A School of Excellence in Bookbinding Education
There are many introductory classes offered and students may attend some classes with little or no experience. Some students pursue their studies further and enter a program that culminates with a diploma in either Fine Leather Binding or the Integrated Studies Program. Some students pursue both tracks of the curriculum. Your training and practice at the American Academy of Bookbinding will provide you with a level of skill and understanding that ensures quality and confidence in your work and career.
The American Academy of Bookbinding is a program of the Ah Haa School for the Arts.
The Fine Binding program at AAB has had international successes in 2014 that reflect both our rich history and vitality. Design bindings by current AAB students, graduates and faculty were included in international, invitational and juried binding exhibitions that have been mounted in Canada, France, Belgium and England. Two of the exhibitions also traveled in America. One of these (Inside Out, organized by Designer Bookbinders in UK) is still traveling and can be seen at Harvard University and in Minneapolis, New York and San Francisco. The tour ends in July 2015. Reviews of these exhibitions in the international press have been terrific, often choosing work from AAB binders for special consideration. We are delighted that there is such international interest in fine binding and proud that AAB has a leadership role in furthering that interest.
Back in Telluride, our course offerings proved to be exciting and valuable to continuing students as well as to those new to AAB. Beginning, intermediate and advanced students had many class choices and took advantage of them. From binding their first book to inlaying metal and wood veneer into a leather cover; from measuring for a cloth covered protective box to gilding the edges of their books, students were challenged and excited to learn.
Please look at the course descriptions and consider joining us. Whether you are simply curious about binding but have never bound a book, or are an old pro looking to hone your binding skills, you will find interesting and stimulating classes here that will be appropriate to your interests and skill level. AAB is an amazing place to learn and to teach. Come see for yourself.
The Integrated Studies Program is about to launch its first full year at the AAB offering classes that fulfill the beginning requirements of the program. I am excited to be directing the program and to watch its take off. Throughout my career as a binder a lot of my knowledge came through books, workshops and discussions with other binders. This method, although good, was a scattershot approach; that meant that an underlying methodology to the craft was missing creating gaps in my knowledge. At the time there was no program in this country where one could learn bookbinding in a step-by-step manner under the tutelage of a master.
The Integrated Studies program is designed to build one step upon the other to give you the opportunity to learn the craft in a logical progressive way. In the classes a solid base in the understanding of materials, tools and techniques are laid down giving you confidence in your own knowledge and abilities. You will be guided by some of the best binders, artists and conservators in the field, true masters.
Holding a well bound book in your hands offers a beauty, both sensual and visual, unlike anything you can find in the bookstore. It welcomes you to delve into the written word, the image and the idea. Learn how to create your own hand bound book to welcome others.
Teaching from his beautifully equipped home studio in Summerfield, North Carolina, Don is pleased to be working with students as they pursue their diplomas in the AAB / Summerfield Conservation program. Though the program can no longer accept new students, many are finishing their coursework and will be going before juries in years to come. Each summer, students may attend for one to four weeks, studying with Don in an intimate and encouraging environment. Non-diploma program students are also able to study in Summerfield and learn the techniques developed by Don throughout the course of his career.
The American Academy of Bookbinding is proud to once again provide courses in 2015 that reflect our commitment to quality education in the field of bookbinding – we find our programs unique in the depth, focus and duration of our course offerings and the community we serve.
Since its inception in 1993, our programs have been designed for those who, for reasons of work and/or family, are unable to attend a full-time diploma granting program or otherwise gain significant growth and mastery in their bookbinding pursuits. We are serious about providing a high quality education for those who are seriously invested in developing a career for themselves in the field – a committed student will spend years to achieve that level of mastery in their work to enable them to go before a jury of highly regarded professionals and be judged. Currently, we have three such candidates and, while the jury is still out at this writing, we congratulate them on their passionate pursuit, their growth, their tenacity and devotion to excellence in their work. We foresee others going before a jury in 2015 as well. All of them deserve special recognition for their accomplishments. Those individuals who are able to stay the course in the face of everything else in their lives are to be applauded.
Most students who attend AAB are not diploma program students however. They attend because they want to study with some of the best instructors, conservators and binders in the field. They want to take that one or two-week course that separates them from their daily routine and allows them to pour all of their energy and focus into a book, whether it’s a new, design binding or an old, well-loved (or abused) binding. Whether they are able to return for further study or not, we know they have come away with more than they expected – a whole new perspective and an approach that supports the pursuit of excellence. We are equally committed to serving this student population and providing the best opportunities for them to grow within the limitations of their time, resources and lives.