Bookbinding and journal making in somerset
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About the Course
Boundbooks in Frome, Somerset.
I have been restoring antiquarian books for archives and booksellers for 10 years.
I have a PGCE and a post grad in Arts and Heritage and I have taught at Art Colleges, Schools, Museums and Festivals.
If you would like to learn how to make a hand sewn leather bound book please join me on a Friday or a Sunday.
I teach on these days every week.
The range of projects I have worked on with previous students is very diverse, so please have a look at the portfolio on my website. You can click on it at the top of the page.
My studio is at the Welshmill Hub Building on Park Hill Drive Frome. BA11 2LE. It is close to the town centre with a nice walk by the river to get here.
If you chose to visit Frome on the 1st sunday of the month you will be in for a treat at lunchtime as its market day and there is a great range of hot food stalls and lots of interesting vintage stalls and independent food producers.
If you have no prior experience I recommend coming along for a introduction day and we will make a leather bound Victorian style note book together.
Alternatively I also offer a day of conservation bookbinding where you can bring along your favourite old book to restore.
Making your own wedding album or photo album is also possible.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
Please bring your own lunch.
You're also welcome to bring your c.d's
The studio is 10 mins walk from the town centre and 25 mins walk from the train station.
I spent a day with Stephen creating a book with a leather binding. I had done a little bit of bookbinding before so was hoping to consolidate things I’d already learned how to do and learn some new skills. It was a very easy-going atmosphere in the studio and I liked that I could just ask whatever, whenever but then be a little bit left to get on with it - always feel awkward and liable to mess up when being observed. I appreciated the chance to learn a slightly different approach, not just slightly different method but a more positive and serendipitous way of working, learning from mistakes etc. I really enjoyed the day, 7 hours flew by and I was very happy with my book!
Barbara Saunders - - #12619
The book I chose to restore was an early C19th Shakespeare. I was amazed as Stephen helped me take it apart, preserving the beautiful leather and the endpapers. The work of restoration started with patiently stitching flaps to which to attach the covers. We rebuilt the spine and I finished by tooling the volume number on it with a punch. Despite being challenged by trying to draw a straight line with a pencil and ruler, and able to make a mess of any worksurface and get sticky fingerprints on anything, I am very pleased with the finished product.
There was a chance to observe the projects on which Stephen was working: the meticulous restoration of beautiful, and badly damaged, book and to look at the samples of materials he holds, including endpapers he has made himself.
Stephen is a patient and generous teacher: I suspect his experience working with children with special needs fitted him to work with me when I got frustrated with my efforts. He makes sure that you do the work yourself to solve each problem and never takes over, but guides you past each hump and makes sure it remains fun at all times. Highly recommended.
Alison Harvey - - #9428
I approached Stephen with a sentimental favourite book to rebind and he suggested it might be a nice project to rebind it myself. Stephen has a great way of encouraging creativity in the process and has a great eye for what will work best with the document. I enjoyed every moment of working with him in his studio and watching his own work was incredibly inspiring. The whole process felt less like learning a process and more like exploring a sea of options and possibilities, with an able navigator at the helm. What began as a single book has grown to a small library of 15 and I look forward to binding some more in the near future.
Geoff Solomon-Sims - - #9367
My colleagues and I booked Stephen to come and do a book binding workshop for us at out school, so that we could get together and spend some quality time learning something new, purposeful and artistic. This opened our eyes to the beauty o book binding, such a traditional craft that can sometimes be given for granted. It was very nice to connect to the process of making a book from beginning to end, and I really enjoyed each one of the processes. Stephen held the space in a patient, professional, gentle way, giving clear instructions and individual support when needed. He had a great selection of different materials that could be used, and allowed us to explore different methods including Marbelling the paper, Stamping with an old press, Hand stitching the paper together... all of which was great fun! We all left with a stunning, unique, artistic and useful book that holds many beautiful memories. What I love about this course, is that it gave me the skills to be able to carry on at home. Stephen is also able to take you further, and help you to restore really old books. What an art! Thank you Stephen for this wonderful opportunity to learn to book bind. Many Thanks. Nereida
Nereida - - #9362
I bought a journal for my cousin's 30th birthday, hopping that this could come in handy for her to use daily even at work. So I decided to give the journal more sophisticated and antique look by bookbinding it for she was quite an artistic person. For choosing the cover of the journal, from his numerous collection, Stephen helped me to select an very old property document, which was handwritten in artistic legible script and with a lovely stamp on it. He also provided his aesthetic advice when I couldn't decide which part of the document I would like to use because it was so beautiful. Later on in each step, Stephen was like this: listened carefully to my needs and ideas and was very patient to guide me until I complete the whole process. The atmosphere in his studio was very relaxing and it was very pleasant to have his company for he is the man with lots of great stories. I enjoyed the bookbinding work a lot and was very satisfied with the work I'd done. Thank you Stephen!
Zhiru - - #9346
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Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
- Accessible by public transport
- Child friendly
- Suitable for events & groups
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