A collaborative workshop inspired by house plants and the everyday run by Edinburgh based Bookbinder Cass Barron and Sketcher Mark Kirkham, aka ‘Bookbinding with Cass’ and ‘The Edinburgh Sketcher’. Cass and Mark join forces for this collaborative workshop that will equip you with the skills to make a series of hand-bound sketchbooks and inspire you to start using them straight away. During lockdown both Cass and Mark came to appreciate the everyday, particularly their house plants and the nature on their doorstep – this workshop takes inspiration from the very same and will encourage you to work with what’s around you and get creative in your own space, in your own time. Cass will guide you in making a handy book case with book-cloth spine and pen/paintbrush holder, ideal for sketching on the go, with the added benefit of being multi-use - the inserts are interchangeable so you can re-jig the inside depending on what you want to sketch on that day. Once your book case is complete, Cass will show you how to make a fold and cut concertina book to fit inside, as well as a single signature stitched sketchbook made up of different types of paper to add colour and texture to your sketching. Cass will also share a nifty technique that can be used to stitch your sketchbooks together once they have been filled – a great way to collate your work and keep it in one place! Mark will join Cass throughout the bookmaking to share tips and ideas for adding a personal touch to your inside book covers as well as demonstrating some creative ways to add watercolour washes to your paper before turning it into books – a great way to take a way that blank page fear in preparation for sketching. Once your books are complete Mark will take you through a number of drawing exercises that will focus mainly on pot plants you have in the house and the exteriors of your house. This will involve working with an ink pen and watercolour set, exploring tone, light and shading to discover your own style and create sketches full of character. How will the workshop run? This workshop will take place online in the form of a series of pre-recorded videos, which take you through the process step-by-step – much like we do at our face-to-face workshop, but with the added bonus of being to pause, rewind and come back to the workshop as works best for you. You will have life-long access to this workshop so can complete in your own time and return to it again and again.

What's included in the price?

The full priced workshop comes with all the kit you need, and the price includes UK postage and packing. *Please note: for kits purchased in 2023/24, the green leather-look cover material shown in the photo of the example book has been replaced with a heavy duty blue wallpaper with gold fleck effect (see photo). You are also welcome to sub-in another heavyweight decorative paper of your choice for the cover of your book.

What you will need

See above.




The Arienas Collective

with Craft Courses since 2017

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The Arienas Collective supports local artists and makers to earn a living by sharing their creative skills and passions with others through delivering workshops. The workshops are run from our mews home in the beautiful Georgian New Town of central Edinburgh. We believe in the wellbeing benefits of engaging in creative activity, and our class sizes are kept small so that you get the support you need to make the most of your time with us. We teach you creative skills you can continue at home.

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Christmas
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This course is taught online