Book Arts Guild of Vermont workshop: Buttonhole Binding
The focus of the meeting was supposed to be about all of the different online resources for book artists – forums, blogs, suppliers, etc. The week before the meeting, I found out that we weren’t going to have any internet access.
Kinda puts a damper on a discussion of online resources.
So in a spectacular state of denial, I volunteered to develop a different program for the evening. After a resounding chorus of “Oh Crap!”, I settled on the buttonhole binding.
I had never done the buttonhole binding before.
Fingers crossed (well, toes crossed – I needed my fingers), I picked up my copy of Keith Smith‘s Non-Adhesive Binding Volume I: Books Without Paste or Glue, found his directions, and got to work.
My first attempt was not too bad. I learned that Lokta paper is not a wise choice for a buttonhole cover – too soft and mushy. Once I understood what materials were needed, I notified the Guild about the upcoming program. I prepped my supplies on Tuesday evening and was good to go for the workshop.
With the short notice, I assumed that I would have a small crowd – there were 16 people!
I made a point of telling folks that I just taught myself the binding three days earlier, so it has to be an easy method to learn. Although I experienced some short-term nervousness, I got over it pretty quickly. I mostly became focused on making sure that people were getting help when needed.
Overall, I think the workshop went pretty well. I received some nice feedback from the participants too, which made me feel good. I think that I’m gradually becoming more comfortable with teaching groups of people. I’ve started mapping out a possible longer class in my mind – one that I might pitch to a local art center – I need to flesh it out a bit more first.
One of the best things about this whirlwind of a class was that I finally learned a new binding that I’ve wanted to try for a few years. Sometimes I get stuck in trying new techniques because I’m so concerned about having them come out perfectly – I don’t allow myself the space to practice and learn. Having a deadline made me more motivated to finally get to it and to stop making excuses.
For those of you who know the buttonhole binding, I have a question:
When I went through my library of bookbinding books, I was only able to find the buttonhole binding directions in Keith Smith’s book. Did he invent/develop this binding?
If not, does anyone know the origin?