Ovenbird Bindery offers workshops for adults and children. With simple tools and materials, you can make a variety of books—some that look like “real” books and some that are more like sculpture.

 
Thanks so much for a fabulous workshop! I was very excited to learn BOTH the suminagashi marbling technique and the box making and covering! Of course, both were deceptively simple as you had everything so well-prepared, as usual! I just have to thank you and compliment you again (as I have before) on how well you teach your workshops. I think, at least for me, it’s a combination of your consummate knowledge of bookbinding and related techniques, your thorough preparation and forethought, and your calm, clear instruction. All this in an atmosphere of acceptance, patience, enthusiasm for the learning process, and delight in students’ results.
— Anne

Workshops are for 5 to 20 people and can be scaled to be 3 hours long, 4 hours long, or full-day. Tuition averages $10 per student per hour and materials average $8 per book. These workshops are suitable for art centers, camps, festivals, elementary and high schools, universities, museums, and teachers workshops.

A special workshop can also be designed to meet your specific needs or occasion. One-on-one instruction is available as well.

Inquire about a workshop for your family, school, group, or institution and sign up to receive e-mails about upcoming workshops.


Adult Classes

Accordian Books

It takes little more than folding to make an accordion book, but after that, the possibilities are nearly endless. An accordion can grow to accommodate photos or collage, it can include smaller books, and it can have pockets to stash treasures inside. It can even have popups!

Carousel Books

A carousel book consists of several accordion-folded sheets bound together to create layered stage-like pages. Students will learn the basics of this book form by making a model before making a book with their own imagery and text. Participants should bring images or collage materials they can use to create a visual story.

Tunnel Books

Inspired by stage sets, tunnel books are made of a set of pages bound with two folded accordion strips on each side and viewed through a hole in the cover. Openings in each page allow the viewer to see through the entire book to the back, and images on each page work together to create a three-dimensional scene inside.

Longstitch Books

Here is a book with lots of pages that is made entirely without paste or glue! Longstitch books were used as account books in Europe for 500 years because they are simple, fast, strong, and durable. The sewing which passes through the folds of the gatherings also passes through the cover so that you can see the thread that holds the book together on the spine of the cover.

Longstitch-Linkstitch Books

Based on the longstitch book, this structure is more elaborate and beautiful yet fairly easy to make. Link stitches as well as diagonal and circular chain stitches adorn the cover and hold the book together. An additional weaving with a separate thread over the long stitch enhances the decoration and makes it possible to create a unique spine pattern for each binding. Historically, longstitch-linkstitch books have covers made from leather or vellum with a stiff spine of horn, wood, or leather. These books often have a fore-edge flap extending from the back cover held in place with ties.

Sewn-boards Book

A sewn-boards book has a front and back cover, which can be made of paper or board, but the cover does not extend over the spine. Instead, the spine folds of all the gatherings of pages are visible. Chain-stitch sewing runs horizontally across the spine. The covers are sewn to the text as if they were the outermost pages. These books often have extending from the back cover a fore-edge flap held in place with a clasp.

Case Binding

Part of the joy of making a case-bound book is that it looks completely like a “real” book. Students will sew a multiple-section text block, make endbands for the head and tail of the book, make a separate cover from book board and decorative paper, and “case-in” the book to finish.

Paste Paper

Create beautiful, colorful paper using a technique that is very much like finger painting. Start with paste, add a bit of paint, then layer the color onto your paper. Use a variety of tools to create pattern. The finished paper can be used to cover your book or to create collage inside your book. Making paste paper can be done in combination with other workshops. The accordion book and case binding above are covered in paste paper.


Children's Classes

Learning some basic bookmaking techniques empowers kids to make their own real books that they can then fill with drawing and writing. 

A Simple Book—Sewn Pamphlet

Left on their own, kids will staple down the left-hand side of a stack of paper to make a book. Sewing a book together with needle and thread is not much harder but so much more rewarding.

“This Looks Like a Book!”—Case Binding

Part of the joy of making a case-bound book is that it looks completely like a “real” book. Students will sew a multiple-section text block, make endbands for the head and tail of the book, make a separate cover from book board and decorative paper, and “case-in” the book to finish.

With a Zig and a Zag—Accordion Book

It takes little more than folding to make an accordion book, but after that, the possibilities are nearly endless. An accordion can grow to accommodate photos or collage, it can include smaller books, and it can have pockets to stash treasures inside. It can even have popups!

All the Book’s a Stage—Carousel Book and Tunnel Book

A carousel book consists of several accordion-folded sheets bound together to create layered stage-like pages. Students will learn the basics of this book form by making a model before making a book with their own imagery and text. Participants should bring images or collage materials they can use to create a visual story. Inspired by stage sets, tunnel books are made of a set of pages bound with two folded accordion strips on each side and viewed through a hole in the cover. Openings in each page allow the viewer to see through the entire book to the back, and images on each page work together to create a three-dimensional scene inside.

Just Like Finger-Painting—Paste Paper

Create beautiful, colorful paper using a technique that is very much like finger painting. Start with paste, add a bit of paint, then layer the color onto your paper. Use a variety of tools to create pattern. The finished paper can be used to cover your pamphlet, case binding, or accordion book.