Softcover Binding (Bookbinding I) – Fall 2022

Event Info

This two-day, in-person workshop takes place at CBA on Saturday & Sunday, October 15—16, from 10:00 am—4:00 pm.

  • Saturday, October 15, 10:00am—4:00pm
  • Sunday, October 16, 10:00am—4:00pm

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on October 7, at 11:59pm.

About the Workshop:

This in-person class at Center for Book Arts is taught by instructor Sarah Smith.

In this introductory class you will learn the basic use of bookbinding tools and materials, along with bookbinding structures. Students will learn about non-adhesive structures, bindings for single sheets, and other bindings that can be made with no specialized equipment. Structures covered include: One Minute Book; Soft Cover Accordion; Variations on the Pamphlet; Soft Cover Multi-Signature (Linking Stitch).

This class is ideal for those who wish to learn simple forms for presenting work, or for building fundamental knowledge on bookbinding. Students will gain a foundational understanding of handling paper using the given equipment. The students will develop the skills needed to create a variety of soft cover books with simple bookbinding structures that will prepare them for creating more complex hardcover books. Along the way, students will learn about historical and contemporary uses of the learned techniques and structures in the book arts.

Required Materials:

All staff, artists, students, and guests are required to show proof of vaccination upon entering CBA and must wear a mask covering the nose and mouth at all times. If you have a medical or religious exemption, please email Required Materials:

All other materials will be provided by Center for Book Arts at no additional cost.

About Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith (she/her) fell in love with the grids of Tschichold and the classic margins of medieval manuscripts, which led to her interest in lead type and paper. She interned at Center for Book Arts and was proud to learn from Aurora De Armendi, Ana Cordeiro, Yukari Hayashida, and Celine Lombardi. She also worked at Pace Ink, Harlan & Weaver, and LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies.

She learned hard work growing up on a sheep ranch, and her interest in outdoor, physical labor, as well as gendered spaces, influences her work today. Smith’s book, Her Place, deals with the frustration and desire she feels for spaces where masculine labor is praised and female-bodied people are made to feel unwelcome. “My recent work deals with inclusive versus exclusive spaces,” she says. “The traditional codex form of a book is meant to include people in their contents. The books I’ve been making take that inclusive codex form, but are damaged or altered in a way so as to shut the user out. Since we have all been in the physical space of a book, the exclusion from it feels personal.” Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Lower East Side Printshop and Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries.  

All images courtesy of the instructor.

Class size is limited to ensure an optimal participant to Instructor ratio. Register now before spots fill up! Registration for this workshop closes on June 13 at 11:59pm. Participants are required to comply with CBA’s Covid-19 health and safety measures. If you cannot comfortably pay tuition but are interested in taking this class, please consider filling out our financial assistance application here. We will notify you if you are selected to receive a scholarship before the start date of the class.

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