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Bookbinding in Traditional Half Leather - a 3-day course

Duration: 3 day

Price: £499

Run by: Jim MacWilliams
at The Grange, Ellesmere

The Grange
Grange Road
SY12 9DE

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About the Course

Tutor: Jim MacWilliams

A fabulous opportunity to learn the techniques of this beautiful traditional binding from one of the masters of the art. It's this style of binding that everyone enthuses about even before they know anything about bookbinding - the soft leather on the spine and corners, with raised bands on the spine. (For those of you who don't know, a half-leather binding means that there is leather both on the spine and on the corners of the cover board, whilst a quarter-leather binding means that just the spine is leather-bound.)

Working with leather is something that many new binders aspire to, but it's not an easy material to work with and for this course participants need to have some experience of bookbinding already.

Jim MacWilliams' bookbinding career began with book restoration and binding at Edinburgh University, from where, after teacher training, he moved to lecturing in the subject at Oxford College of Technology and then Liverpool College of Art & Design before taking up the post of Head of Print Finishing and Bookbinding at the world famous London College of Printing. From there he moved to teaching at Leeds College of Technology and now enjoys running his own craft bookbinding and restoration workshop.

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?

The course takes place in our dedicated on-site teaching bindery, with a maximum of 8 participants. Learning bookbinding in a bindery is, we feel, essential, so that you familiarise yourself with the tools and the workspace, and you can see all the various materials and equipment, even if you are not using them all. Limiting the group size and having an experienced craft bookbinder, who is also a great teacher, as a tutor, will also ensure that you learn the techniques successfully.

All tools are provided for the weekend. There will be a materials charge of up to £35 for materials used in making your book, including leather.

The price includes full board in our country house, with single en-suite rooms. All meals are home-cooked and when possible, use produce from our own Victorian vegetable garden. Bedrooms are comfortable and spacious, as are the sitting-room, library (with beautiful view over the wildflower meadow) and conservatory. As many of our guests return year on year, we know that they feel very much at home here.

(Please note that the review below relates to one of our past bookbinding courses.)

Want to review this course?

I embarked on this with only a tiny ambition to try bookbinding, but came away having made two beautiful hand-sewn books, one complete with ribbons and marbled end papers! Chris Rowlatt is a wonderful teacher. Whenever I struggled he was there to support me onto the next stage and he managed that for everyone on the course. The Grange is a lovely Georgian house with that kind of architectural confidence that is both beautiful (a library with fantastic views over the grounds) and quirky (love the chess board in the conservatory floor with its scaled up chess set). It also has a publishing company which means lots of ribbons and papers left over to end up in your own books. This course, and the Grange, seem dedicated to preserving all aspects of the heritage of books, not merely preserving crafts. This extra focus really made a difference to my experience. I'll be returning for the Advanced Week.

- - #330

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Course Start Dates

Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.

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