On Saturday I ran my first fully commissioned workshop – an introduction to Bookbinding at MAKLab Glasgow.

The workshop was based on a set of basic bookbinding instructions that I’ve been developing with Vintage Paper Co. to be sold as part of a bookbinding kit. The format that I chose to run didn’t actually include sewing together pages of a book, instead I taught my participants a simple case bind covering an A6 pre-made booklet. This meant a shorter workshop and a more fulfilling outcome – hardback cases look really impressive when they’re done!

The main element to the workshop was allowing my participants quite a lot of customisation with materials for their case. I spoke a lot about choosing materials based on how well they react with glue and how well they fold – providing some examples of books that I’ve made myself. I’d bought a huge variety of papers and even some book cloths so everybody designed and made a completely custom book.

Something that I’d like to build on for next time I run such a workshop would be more of a focus on re-use of materials for the case bind. A lot of the bookbinding I’ve done has been using old and sentimental fabric or old packaging for the case. I think that this could add much more meaning to each book whilst simultaneously getting people thinking about re-use. It is something I’d have to explore, however. If people are paying for a course they may well want very fancy and new materials.

Above are the participants with their finished books! I think that everybody enjoyed the class, saying that they’d recommend it to friends and the main piece of feedback for me was just to have a digitised template – something easily done!

All in all I really enjoyed the experience of teaching the workshop. MAKLab were great in supporting me in advertising and developing it, with special thank you to Andrew Tibbles who supported me in running the workshop. Teaching is something I really enjoy as I love to share my passion for making and crafting but also as I love to marvel at the imagination and skill shown by relative beginners when you give them the right tools.

Below are the finished books – aren’t they lovely?

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