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Join the Fold workshop

Last week I taught a fun class at Studio Place Arts on origami books titled Join the Fold. Here’s the description:

We’ll be playing in the intersection between origami and bookmaking, creating folded books that require no adhesive. Many of the forms can be created from a single sheet of paper. One of the pieces we’ll be making can be used as either a book cover or as a signature in a sewn book, and other pieces include hidden pockets. Structures include the Blizzard Book, Crown Binding, and the Turkish Map Fold.

I wrote that description long before I began my planning and since this was a new class for me, I had to develop it from scratch. I start with making a bunch of models so I can determine the sizes of materials and the resulting book sizes. This involves a lot of trial and error – it isn’t long before my worktable looks like this…

Messy studio worktable

…and I end up with lots of book fails like this one (there was a lot of recycling that day):

Badly folded Blizzard Book

Folding fail.

Thankfully, I was able to sort everything out (that class wasn’t going to teach itself). One of my favorite things about teaching is that I get to make kits for everyone – they include precut materials and a resource booklet with recommended books, lists of suppliers, and links to online tutorials. I like to set up everyone’s workstations like they’re sitting down to a meal of bookbinding.

Bookbinding workshop materials and tools

Bon appétit!

Workshop table setup at Studio Place Arts

Then that moment comes when people start showing up and you realize, “Oh, I guess this is actually happening!” I’m always so nervous before my classes start – or more specifically it’s a mix of nervousness, anticipation, and excitement. And since this was a new class, I was a special kind of wingnut.

Bookbinding workshop at Studio Place Arts

Everyone dove right in and amazing folds happened right before my eyes. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but seriously – I have the best students.

Handmade origami books

Handmade origami books

Blizzard Book

Handmade origami books

I plan to develop a sequel to this workshop – there’s still so many folded books to explore (I’m looking at you, Fishbone binding). Stay tuned for details on when and where the class will be held!

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

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