All posts in Book binding

Trisha Klus

(The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held Sat.Nov 4, 1030-430, Vancouver Public LibraryCentral Branch)

Trisha Klus is a lettering and book artist specializing in calligraphy and hand bound artist’s books with explorations in collage, marbling, mail art and letterpress printing. She has currently been creating with a focus on interactive books. Since beginning her creative studies in 1995, Trisha’s books and artwork have been published in Somerset Studio, Handcraft Illustrated, Bound & Lettered, the Alcuin Society’s “Amphora” and The Canadian Philatelist. Continue Reading…

A Victorian Keepsake Book

Before my great-grandmother Edith Cayzer (nee Nicholson) came to  Canada to live on Galiano Island, she began a keepsake book, filled with poetry, drawings and paintings done by friends and relatives, and even some beautifully arranged dried seaweed. Continue Reading…

Working with Leather: a one-day introductory workshop on bookbinding with leather, Dec. 4, 2016

In December The Alcuin Society will be offering a five hour introductory workshop on Working With Leather, to be taught by local bookbinder Adele Shaak and will also offer a follow-up workshop in early 2017, in which Adele will give a leather half-bind workshop, to be offered over two half days; the dates for this workshop are yet to be determined. Continue Reading…

Bookbinding with Adele Shaak!

The Alcuin Society is thrilled to present another two-day bookbinding workshop with fabulous instructor Adele Shaak! Students will learn techniques to produce a beautiful hardcover book from the loose sheets of the Alcuin’s illuminated 1977 Flowers in Heraldry publication. Continue Reading…

Binding workshop in North Saanich, April 25-26

As a last minute announcement, we are happy to introduce another Flowers in Heraldry workshop, held in North Saanich, at Joan and Ginny’s Studio, on April 25-26, 2015. Registration is $75 for CBBAG and Alcuin Society members, and $105 for non-members. There is an extra charge of $20 for materials. There are only a couple of seats left, so please contact Joan Byers as soon as possible should you need more information or to register, at kelpie[at]shaw[dot]ca or 250.656.7376.


Participants will receive a copy of the beautiful Flowers in Heraldry by Vera Ibbett printed in 1977 in loose page format, and will learn how to bind it in a dropped spine hardcover with a cloth spine. This is a sister workshop of the one that will be held in Vancouver on May 24 and 31, so please read this previous article if you want to find out more about the workshop or the history of the book.

Workshop: Binding Flowers in Heraldry in Vancouver

The Alcuin Society is announcing another workshop to take place on two consecutive Sundays, May 24 and May 31, at Creekside Community Centre, on 1 Athletes Way in Vancouver. The workshop participants, taught by Adele Shaak, will have the opportunity to bind and take home their own exquisite copy of Flowers in Heraldry, a book illustrated and designed by Vera Ibbett between 1971 and 1974. It showcases the artists botanical painting and calligraphy skills. For more information about the book and the artist, visit Quiet Fire Design.


The Alcuin Society got the reproduction rights for this gorgeous book and published it in 1977, both as a bound and a loose page version. Now it offers a copy of the latter to the participants to the workshop, who will learn how to bind them in a two-day workshop. On the first day they will sew the book onto five tapes, create the endpapers and self-headbands, prepare the spine edge of the text block, and prepare the boards. On the second day they will create the contrasting spine piece and complete covering the boards, case in, and apply the label.

The price for this workshop is $129 for the Alcuin members, and $139 for non-members, with an additional $20 for materials. These include book board and book cloth cut to size by the instructor, sewing tapes, thread needles, cord for headbands, glue and glue brushes. The seats are limited to 8, and at the date of the post half of them had already been filled up, so make sure you sign up early. For more information or to register please contact Gina Page at 604.274.0919 or gpage[at]sd38[dot]bc[dot]ca

Online archive of 19th century bookcloth bindings

While it is exciting to see how designers try to break the mould by creating exciting, original book covers, the books of old still remind us of luxury and elegance unlike any other contemporary tome. Think vivid handmade endpapers, exquisite bookbindings and rich illustrations. Each and every detail was given special attention, including the bookcloth, that could come in various colours and textures, and it may be decorated or not. Today, the bookcloth of a hardback is that nondescript thing hidden behind a glossy, fancy, embossed cover, never spoken of, much like the bell-bottomed pants of the 70s.


The Library Company of Philadelphia, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, is an independent research library focused on the American culture between the 17th and 19th centuries. It has an extensive collection of rare books and other materials including online resources among which there is this database of high-resolution images of 19th century bookcloth bindings. Happy browsing!

BC Chapter of CBBAG present Simple Non-Sewn Bookbinding Structures: Kathy Nash

Our friends over at the BC Lower Mainland Chapter of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild are presenting a workshop this fall titled Simple Non-Sewn Bookbinding Structures. Kathy Nash is the instructor, and it takes place at the Creekside Community Recreation Centre, 1 Athletes Way (and Manitoba St.) Vancouver, BC. More info below as well as on their blog. You can also click the poster image above for full details.

Date and Time: Saturday, October 13, 2012 10:30 am – 4:00 pm
Costs: CBBAG Members: $76.45
Non-Members: $91.45
Materials fee: $15 per student, payable in cash to the instructor at the beginning of the workshop

Description of Workshop: In this one day workshop students will make six books: two simple structures and four more involved books (accordion fold hardcover, flags book, lotus fold book with rigid cover and tie closure, Chicago screws photo booklet with softcover)

Items to Bring: scissors, steel ruler, sharp pencil, exacto or utility or olfa knife, FULL good quality glue stick, small rag, 18” wax paper, bone folder, cutting mat if you have one, and a bag lunch, as breaks will be short.

Participants are advised to bring a bag lunch.

Registration contact:

Payment by cash or cheque must accompany registration, and is payable to: CBBAG: BC Lower Mainland Chapter c/o #106-3870 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2X7

Workshop: Simple Sewn Bookbinding Structures with Adele Shaak

This announcement has come to our attention, and we thought it would be worthwhile to feature here. Sponsored by The BC Lower Mainland Chapter of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, this workshop costs $60 for CBBAG Members and $75 for non-members, plus there is a $10 materials fee for all students.

Date and Time: Sunday April 22, 2012 10am – 2pm
Room C509, Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver BC, V5Y 2Z6

In this one day workshop students will make four books, including a pamphlet, two stab-stitch bindings (one with up and down stitching, the other with Japanese binding), and one multi-section book. They will come away with ideas for variations on those structures. They will also explore different ways of covering the books, and of providing lettering, labels, and other cover decoration. Adele will provide the pages and cover materials for the books. Paper will be pre-cut. Adele will bring extra supplies “in case speedy types have a chance to make another book.”

Please email the organizers to register before Sun, Apr 9, 2012.