Wells Book Arts Summer Institute 2016

Wells College Book Arts logo

The Wells Book Arts Center recently announced their 2016 Summer Institute

Here’s their fantastic lineup:

Week 1 – July 17-23:

Week 2 – July 24-30:

I’ve decided to forgo PBI this year, so going to Wells would be a nice alternative. Not only are the courses drool-worthy and the instructors top-notch, but I also wouldn’t have to fly to get there (only 6ish hours of driving). And if I go to Wells, I’d be able to finally cross something off my Book Arts Bucket List.

I’m very tempted to take Karen’s leather course. Not only because I desperately need to work on my leather skills, but also because Karen is a really fun instructor. Here’s the full description:

The basic structure of a fine leather binding has changed little over the past 300 years. The text block is sewn onto supports, the spine carefully shaped, and the boards laced on. The book is covered in leather that has been precision-pared for protection, flexibility, and a sumptuous presentation. Students will build a solid foundation in fundamental binding and leather-working skills including sewing, rounding, backing, paring, and covering and will also develop the connoisseurship required to evaluate their own work for continued independent study. The course is also a valuable refresher for more advanced students who would like feedback on their technique. Students will complete one leather binding with sewn endbands, and experiment with tooling and multiple onlay techniques. Additional luxury features will be discussed, along with the evolution of the craft from Medieval to contemporary methods.

I could go the letterpress route instead – it would be great for me to increase my comfort level enough to actually use my Kelsey. Besides, who can resist something called Daredevil Letterpress?

Students will focus on typesetting and printing techniques that move beyond straight lines and right angles to set type that curves, angles and bounces. We’ll begin by exploring historic methods and tools for handset typographic composition including circular and angle quads. Because these tools have become increasingly difficult to find, we’ll adapt materials from art supply and hardware stores for manipulating type and creating dynamic lock ups on both platen and cylinder presses. We will also experiment with Daredevil Furniture, sets of lasercut furniture designed for type composition. While our focus is daredevil typesetting, we’ll cover innovative approaches to ink, paper, and production too. Students will create a collaborative book and a set of editioned prints to exchange. This workshop is appropriate for those with some letterpress printing experience who want to expand their approach to typesetting and printing.

So I’ve got some thinking to do.

Registration is open now – maybe I’ll see you in New York!

Many thanks to the Wells Book Arts Summer Institute for granting permission for use of their lovely logo!

5 Responses to “Wells Book Arts Summer Institute 2016”

By Karen Hanmer - 29 February 2016 Reply

My vote’s for the binding. Hope to see you there whatever you choose.

By Elissa - 2 March 2016 Reply

Karen –

I hope to make it – I’m not sure if I can, based on how my summer’s looking. 🙁

I just won a paring knife in an auction, so I’m hopeful!


By Karen Hanmer - 2 March 2016 Reply

Come to Chicago for a Springback Binding workshop in Sept. Give that new paring knife a gentle workout. Stay an extra day or two and we can do whatever you want.

What should I propose to FOBA for 2017? Suggestions here, but it can’t be anything that takes real binding equipment.

By Karen Hanmer - 2 March 2016 Reply

p.s. congrats on the knife

By Elissa - 16 March 2016 Reply

Karen –

It seems more likely that I will attend…just have to work out some details first.

The knife is awesome, but definitely needs sharpening. [runs off to review notes from Jim Croft]


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

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This