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2015.08.28 - Open-Set

This summer brings us a new bookbinding contest. The American Academy of Bookbinding (AAB) announced this July a new triennial fine binding competition OPEN • SET.

Name of the competition itself suggests some specifics. It is split in two parts:

  • Open book competition;
  • Set book competition.

Both of them have the similar lists of awards. Both of them will give you a chance to participate in a travelling exhibition throughout the 2017.

I have been at the AAB in Telluride, Colorado, when the competition was announced, and I wanted to fill out the registration form right away =)

For the set part, you are supposed to make a fine binding for David Esslemont’s Inside the Book. I have seen it in sheets (retail price $100) and that’s a wonderful piece for any bookbinder’s collection with many different insets (you will have to spend some time figuring them out) and lots of useful instructions.

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2015.08.24 - Bookbinding Workshops and Classes in the USA (2015)

Find below a list of bookbinding courses and workshops in the USA. All courses listed are available to the public, some are day courses, others are multi-day courses and some are full time.

If you know of any more bookbinding courses or related book arts workshops (paper making, marbling, conservation etc) then please leave them in the comments section below. Thank you =)



Book Arts Pro­gram at the Uni­ver­sity of Alabama


Los Angeles


Muir Beach

Coleen Curry’s Bindery


Mills College

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Sewing an Endband (Flickr - Seth Morabito CC BY-SA)

There are several collections of tutorials here on iBookBinding. Some of them proved to be quite useful and became popular in the bookbinding community.

As you can see, all of them are dedicated to bookbinding process in whole. Today we are discussing something different. All tutorials in this collection are dedicated to one small (but very important) part of the book — endbands.

Endbands (headbands and tailbands, if you describe elements at the top and bottom of the book block, respectively), are often overlooked by the ordinary book users. However, they are a very important element and can become a part of your design.

There are some hints that endbands were already used in the first known multi-quire Coptic bindings. However, we cannot be sure that remnants of threads on the oldest codices are as old as the books themselves.

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I’m definitely not a Jack of one trade. Am I a bookbinder? Not really. I love bookbinding. For almost a year, I’ve been teaching bookbinding basics workshops in Moscow. However, it’s been a few years now since I made my living binding books. Programmer? Wrong again. I never became a true programmer. Other jobs I had (and have) include journalist, editor and translator. For almost five years, I was a CEO and one of the owners of a board game publishing and distribution company.

It looks like I have quite a diverse experience – which I hope will help me make iBookBinding even more informative and fun.

What attracts me in bookbinding? Primarily, I love to read about book history. How did medieval bookbinding actually work? When did they start to use not only paste, but also animal glue? What is the difference between the Gothic and Carolingian bindings? How did books evolve from the early Nag-Hammadi-like Coptic codices to the modern pieces of art? Yeah! I love those things!

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