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Book Binding and Book Arts - Mixed Level

Course Description

On this exciting, hands-on course, you will be introduced to traditional and experimental bookbinding through a series of projects designed to provide a good working knowledge of materials and techniques. You will develop skills in both the design and production of handmade books enabling you to go onto bindings that are more complex and develop your own work.

Location: Camden

Course Requirements

All levels welcome: the course is for beginners, as well as those with some experience. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, handouts and health and safety information. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations. If you are interested in a specialist technique not listed or described in the course description, please contact the Curriculum manager before enrolling, to find out if it is possible for us to accommodate this.

Course Content

You will explore bookbinding through a series of interesting book structures. You will experiment with paper folding and stitching to create books and bookworks such as the Concertina, Coptic and Long Stitch Bindings and Japanese Stab Bindings; learn how to sew a Multi-sectioned Case binding and to how make a Drop-Back box and a Slipcase. Five-week courses allow for flexible individualised learning so that you can choose your starting point at any time in the year. Each 5-week course addresses a different book structure or technique. We recommend that you consider enrolling for a whole term or year to really get into your subject and fine-tune your skills. If you enrol for one 5-week course, by the end you should be able to do some of the following. If you enrol for more 5-week courses, you should be able to achieve all of the following: - select and use appropriate materials and tools - understand the importance of grain direction - learn different folding and sewing techniques - make a range of traditional and experimental bindings - make a range of boxes and slipcases - use the knowledge gained in class to work on your own projects.

Each term there will be a focus on a specific technique:
TERM 2 2nd course: Japanese Stab bindings + Wrap around folder
TERM 3 1st course: Long Stitch and Buttonhole Stitch Bindings / 2nd course: Coptic Binging & Slipcase

Returners and more advanced students are welcome but you need to be able to work independently if you are working on different techniques.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Plenty of demonstrations and presentations followed by practical learning, with individual tutor support. Lots of inspiration using books, handouts and the internet. You will be working at your own pace and be given verbal and written feedback on your progress. If you have additional learning support needs, you will be signposted to support. At the end of the course the tutor will give you feedback on your progress and advise you on your next step. All resources used within lessons are available on our online learning platform; google classroom. There is no formal homework; however, your tutor may discuss ideas with you individually to help extend your study and for ongoing independent projects and research. Your tutor will also recommend exhibitions and websites for you to visit to enrich your study.


There is no exam or formal assessment for this course. However, you will work with your tutor to identify your aims at the beginning of the session and will receive one to one feedback throughout as well as sharing outcomes at the end of the course. There is no formal qualification attached to this course but you can receive a Certificate of Completion from the college on request.

Next Steps and Progression

Once you have completed the course you may choose to enrol on a further term in this subject, like paper making or paper marbling or another subject in the Creative Arts department. For Art and Design courses, once you have developed a portfolio of work you could consider applying to the Foundation Diploma in Art and design as a Pathway in to Higher Education. Studio courses are for those learners with some subject knowledge or who have been studying the same subject at the college for 3 full years. Advice and Guidance for all further study is available from the Curriculum Manager by request.

Additional Information

For more information, please contact the Learner Services Team via Live Chat or on 020 7255 4700 or email

Additional Learning Support

Teachers are supported to ensure their materials are inclusive to meet all learners needs. Provision of assistive equipment is available and access support can be provided through reasonable adjustments, subject to an assessment by the ALS team and/or the Disability Officer. Digital Learning support is available in the Learning Centre at our Camden site. Careers advice and guidance is also available to all learners.

Additional Costs

WM College is able to provide financial support with course fees and you may be eligible based on prior qualifications, if you are on a low income or on benefits. For more information and to find out if you are eligible, go to the Fees & Finance page on our website or contact the Learner Services team via Live Chat or on 020 7255 4700.
44 Crowndale Road
Tel: 020 7255 4700
7 Leighton Place
Tel: 020 7241 8572