Hilke Kurzke

Book Artist, Printmaker, Writer, Bookbinder

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Hand Bookbinding 101: Jotter Journals. How to make a unique exercise book - fast and easy

Click here to go to Youtube and Watch my Introduction Video

Making your own books is really fun, it is a great way to individualize your stationery, and it can be quick and cheaper than buying products that in the end might even be of much lower quality.

When you look at the shelf of a book store and see all the commercially bound books, it seems like when making a book the only choices are hardcover or softcover, and glued or bound with thread. In hand bookbinding, however, there are many, many ways to bind books, and the results look different and feel different, and finding your way of doing it is fun and will give you the best books you ever used.

In this introductory class to Western bookbinding we will start with making a small booklet, i.e. sewing it with thread. And even when binding just a small volume like we are going to do here, there are still many different ways of how to do it. In this course I am going to cover the most important and most basic way which is called "3-hole binding". This technique is important both on its own, and as a stepping stone towards binding more substantial volumes.

As books go, the book(s) that you will create following this course can have many uses: It could be an excercise book, but of course you could use it as a journal to carry around, to fill with drawings, poetry, shopping lists, random thoughts, your shopping receipts, and whatnot. It could be used to doodle in while in a boring meeting or on the phone. Or it could be a guest book at a party, or accompany you on your next crafts market to let people subscribe to your newsletter, it could be a sticker album, or to take notes in your next skillshare class...

Following this class you will make (at least) one journal or exercise book which you will make from your own materials, customizing it to get a really unique result. It could have a hard or soft cover, can be made from different materials - even leather if you want to.

Different video lectures cover the materials and tools you need.

There will be a shopping guide or rather a "choosing" guide on how to find the right cover for your book.

We will work our way from a very humble binding from materials that you have lying about to a hardcover journal with a leather or fabric spine.

You can see my class outline here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UKR4kr0g8KslbMv37t66UP0WPq-W3i_TuaUN3z50Isg/edit?usp=sharing

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