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Sydney Bookbinding

Welcome to my Bookbinding Blog

The making of books, the teaching of bookbinding and the association with other bookbinders and book artists has become the focus and passion of my life. Bookbinding has many aspects and we debate a lot about the precise definitions of various aspects but, working with our hands within this discipline, challenging our skills and creativity is intriguing, frustrating and exciting.
Sydney Bookbinding
Sydney Bookbinding

More on Coptic class


Coptic books are very versatile. A great style for Artists Books as it can have inclusions and the pages can be displayed by opening covers all the way around. Here we deckle cut the page edges and use coloured and fine papers to decorate the spine and covers. Different decorative effects will be discussed and demonstrated such as the use of book-cloth and foil tooling

To make such a book you do not need specific bookbinding equipment and can therefore make more Coptic books at home.

As a blank journal it is a great gift as well as very nice to have for your own note taking.

Our special workshop on two consecutive Saturdays –  the 15th and 22nd August – here we will take you through the steps and give you notes that will allow you to make many more Coptic books. The space between these Saturdays will allow some work at home perhaps on interior pages and planning the decoration of the covers.

No previous bookbinding experience is necessary but good hand/eye coordination is a help as knives are used.

Cost for this workshop is $110.00. All materials and tools will be provided. You will only need to purchase some basic tools if you want to make these books at home. Class numbers are kept to 5 only so there is plenty of personal attention.

You will enjoy our air-conditioned bindery and cafes are near by. Parking on a Saturday is readily available around here.

Email me for further details and booking is essential. rosemarie@sydneybookbinding.com


Posted in Bookbinding Classes |
Sydney Bookbinding

Class and workshops for 2015, starting in August


A range of classes and workshops are offered for the latter part of this year. These cover single workshops on a Saturday morning to others that require 2 successive Saturdays. These include the Coptic Binding and the Soft Leather Wrap Journal.

A special reintroduction of a term long course that is designed to cover the basics of bookbinding progressing in complexity is also offered. This is a revised course based on a popular course taught previously but not for a few years. All 3 books here offer scope for interesting decorative effects and will make great gifts. In this Introduction to Bookbinding you will progress from the Oriental side stitched booklet to the section stitched hard cover journal and finishing with repairing and rebinding a single page novel. This course will be given on a Tuesday evening over 8 weeks.

A special course – Book Repair Work will be held over 4 week days – over 4 weeks – and will cover simple repair work for torn pages, broken spines and damaged books. This will assist anyone looking after library books or who wants to repair their precious books. This is an introduction to full repair and restoration work

If you have completed the Introduction to Bookbinding and/or the Book Repair Work then you can progress to the workshop that covers full Repair and Restoration of a hard cover book. This course will be offered both during weekdays this year and on a Tuesday evening early next year.

All classes are held in a fully equipped, air conditioned bindery. Price includes materials used and generally there is a choice or colours. Classes are kept to a maximum of 5 students to allow for plenty of individual attention. Classes are for 2.5 hour duration. Coffee shops are very near us, parking is available all around us and there is a bus stop very near. If you wish to purchase materials and tools to continue this work they are available. A basic kit will be recommended.

I am a fully qualified teacher with many years experience in teaching this unique craft.

Details of dates and costs will be added in a following post with perhaps a few more tempting images.

Please contact me if interested and I can give you the details directly

Posted in Bookbinding Classes |
Sydney Bookbinding

New papers


Here are new papers that have interesting uses. The woodgrain and Suminagashi paper can tear to interesting frayed edges and used to decorate surfaces (over paper book covers and cardmaking). For endpapers they need to be laminated. We used it for ‘made’ endpapers and the ‘floating board’ binding just on the way with my advanced students (images to come later).

The Japanese Rice papers in my first test are strong enough to use in paper hinge repairs for small books plus lining small boxes. They will find other uses I am sure but have not experimented with them yet. I will be checking the strength of this paper as I would like to use it for hinge repairs on larger books but, so far, it is working well on smaller books. It can be laminated and used as an endpaper plus decorative pieces. It tears also to a nice fibrous edge.

Prices are – Woodgrain and Suminagashi are $11.00. There are 2 other Suminagashi in our range. Sheet size is 70cm x 50cm

Japanese Rice paper is the same price – $11.00. Size per sheet is 64cm x 97cm

As Sydney Bookbinding is now partnered with Amazing Paper I need to add GST to our prices. Please note that there will be price rises with a number of products when next stocked. Bonefolders and thread have gone up already and the next order will see them even a bit higher in price. I will endeavor to have a current price list ready to send out to any of you that request it. Over time the bookbinding supplies will be added to the Amazing Paper website but, as I am only feeling my way with this task, it will take some time. Must allow time for my precious binding work.

Posted in Bookbinding Supplies |
Sydney Bookbinding

Requirements for class 22nd April


We will make further samples but especially making the covers – these need to be perhaps shaped and decorated as well as correctly attached to the two ends of your construction. I must emphasize that the proficiency of this technical side of your work is paramount if you are to achieve a good pass. A creative content badly made is not an acceptable standard. I will show examples and demonstrate all steps so I hope I can have your full attention for this step.

We will also show you what is necessary to make a tunnel book and perhaps a carousel book – both interesting structures.

Then you can begin to work on what structure you want to use and  what demands this will make on your designing considerations and possible narrative.

As mentioned in the previous inclusion for this class you will need to bring the following -

Plastic sheet to protect your desk area where the water jar will sit. Container for water, PVA and bristle brush – round and perhaps flat.  Chucks cloths – good to use to clean your desk area before placing papers etc on. Scissors and your other bookbinding tools (cutting mat, knives etc). A glue stick would be helpful and perhaps a hand towel.

I will provide the papers and card, board etc necessary for your sample making – this week and perhaps also next week. You are to pay $5.00 for this material which will be cut to the sizes suitable for our samples. I think there are still some students to cover this cost with me.

A reminder – wear covered in shoes, have an old shirt or apron and that box for your tools – to keep on your desk

I look forward to our lesson this week.


Posted in UNSW/Art and Design |
Sydney Bookbinding

Oriental side stitched book to submit for marking

Although we are beginning to work on the second project you are probably still completing your first book.

There are a few points to check regarding this book -

Check the advice in your class notes. This is a card covered book so the covers will be flexible. They can have another layer of card,  fabric or other material to slightly stiffen but not be a hard (board strength) cover. The hinge is created by scoring with the bonefolder – a little way in from the stitching area.

A diagram for the basic stitching is one of the posts in your category in this blog. You can be more creative of course as shown in a number of examples we looked at but it must be secure without any gaping between the stitches and especially at the corners.

All the internal pages should fold over and lay down easily – not needing to be held down. This is achieved by using thin papers – not card. Be careful if you are adding collage areas that they keep to within the page dimensions leaving the hinge area a thinner paper therefore allowing it to turn over easily and stay open.

Content needs to show a narrative that progresses from one page to the next – the left side page is also part of the ‘story’ so needs to connect visually.

Shape, colour, tone, line and placement can link pages and form the ‘character’ or mood of your book. The cover and shape of the book sis the introduction to the book – not just a covering element.

Creative ideas are essential but the technical standard of the binding – covers, ability to open and close easily plus the easy turning of the pages will be judges and must be of a high standard.

I look forward to seeing your books on Wednesday. The room is yours from 2.00pm so set up your area with any samples you have to support your ideas. Make sure your name and number are clearly shown. I will see you there at 2.00pm of course.

Any last minute questions please email me – rosemarie@sydneybookbinding.com.

Posted in UNSW/Art and Design |
Sydney Bookbinding