The Drum Leaf Binding and Its Precedents

Several drum-leaf bound books are placed next to each other. One of the examples is more of an accordion fold while the other three are full hardcovers.
Scott McCarney looks at you from the other side of his workbench
Scott McCarney headshot

Event Info

This workshop takes place across three sessions:

  • Mon, May 17, 10am–12pm ET
  • Mon, May 24, 10am–12pm ET
  • Mon, May 31, 10am–12pm ET

In this three-session workshop, we will be making three books that are related in their ease and ingenuity of assembly: a Japanese Album, a Japanese Butterfly book, and a Drum-Leaf binding. All three books join single folded folios in distinct ways, the Drum-Leaf being a hybrid combination of the Album and Butterfly. All three use a minimum of glue, limiting the amount of moisture introduced to the book block which speeds the binding process considerably. The Drum-Leaf book is cased into an easily assembled quarter-cloth cover with a throw-back spine. Since each page spread is a single folded folio, it allows images to be printed across the gutter with no interruption, making it very popular with printmakers and photographers. Once completed, the book lies flat when opened, making it very popular with viewers.

Session one: We will make a Japanese album and a Japanese butterfly book. We’ll also make covers for these books using the “drumming” technique.

Session two: We will “drum” a stack of folded folios to create the book block for the Drum-Leaf binding.

Session three: We will make the cover and case-in the Drum-Leaf book block.

Required materials:

Supplies:

  • 20 sheets of text weight paper (24 lb. copy paper or equivalent) – measuring 5.5 x 8.5 inches folded in half to measure 5.5 x 4.25 inches
  • 1 piece of book cloth measuring at least 3 x 7.5 inches
  • 6 pieces of medium weight book board (or equivalent) – measuring 5.5 x 4.25 inches
  • 6 pieces of decorative paper (or text weight papers) – measuring 5.25 x 6.5 inches
  • a scrap of decorative paper or book cloth measuring 2 inches square
  • 12 sheets of medium weight paper (60# or 80# cover weight or equivalent [a standard manilla file folder is a good weight]) – measuring 5.5 x 8.5 inches folded in half to measure 5.5 x 4.25 inches

Tools:

  • Bone folder
  • UHU glue stick
  • PVA adhesive
  • Small glue brush (1/4” is great)
  • Metal ruler
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper to control glue mess

Optional:

  • 2 sheets of medium weight paper (60# or 80# cover weight or equivalent) of a contrasting color – measuring 5.5 x 8.5 inches folded in half to measure 5.5 x 4.25 inches for end papers
  • 4 sheets of text weight paper (24 lb. copy paper or equivalent) of a contrasting color – measuring 5.5 x 8.5 inches folded in half to measure 5.5 x 4.25 for end papers

About the Instructor

Scott McCarney is an artist, designer, and educator based in Rochester, New York. His primary art practice has been in book form since 1980 and spans many media, from offset and digital printing to sculptural and site-specific installation. His bookworks can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. His work is shown internationally (Sao Paulo, Brazil; Melbourne, Australia; Baku, Azerbaijan) as well as closer to home (Hallwalls, Buffalo NY; Everson Museum, Syracuse NY; Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY). His teaching and lecturing itinerary is varied and eclectic, carrying the banner of artists books to Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Mexico, and South America. He recently concluded 16 years of teaching in the College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology.

All images courtesy of the instructor.

In order to best serve our community near and far, many of our online classes are pay-what-you-can. While each class has a suggested price, we wish to make our educational programming as economically accessible as possible as well as to make sure our students feel fulfilled in their creative processes outside of the studio. The amount you choose to pay goes directly toward our instructors and toward creating scholarship opportunities for the future.

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