telluride fall



SEPTEMBER 20 – 22, 2017   |   SUZANNE MOORE
Illumination is defined as, “Making light; the state of being illuminated or the action of illuminating: as a spiritual or intellectual enlightenment.” The transient light and life that gold gives to a page as it turns in a book, or to a piece of art as the viewer moves past it is fleeting and unparalleled. The tiniest addition of the glimmer of gold in your work offers something even the most luminous color cannot.

Learn and apply many ways to adhere gold leaf to paper in this 3-day session. We will experiment with gilding on a variety of papers and tools with a familiar adhesive (diluted PVA), and use patent gold leaf to accomplish an array of dramatic effects. Using a wide variety of tools to apply the medium will result in a dazzling range of effects and increase the possibilities for using gold in your work on paper. Impressing thin materials into gilded papers by hand and with a press will give you additional exciting ways to transform your work with these ultra-thin leaves of gold.

This session is open to book artists, bookbinders and all artists. It is designed for anyone interested in using the magic of gold in their work on paper.


From CONTENT to CONCEPT to OBJECT will address issues involved in book making and binding design. Students will explore various methods of thinking and working that enable them to find individual expression in the book form. Through a series of specific and innovative exercises, each student will develop a concept for their own book and give it form through the consideration of surface design, texture, scale, shape, pattern sequence and rhythm. Students will consider their binding (or enclosure) and its role in the total object as they design and make the book’s pages. They will bind the book using design concepts developed in the content development phase of the class as well as other ideas and techniques that will apply specifically to the successful completion of the book. The result will be a well thought out and inventive integrated whole.

While some of the materials and techniques used in this one-week class are not ones used in fine binding, the concepts of design and invention are directly applicable to leather bindings and the fine binding form.

This class is open to everyone interested in book and binding design. No previous bookmaking experience is necessary.

This was a fabulous class that made you think about your work in a whole new way!


OCTOBER 2 – 13, 2017   |   DON GLAISTER
This two-week class is designed to help students with varying levels of experience in fine binding to refine and review their techniques, develop more advanced and sophisticated ones and even invent new techniques. Emphasis will also be placed on binding design and design execution. Some of the more advanced techniques that may be explored are: elaborate woven headbands, edge gilding, gold, blind and painted tooling, inlays and onlays of leather or other materials. Students will work independently on their particular projects, with demonstrations and close monitoring and guidance from the instructor. They will be encouraged to explore various design concepts and decorative techniques, depending upon their level of experience and expertise.

The class may be used as a review of the binding process or to concentrate on a few, or even one specific technique, as arranged with the instructor. The AAB Fundamentals / Intermediate Binding class, or equivalent, is a prerequisite for this class and it may be repeated as needed or desired.


OCTOBER 16 – 20, 2017   |   COLEEN CURRY
This class will introduce one of the fastener techniques developed by Sün Evrard, focusing on a multi-section, soft-cover binding in leather. Sün began experimenting with secondary sewing system methods when conserving and rebinding texts.

Similar to a case structure, the textblock is prepared separately from the leather cover with primary sewing. The case is prepared with a leather exterior and articulating doublures inside (without boards). The two are joined in an innovative and conservation-friendly secondary sewing, with hand-made fasteners or “staples” crafted of wood or metal. The result is a soft-cover binding that is easily reversible and in no way alters or affects the text block. The conservation based technique is a fun, contemporary take on a centuries old method of secondary sewing (hand-made fasteners instead of thread or leather thongs).

Coleen will emphasize technique in building the structure: elements that reinforce the strength of the binding include the articulating doublure areas, metal rods or wooden dowels creating a “yap” at the foredges, and leather endbands.

Basic experience with bookbinding and leather is needed, but more important is attention to detail and creativity.

I just had an experience that was pivotal and I don’t even know in what way yet. But I have a feeling that five or ten years from now, I will look back and say, “It was that AAB class that sparked this.”


When we consider early book formats, we often think of them in a linear way, roll-led-to-tablet-led-to-codex, end of story. Instead we should remember these structures co-existed and were in use together for a considerable length of time. We study early books for what they can tell us about the historical development of methods for transferring written knowledge…but we should also study them for what they can tell us about the imagination, experimentation, and craft present in the choices made by early book makers. We will consider these questions in a bench course setting that includes layered lecture, discussion, model examination and model creation. The goal is to give you as participant a broad understanding of early book structures, how they relate to one another, and how they relate to and influenced other Near Eastern and medieval European bookbinding traditions. Early book structures and decorative techniques tend to “reappear” throughout the history of bookbinding and you will encounter them again in your own work and research, whether on a sixteenth century vellum archival binding, an eighteenth century temporary binding, or a modern-day book-art structure.

The course will be presented in four segments, each beginning with a power-point lecture to set the historical framework for that segment, followed by hands-on examination of supporting models and continuing with bench work to produce your model:

Part 1: Rolls – types and materials, Egyptian and Graeco-Roman rolls; scrolls from other cultures. Model: Graeco-Roman papyrus roll.

Part 2: Tablets – types and materials, the role of tablets as proto-codices. Model: the Cyprian Orations of Isocrates, a fourth century, multi-leaf wooden tablet book.

Part 3: Single-quire books – types and materials, third to seventh century; importance of the Nag Hammadi codices. Model: Berlin SBB MS or. oct. 987, a fourth century papyrus book with a parchment quire stay, tacket attachments, a blind-tooled leather cover, and edge ties.

Part 4: Multi-quire books – fifth to tenth century developments in structures, materials, sewing, board composition, board attachment, and varieties of decoration. Model: a cutaway binding based on Coptic (seventh-tenth century) bridled-board structures.

This is an intensive course where you will be able to make additional models on your own time, and/or create your own set of teaching aids based on samplers the instructor provides for your reference. Binders of any skill level will enjoy this course; motivation is the only prerequisite required.


NOVEMBER 13 – 17, 2017   |   RENATE MESMER
Participants will learn various repair techniques for tears and losses, humidification, basic washing and deacidification of paper. Morning lectures will cover history of paper making, basic paper chemistry, material studies as well as damage analysis and condition reports. The goal of this course is to apply as much of the theory in hands-on treatments as possible and give ample time for practice. Students who are interested in the Diploma Program should bring 3 textblocks in need of treatment and sewing, preferably not more than on inch thick and 12 inches tall. If possible, the texblocks should have been printed before 1850. No prior conservation experience is necessary to attend this class. Students should have some basic working knowledge of bookbinding to maximize their learning experience in this class.

Due to the timing of the Thanksgiving holiday this year, our usual second week offering is not possible. Instead, you may consider one or both of the “extension” options below. Need to finish up a project? Stay through Saturday. Need a break to process information before additional learning? Come for the Monday/Tuesday. Need to make the most of your time and learning experience? Stay for all three days with the Sunday off!

NOVEMBER 20 – 21

Participants can choose to stay beyond the one-week class to gain deeper knowledge on humidification, basic washing techniques, or their own choice of focus related to paper conservation. This 1-2 or 3 day extension of the Basics in Paper Conservation will give participants a chance to deepen, review or go beyond the one week workshop.

It’s a luxury, and in meaningful ways a challenge as well, to depart from one’s day-to-day reality and dive into new learning experiences. Renate not only knows paper conservation and how to teach it, but she makes it fun!