2023WKSP-11 Rough & Tumble Flexible Notebook - Online

  • 03 Jun 2023
  • 1:00 PM
  • 04 Jun 2023
  • 4:00 PM
  • Online using Zoom
  • 0


Registration is closed

Online Workshop: Rough & Tumble Flexible Notebook with Karen Hanmer

More traditionally called a “limp paper case,” this binding has its origins in the limp parchment cases of antiquity. This update is flexible enough to read on the beach, yet sturdy enough to throw in a backpack. The rounded, breakaway spine feels great in the hand, keep its shape with repeated use, and ensures the book will open fully. The folded “yapp” fore edge protects the pages at the open edge of the book.

Sewing on tapes keeps the text block square and organized while it is being constructed, and later fortifies the attachment of the text block to the case. The hooked endsheets allow complete opening at the title page.

This book can be made in a sparsely-equipped home studio.

Karen Hanmer’s artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays intertwining history, culture, politics, science, and technology. She utilizes both traditional and contemporary book structures, and the work is often playful in content or format. Hanmer’s work is included in collections ranging from The British Library and the Library of Congress to Stanford University and Graceland. She has served on the editorial board of The Bonefolder, as Exhibitions Chair for the Guild of Book Workers, twice as a presenter at the Guild’s annual Standards of Excellence conference, as juror for CBBAG’s 2013 The Art of the Book travelling exhibit, and as speaker for the 2009 AGM. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in traditional binding skills. www.karenhanmer.com


Location: ONLINE using Zoom

Date: Sat-Sun, June 3-4, 2023

Hours: 1 pm – 4 pm  Eastern time zone (Toronto/NY Time)

Course fee: $145 members / $205 non-members (incl. one-yr CBBAG membership)

Prerequisite: This is a fast-paced, intermediate-level workshop. Students should be making books regularly and independently, outside a workshop setting.

Registration closes: Monday, May 29, 2023, 11:59 PM

This is a live workshop, but it will be recorded and available for the registrants to view until Sept 5, 2023.



  • Weight, a covered brick or equivalent
  • Pair of clean press boards, two inches wider and taller than the text block is ideal
  • Backing hammer or, if this is unavailable, your household hammer with the head closest to 1.5” in diameter, preferably slightly .
  • Nipping press if you have one, otherwise as much weight as you can stack on top of your press boards (weights, bricks, heavy books), 20-25 lbs (5 bricks) is not too much
  • A pair of gluing up boards, scrap book board the height of the text block and 2-3" wide, one of the long edges of both covered in clear packing tape


  • Finishing press (An economical collapsible travel model is available here: www.chestercreekpress.com/tools/tools.html.)
  • A 9 to 12" length of dowel. Diameter roughly equal to the thickness of the text block, 5/8".



  • Cutting mat, large preferred
  • Scalpel, Olfa or X-Acto knife, and extra blades
  • Scissors
  • 12" ruler that can be cut against
  • 18" straightedge or ruler that can be cut against
  • Small glue brush
  • Large glue brush
  • Awl with small diameter
  • Beeswax for sewing


  • Square with base (Talas #TTB041001) or some device to keep text block square
  • Dividers (Talas #TTB033004)  or similar
  • Microspatula (Talas #TTB002001) or similar
  • Punching cradle (Instructions to make one are here: www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder/vol1no1contents.htm.)
  • A small piece of non-skid shelf lining, 4 x 6" is adequate


Unless noted, all materials are grain direction parallel to the spine. Dimensions below are (height) x (width).

Please fold the text block before the first session.

Text Block:

  • 70# text, 12 sections, 4 folios each, 48 sheets @ unfolded 7 x 9” (folded size 7 x 4.5”)
  • Card stock for punching template, 1 @ 7 x 2"


  • Decorative or plain text-weight paper, 2 @ 8 x 10"


  • Tyvek strips for sewing supports, 3 @ 3/8 x 4" available in sheets from art supply stores or as envelopes or free FedEx or USPS supplies that can be cut into strips
  • 25/3 linen thread
  • #18 bookbinding needle

Spine Linings:

  • Cloth spine lining, 1 @ 6 3/4 x 3" Cambric/Jaconnet from Talas
  • Paper for spine lining, handmade or something that does not cockle when moistened like Arches text, 1 @ 6.5 x 2.75"


  • 20 pt cardstock (sometimes called “Bristol” or “folder stock”), 2 @ 8 x 4.5" either grain direction (This will not be part of the book).


  • Heavy-weight cover/case paper, 1 @ 10 x 14" Anything you like that will not crack when folded against the grain. Cave paper, Khadi 210 gsm, St. Armand 320 gsm, the heavier weight Elephant Hide (190 gsm).
  • Card for spine stiffener, 10 pt card or Stonehenge, 1 @ 8 x 2"
  • Card for case stiffener, 10 or 20 pt card or Stonehenge, 2 @ 8 x 5"

Additional Supplies

  • PVA
  • Low tack masking tape
  • "Paper rulers," strips of paper letter-size long and about 1/2" wide to use for quick measuring when ruler is awkward or unnecessary
  • A small amount of wheat or rice paste (mixed prior to the first class session) or a small tube of rice paste (Search for "Yasutomo Nori Paste.")

Online Workshop Process:

Materials should be prepared in advance of the workshop to the specifications which will allow participants to take the best advantage of the live format. Please review the technical requirements below prior to registration to be sure you can participate. Questions should be directed to workshop@cbbag.ca

Technical requirements for participation:

·       Access to the internet and to the Zoom application

·       Screen large enough to follow instructor’s video feed (cell phone is not ideal)

·       Microphone or Headset / Webcam

·       How to join a zoom meeting information https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193

Participant-requested cancellations will be accepted up to 3 days prior to the published cut-off date for registration and will be subject to a 10% cancellation fee (a minimum of $5). After that, the full fee will be forfeited. In the event of the workshop being cancelled by CBBAG, the workshop fee will be fully refunded. Membership fees included in the non-member fee above are not refundable.

All imagery on this website is copyright and protected by international law. Content cannot be copied, published, distributed, downloaded, or otherwise stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or converted, in any form or by any means, electronic, or otherwise without prior written permission from the copyright owner. Please contact CBBAG's web administrator for more information on contacting the copyright owner.

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG)

Charitable Business Number 89179 5445 RR0001

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software