Dive into the timeless craft of hand-sewn bookbinding with Anna Low and elevate your skills as you learn the artistry of creating beautiful handbound books from start to finish.

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From contemporary stitches to ancient techniques, learn the art of hand-sewn bookbinding in this spring workshop. The shoulder season offers the same in-person experience, but with more free time to explore the local area. Classes run from 9-noon and 1:00 to 4:00.

In this spring mini-intensive, we will explore various types of bindings including the ancient Coptic binding, the provocative Buttonhole structure, the decorative variations of the Japanese Stab Binding, and the geometric designs of the Long Stitch.

Coptic - By Anna Low
Coptic Binding – By Anna Low.
Button Hole - By Anna Low
Button Hole – By Anna Low.

We will cover tools, materials, and best practices for construction. There will be downtime to experiment on your own. Come to class with a project in mind and work to develop mock-ups or make a collection of blank journals and sketchbooks with custom covers.  Explore the functionality, decorative nature, and variations of each format.

Japanese Stab binding - By Anna Low
Japanese Stab Binding – By Anna Low.
Rustic Leather - By Anna Low
Rustic Leather – By Anna Low.

The five days will offer morning demonstrations, review of work, and discussions. Afternoons will be more self-directed to experiment with the structures. Then take time to explore the midcoast of Maine for inspiration.

Hiking Sketch books - By Anna Low
Hiking Sketchbooks – By Anna Low.

All images copyright Anna Low.

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Instructor: Anna Low

Anna Low runs Purplebean Bindery and it was born out of necessity. While in college she took a book binding class, became fascinated with the book form and couldn’t stop. Her shelves sag with stacks of hand-bound books so it seemed logical to begin selling them to make room for more and fund her book making habit. There are hundreds of ways to bind a book and she loves experimenting with new styles. Her favorite bindings, include the buttonhole stitch, coptic binding, and accordion books. You’ll rarely find her making the same book twice also; there are too many beautiful papers and fabrics out there to be bound together. Every book she makes, whether it be blank or an artist's book, she thinks of it as a marriage of form and function and loves the intimacy and interaction of the book form too. Leaf through, unfold, or unroll one of her artist books and you’re actively discovering and participating in the art. Anna loves the idea that every blank book made is a collaborative art project between her and whoever ends up filling the pages.