The last day of bookbinding class was a little grueling: I had two books to finish, or else . . . or else they just wouldn’t be finished. A copy of Candide that had been formatted for us, and the structure for a children’s book I wanted to make.

For the most part I loved bookbinding. I love precise measurement, nice paper cutters, linen tapes and sewing. I love designing book covers. Also, I love making something be as time-consuming as possible — it’s harder to making the spine round? Well then that’s what I’m doing! We can make endpapers out of acrylic paint, cellulose, sponges, extra paper and glue? Sign me up!

grey open
Grey Journal

Candide head
Silk Bookmark in Candide

But I hated glue.

I hated that it dried, whether I was ready for it or not, I hated that it got all over my hands and that as soon as it was all over my hands it was all over my book and once it was all over my book that was it, the book was ruined. You do a lot of prep work before any gluing happens, and the glue was always the stage at which I began cursing, losing bone folders, smearing things on my pants. Your covering paper is perfectly cut, and then you paint glue on it and it’s curling on itself, getting glue all over the table and then all over the book and then your book is ruined. Your hand-made endpapers are burnished and shiny, sparkling with gold paint and green forest leaves — then you paint glue on the back of them and they wrinkle, rip, warp.

Which is all to say, I am determined to tame you, glue. You will do as I say. It will be clean and tidy. Next workshop.

Full album with all five books here.

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  1. Hurrah! Does this mean you’ll be game to sign up for another workshop? I want to take it with you.

  2. How much did this class cost? i’ve been thinking about doing this for quite awhile, and seeing pictures of the results is further inspiring. I might have to look into doing one this summer or later in the fall.

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