Clamshell Boxes

Event Info

This three-day, in-person workshop takes place at CBA on Friday, March 17 from 6:00pm–9:00pm, and Saturday and Sunday, March 18, and 19, from 10:00am–4:00pm.

  • Friday, March 17, 6:00pm–9:00pm
  • Saturday, March 18, 10:00am–4:00pm
  • Sunday, March 19, 10:00am–4:00pm

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on March 9, at 11:59 pm.

About the Workshop:

This in-person class at Center for Book Arts is taught by instructor Carolyn Chadwick.

Boxmaking is an essential skill for any bookbinder. The clamshell box is a terrific way to protect and preserve a first edition, an antiquarian book, an artist’s book or a suite of prints. It keeps out light, dust and prevents the wear and tear on the shelf. This class will focus on the basic techniques – accurate measuring, cutting, and gluing. The critical aspect of making a clamshell box is precision in measuring. The 1st tray needs to hold a book or sheets without rubbing but without room for movement. The 2nd tray needs to fit the first. And the cover needs to pull it all together so it opens and closes properly and stands up straight. Participants will come away with a finished clamshell box to hold a book — great opportunity for book artists and bookbinders!

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:

  • A book or stack of sheets for measuring (no larger than 11″h x 8.5″ wide x 2″ deep)
  • Bone folder
  • sharp shears
  • 12 inch metal ruler
  • a triangle
  • a cutting mat
  • scalpel with new blades
  • glue brushes
  • an apron

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

About Carolyn Chadwick

Carolyn Chadwick has been bookbinding since about 1980 when she signed on to work with English trained bookbinder Mark Tomsett in New York and worked with him for 12 years, learning on the bench. She moved on to the Conservation Department at NYPL and then to self-employment. Carolyn has taught throughout her career at a number of institutions including The Center for Book Arts, The Craft Students League and The Brookfield Craft Center.

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 March 9 at 11:59pm. Participants are required to comply with CBA’s Covid-19 health and safety measures.

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