Wells Book Arts Center summer institute

The Wells Book Arts Center in Aurora, New York has some fantastic courses coming up as part of their summer institute. The Center was established in 1993 and is dedicated to promoting the traditions and history of the book via courses in letterpress, bookbinding, calligraphy, and other book arts topics. The summer institute started in 2005 and features week-long intensive courses taught by well-known book arts professionals.

All of the courses look fantastic and if I had the means (and time) to go, I’d have a difficult time choosing between the offerings. Here are a couple that caught my eye:

Hidden and Revealed: An Exploration of Interactive Book Structures with Macy Chadwick:

Explore the interactive qualities of a book — what is hidden and what is revealed with each turn of the page. In this workshop we will create a variety of bindings that incorporate multiple transparent layers, pockets, windows and more. Zoom in on particular parts of images, bury information in layers of transparencies, and discover unexpected combinations as you look through, within and under the pages of your books. Demonstrations will include image generation techniques such as pochoir (stencil) and Xerox transfer, as well as concept development exercises to further broaden your individual book ideas. Participants will create multiple folios with windows, a storage book binding, a concertina with envelopes and transparent pages, and an accordion with pockets.

 I love the idea of extending the reach of an artists’ book by including interactive elements.

Constructing the Classic Clamshell with Ilana Houseknecht:

Used for everything from conservation to presentation, the clamshell box is the ultimate protective enclosure that will safely store your valuable prints or books while adding a touch of elegance. In this class, we’ll learn to construct the standard 2-tray case, and look at several variations. We’ll start by covering a tray model in cloth with all turn-in cuts, to be kept for reference, then we’ll construct a complete box step by step from precut pieces. Once we’ve practiced the basic construction methods, we’ll learn to measure content for a secure fit. Working on a board shear, we’ll go over a system for cutting all the pieces and how to make a set of jigs for simplified cutting helpful in editions and boxes made from identical materials. Participants will then have the opportunity to design and build their own custom box.

Boxmaking is something I never do enough and I think that this course would offer a solid foundation for future work.

Registration for the summer institute is open now. The three, week-long sessions start on July 12th and run through August 1st.

2 Responses to “Wells Book Arts Center summer institute”

By Marianna - 29 December 2014 Reply

I’d love to take the clamshell box class, I’ve made them, but have to re learn every time, and would love to learn how it is really done. I also don’t do boxmaking enough.

By Elissa - 30 December 2014 Reply

Marianna –

What is it about boxes?

I should just grab small objects from around my house and start making boxes for all of them. That’ll get me going.


So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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