, I encourage you to view their class schedule! They offer single session classes on SO many topics, their classes are affordable and informal. Not to mention they are located in Village Gate with tons of other cool shops!
If you would be interested in learning bookbinding, let me know! I’m thinking of doing another session at the Brainery and would be curious if there is a demand for this type of thing again in the future.