Making books

So far I have done three workshops at the London Centre for Book Arts, and have learned to make a Solander Box (which I have been using as a portfolio case) and most recently a single section case bound book and two styles of multi-section open spine books (see LCBA, 2017; Orriss, 2014; Abbott, 2010). Elsewhere, I have produced Japanese four-hole stab bound book (Yotsume-toji). Whilst doing this, I’ve given thought to how I might integrate making books into my practice.

For the ‘micro-projects’ in my FMP, I plan to produce simple zine type publications based on the work produced by participants. The design of this and the production of a dummy could be one of the activities for the final session (in which we will also plan and produce work for the pop-up exhibition). These will probably be in the form of a simple stapled pamphlet, a concertina or folded booklet or loose images held together in some way or in an envelope/folder.

From the start, I have been committed to producing artefacts from the work, so one option would be a limited run artist’s book, along the lines, perhaps, of Ryo Kusumoto’s (2018) (連師子/Renjishi, which uses a number of the techniques that I’ve learned at the workshops.

A major challenge is the choice of paper and being able to print on both sides (essential for books based on sections), which limits choice of paper stock. One option is to use drum leaf binding, which uses individual sheets of paper. An alternative, which I used for the stab bound book, is to use thinner paper and fold this, as shown below.

I’m not yet convinced of the potential of this; it may be that the process, form and content of the project requires something more flexible (like an archive of material that can be configured in different ways.


Abbott, K. 2010. Bookbinding: A step-by-step guide. Marlborough: The Crowood Press.

Kusumoto, R. 2018. (連師子/Renjishi. Tokyo: Reminders Photography Stronghold.

LCBA, 2017. Making Books: A guide to making hand-crafted books. London: Pavillion.

Orriss, L. 2014. Craft Bookbinding. Marlborough: The Crowood Press.