Bookbinding Bootcamp at Smokey Road Press

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had taken a bookbinding class. It was with Margot Ecke at Smokey Road Press in Athens, Georgia. I finally got around to taking photos of the projects we worked on and wanted to share them with you. If you are interested in bookbinding, I'll have information about the class at the end of the post. (Picture heavy post)

This is the set we made. We learned to make five different bindings as well as the box! As is usually the case with my photos, some of the colors are off (the red is a deeper shade), but it's pretty close. We went on a little field trip to buy our papers, so everyone's set looks different. 
The black book on the far right of the set was bound with a Butterfly Stitch and the cover is plain black, so I didn't take a picture of it. The next book (the purple one--it is NOT hot pink!) was bound with a Coptic Stitch, and it has two mica windows in the front cover.
I love how the stitches come out of the edge of the covers rather than wrapping around it. And, look at how neat those chain stitches are! Even though I had made journals with a Coptic Stitch before, I was never completely pleased with how the stitches looked when I was finished. Now, I know the secret! ;)
Here's a look at the spine with the book open. Coptic stitch is one of the easiest stitches, and is my favorite of the bindings we did in class. It's neat, sturdy, and downright purty!!! ;)

Here is a close up pic of the mica windows that are on the cover of the Coptic Stitch book. I stamped the owl, from the Paper Sweeties Tree of Life Add On: Spring stamp set, onto a piece of dictionary text paper, colored it with Copics, cut it with the matching die, then coated it with UTEE and heat embossed it. The other window is the same text paper and it has microbeads and flaky glitter in it. The windows are covered in tiny pieces of mica. This could be done with acetate, but mica is far superior in every way.
The green book is bound with a Historic Longstitch. The button was a plain wooden button and I used Inka Gold to color it.
The brown book is a Historic Longstitch Variation. I have wanted to learn to do decorative stitching on spines for awhile, and it turns out that it's not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. It just takes concentration.
The red book is one of my favorites. The paper has gold leaves embossed all over it, and I was able to find an area where I could have just one leaf right in the middle of the cover. It is bound with a Longstitch. Again, not as hard as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, though--none of these books were what I would call easy, but they are totally doable, even if you've never bound a book in your life!

My week at Margot's Bookbinding Bootcamp was AMAZING! OMGosh, if you have ever wanted to learn to bind books, this is the class for you! Smokey Road Press is a letterpress, binding, and design studio (there are letterpress classes, too!), so everything you need is right there at your fingertips, and you don't need any bookbinding experience at all. Take a minute to read Margot's resume, and you'll see that she is quite accomplished in her field, and teaches all over the country, but what it doesn't tell you, is that she is also a fabulous, patient teacher and one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. I am lucky that I live so close to Athens that I could commute, but it would totally be worth a week's vacation to stay in Athens for this class. One of my classmates actually flew in from Texas for the class, and this is her second time to take it!

Now, doesn't everyone look happy? This is Heidi, Marc, and Margot. Margot is the professional, but she turned us all into pretty darn good bookbinders before the week was over. I never think about taking pictures until the last minute and Ava, the fourth student, had already left by the time I thought about it. Sorry, Ava! ;(

Well, thanks for hanging out with me to the end! If you can't tell, this was an exciting time for me, and eventually, I'll probably take the class again. Not because I didn't learn anything, but because it was so much fun! Who knows, maybe I'll even see you there!

In the meantime, Margot has another Bookbinding Bootcamp in June, if you are interested.

Thanks for hanging out with me till the end. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about what the bootcamp was like.

Thanks for stopping by, and have an AWESOME week!

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Conniecrafter said...

I always thought this looked so interesting to do but I watched a couple video's on it and never new if I would have the patience to finish one, I think taking a class would be better than trying to tackle it on my own, you did beautiful work here!

Leslie Miller said...

You do the most amazing things with your book binding, Cheryl! This is no ordinary craft. It takes skill and patience, and you end up with something very substantial. Beautiful work! Bravo!

Jill Norwood said...

Cheryl what a wonderful experience! I love the books you created! They are so beautiful!!!!! So happy for you!