I’d read about bookbinding workshops with Karen Hanmer for several years, but had never been able to arrange to attend a workshop with her in-person because she lives out in the Chicago area. Here is another example of one of the silver-linings of the pandemic – online bookbinding classes from Hanmer.
I took her online class last fall called Bookbinding Fundamentals (to brush up on my skills) and then took her Springback Binding workshop a few months ago. I am signed up for her Leather Workshop in August. These classes are intense – at least for me. There were much more experienced binders taking this class at the same time. It was a little intimidating, but I kept up. I tried to work along with her during the live classes, but I also replayed portions of the class when we had homework and I needed to watch her demonstrations one or two more times.
The Springback Binding is from the 19th Century, used for guest books or accounting books. I thought it would be a good binding to learn because it has practical applications. I like the way the binding opens all the way up and then pops back into place. I may make a guest book for the house in this style, but I’m also thinking about future book projects and how this specific binding might be more appropriate than my default, tight-backed binding.
Here are some photos from the workshop. Besides learning a new structure for binding, the workshop was a good chance to practice rounding and backing, sewing, and leather paring skills.