Sequence your work into a cohesive narrative, then bind and create your own book

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A handmade photographic book is far more than a compilation of images; it becomes a deeply personal, interactive, fine art object. A tight edit and compelling sequencing is the driving force of any good photo book, but it’s a hard process, fraught with tough decisions. In the first half of this course you will have the opportunity to power through the editing and sequencing process by dedicating a week to nothing else. Get constructive criticism from your classmates and instructor during group critiques, study photo books for inspiration, and accumulate the building blocks for your own monograph.

“In Search of the Black Jewel” – Eliot Dudik

In the 2nd week you will take your series and present it in a meaningful, cohesive way. Students will learn how to develop a print layout of their images so that their final sequence appears in the correct order within signatures of their book.

With pages printed, students will move on to binding their text block and learning how to cover and case their book. Throughout Week 2, there will be technical demos and brief lectures intermixed with studio-work time, with an emphasis on how to make material and design selections that will create a cohesive narrative throughout each student’s book. 

The handmade books from this course are perfect as a starting point for a published edition or as a portfolio piece at reviews. The printing and binding skills you’ll learn can be applied to small handmade editions and future book projects. 

By the course’s end, students will have learned to make a print layout of their final sequence and bind an artist book.


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Instructor: Eliot Dudik

Eliot Dudik is a photographic artist, educator, and bookmaker exploring the connection between culture, place, and history. His books include the monograph ROAD ENDS IN WATER and the fine art book COUNTRY MADE OF DIRT. He currently teaches at the College of William & Mary, where he founded the photography program.