Introductory Workshop to Book-binding and Paper-marbling

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  • Introductory Workshop to Book-binding and Paper-marbling

Open to all who love beautiful books and bindings, this workshop will give participants first-hand knowledge and experience of making their own marbled paper and the basics of bookbinding.

Under the expert guidance of Kate Brett of Payhembury Marbled Papers, Cambridge, Shaun Thompson, Collections Care Manager of Cambridge University Library, and Judith Wiesner, paper conservator, participants will try their hand at reproducing old marbled patterns in the traditional manner, floating water-based paints on a size made from carragheen moss. Ageing techniques for matching new papers to old and other restoration methods will also be considered.

Course tutor Shaun Thompson, expert in medieval bindings, will help participants with basic binding techniques, while those more adventurous or experienced participants can recreate Manuscript Pembroke 119 (Alain de Lille, Anticlaudianus) which has an exceptional contemporary binding with interesting structural features, including a limp covering of alum-tawed skin, stained red. The beautifully executed sewing of all of the elements testify to the sophistication of the craftsmanship of the Romanesque period. Processes will include staining, sewing and covering with alum-tawed skin, using the appropriate materials and techniques.

Paper conservator, Judith Wiesner will teach participants how to use the marbled paper they have produced to make simple bindings, and cover objects like pencils and folders. Complementing the practical aspect of the course, the tutors will seek to set the bindings and papers into context.

Judith Wiesner: Book Conservator, now in Sicily. Courses at Casa Khalesa (see 

Participants will be given the opportunity to visit the local library and see examples of historic book production in Sicily.
For more information contact

Book binding flyer 2018


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