Au Papier Japonais


Book One: Bookbinding BasicsADD TO CART
Maaike Zuyderhoff
Thursday October 17, 2019 | Thursday January 16, 2020

Why do so many people take bookbinding courses? For one thing it’s a true artistic pursuit, quite readily learned. For another, in spite of all the technological wizardry of IPhones and digital media, nothing matches the tangible satisfaction of writing your thoughts, sketching your surroundings or expressing your creativity, on paper. And also when we make a book, we join a historical tradition that has produced this matchless medium of transmitting knowledge throughout the world for the last several millennia.
       Under Maaike’s energetic and experienced direction, you will quickly discover how easy it is to make. You’ll learn about the basic structure of a book and the tools and the techniques used in bookbinding. You’ll then go on to apply the single signature to several projects such as a basic notebook, a special card, and a guest book, choosing from a variety of washi supplied for this purpose. Finally Maaike will show you how to bind several signatures together for future larger projects such as journals or hard covered books and further explore the many possibilities of the one signature construction.
       After this, next time you open a book, it will be an open book to you!

Techniques learned: The use of basic tools, how to mark, score, fold and cut, and to make the pamphlet stitch, the mysteries of “grain direction.”

Decent Exposure: The Art of the Japanese Book ADD TO CART
Renée Lévesque
Thursday November 21, 2019

Among more modest book-styles, and even contrary to the reserved people who invented it, the Japanese book might be thought of as an exhibitionist. As opposed to many other kinds of bookbinding where the method of binding is hidden, you see right away the beautiful stitching that binds the Japanese book together.
       However, the secret to its perpetual popularity lies within. Its inside pages are made entirely of washi, each folded in half so that there is no “show-through” from side to side. Although thin and strong, it is receptive to many kinds of media,
       It has been a favourite of countless generations in Japan and of those who take our courses! You don’t need previous bookbinding experience thanks to both its straightforward construction and ease of sewing (even if you can’t sew a button back on your shirt!) Easily made at home, it’s especially useful for notebooks, guest books, sketchbooks, or if you want to give a gift that will make you as popular as it is!

Techniques learned: Use of the special properties of Japanese papers, measuring, cutting, and folding of interior pages, the Japanese procedure for piercing the pages and sewing them together to form the distinctive, exposed-stitched spine.

Thank you Belgium: The Criss-Cross BookADD TO CART
Delphine Platten
Saturday February 01, 2020

A first for our courses, Delphine will teach you the celebrated “Crisscross Binding”, also known as “The Secret Belgian Binding”, designed by Anne Goy, a Belgian bookbinder who invented it in the mid-80’s while she was looking for a Western version of a famous Japanese-binding technique.
       This technique, based on a double-sewing pattern, allows you to create hard-cover, flat-opening hand sewn binding. The perfect notebook, bullet-journal or sketchbook.
       Students will work with non-acid board, PVA glue, Chiyogami paper and linen thread and learn how to cover board with paper properly, to make a template to prepare the sewing, to pierce signatures with a jig and to sew with a curved needle.

Hard-cover: Western-style BookbindingADD TO CART
Maaike Zuyderhoff
Saturday February 29, 2020

Ever wonder why bestsellers, or most new publications for that matter, come out in hardcover first?
       Of course, it’s obvious: because it’s the most beautiful, durable and prestigious, not to mention the most familiar to us. In fact, given paperbacks, audio books, digital media like Kindle, etc., it is and always will be the book that will seem the most “real” to us.
       Learn how to make this traditional, hard cover book with its several “signatures” (usually four or eight pages folded together and sewn into the spine), along with using heavy card for the cover and covering it with traditional cloth or from a selection of colourful, patterned Japanese “chiyogami”.
       Maiike has done some léger de main to make it possible to complete the book (normally a two day project) in just one by making some of the essential components beforehand, so that every student will leave with a completed project by the end of the day.

Techniques learned: Working with signatures, sewing, cutting, mounting paper onto cardboard, choosing adhesives, use of the square and other tools, calculating yield and basic bookbinding skills.

Staying Power: The Long-lived Long-Stitch BookADD TO CART
Renée Lévesque
Thursday March 26, 2020

Clark Gable, Edith Piaf, Albert Einstein, Alexis de Tocqueville, Amadeus Mozart, Ernest Hemmingway, are stars renowned for their multi-generational “staying power”. We still love and admire them today, just as the redoubtable “Long-Stitch Book”, invented in the 1800’s, continues to be made by and inspire today’s bookbinders.
       Here’s why. Unlike other books with a permanent cover, the Long-Stitch book is designed so that the cover slips over the first page of the book and can come off easily, so you can change it, Or, you can leave the cover off altogether and admire the exposed, hand-sewn binding. You’ll learn several important bookbinding techniques in the process. It produces a particularly beautiful book that also (and importantly), lays flat. Perfect for journals, sketchpads, notebooks or for gifts.

Techniques learned: Basic bookbinding skills, measuring, cutting, assembling, tool use, dividing off the spine, and sewing principles and procedures.

First Among Equals: Coptic-style Bookbinding ADD TO CART
Renée Lévesque
Saturday April 04, 2020

The Greeks have used the term “Primus inter pares” or “First among equals” for thousands of years to designate someone who is formally equal to other members of their group but is accorded special respect. While every kind of bookbinding has equal value and its dévotées, no other has held the loyalty, admiration and trust of so many for so long.
       This goes back to the time when books once had to compete with the dominant communications technology of the time—scrolls. To do this the ingenious method was invented of folding up a scroll into pages and binding them together, and it presented many advantages. This later evolved into bound books as we know them today. Renée revisits this early book-style but substituting the beauty of Japanese paper for parchment.
       The pages are sewn together with cords, using a chain stitch which passes through the cover to create not only an elegant finished look, but as importantly, enables the book to lay flat when opened.

Techniques learned: Basic bookbinding skills, measuring, cutting, assembling, tool use, and sewing principles and procedures.