The Historic Japanese Book: From Waste Pulp to Woodblocks





Instructor: Anne Covell
Skill Level: All Levels
Materials Fee: $50.00
Length of workshop: 3 days



Workshop description: 

The Japanese stab binding has been used for centuries as a simple and elegant structure for bookmaking, but little is known today about how the covers for these familiar bindings were made. Likely created from layers of poor-quality recycled paper covered with an outermost layer of thin, high-quality dyed paper that was either burnished or embossed for decoration, these soft and flexible bindings have withstood the test of time. However, due in part to its designation as a lowly craft, little of the process used to create these covers survives in the historic record. Through exploration, we will try to uncover how these covers were made. In this workshop, students will explore processes of papermaking, cover decoration, and binding to create historic stab bindings as they were likely produced during the Edo Period (1603-1868) in Japan. Beginning from raw and recycled fibers, we will learn the fundamentals of traditional Nagashizuki papermaking as well as Tamezuki, papermaking to create soft and supple papers. Once they are dry, we will use the papers we have made to create unique laminated covers for use in our bindings. We will explore historic methods of cover decoration including burnishing, embossing, and resist dyeing. In addition to one or more completed stab bindings, students can expect to create a collection of sample cover papers that will be bound into a sample book that they can take home for further exploration.


Date: Wednesday Thursday, and Friday June 21, 22, 23, 2017

Materials/equipment to be supplied by student:
bone folder
small glue brush/paste brush
cutting tool such as scalpel, X-acto knife, or Olfa snap-blade knife
blunt-tipped needle
small self-healing cutting mat



Materials/equipment to be provided by instructor
4-6 small vats
2 Japanese sugeta
beating mallets
2 deckle boxes or small moulds
felts for top and bottom of posts
plexiglass sheets or boards for drying covers
hammers or mallets (shared use, 1 per every 3-4 students)
bookcloth for corner guards (1/4 yard)
hake brushes
binders clips
Thai kozo (2-4 lbs. depending on size of class)
formation aid
wheat paste
book board .070, 2 sheets
headband silk thread, 8-10 spools
persimmon tannin 32ml
natural indigo dye kit
clove 8 oz.
8-12 packs sumi paper
carved woodblocks
comb shaped brushes
metal/textile mesh
handouts on Japanese stab binding
historic examples of Japanese stab bound books and recycled paper covers

The Historic Japanese Book: From Waste Pulp to Woodblocks Materials $50.00
Location Focus on Book Arts
1928 21st Avenue
Forest Grove OR 97116