Margo Klass – The Unfolding Box Book

InstructorMargo Klass
Skill LevelIntermediate
Length of Workshop2 days
Date (s)Saturday-Sunday, June 28-29, 2024
Cost$x per day x 2 days + $35 Material Fee
Total Price of Workshoptbd

Workshop Description:

This 3-dimensional book structure requires the artist to imagine how the book will be experienced in the hands of its viewer – from unlatching the cover, to opening the box by unfolding the hinged panels outward in all directions, and discovering at its center the object in a recessed compartment. Each step requires the viewer’s active participation. Although this structure invites the book to be purely visual, text can be added to any of its components. 

In this workshop we will create an Unfolding Box Book, as pictured. We’ll learn how to measure and cut all its parts with precision, use book cloth to cover and hinge together the 4 sets of triple-folded panels around the central recessed compartment, and imbed a magnetic closure in its cover. Participants will personalize their books by providing an object to be featured in the central chamber and papers to mount on the surrounding panels.

Materials/equipment to be provided by students:

Required tools:

Cutting mat (minimum size 18 x 24”)

Set of 9” steel measuring rules Graduated metal edges (available here: )

Rulers – see-through plastic type used by quilters: ideal set would include two 2 x 18”, (EZ Quilting brand); 3.5 x 12.5” (Omnigrip); 5.5 x 16” (Omnigrip); or a similar variety 

Teflon bone folder

Scoring tool

X-Acto knife (with extra blades)

Heavy duty knife such as a Sheffield knife (with extra blades)


fine line pencil


Glue brushes (stiff bristle, 3/4 and 1” round or flat)

PVA glue (at least 3/4 c.)

Glass jars for water and glue in 2 strengths (full strength and mixed with methyl cellulose)

Glue sheets 

Small triangle or square (2-4”), plastic or metal

Optional: 2-3 bar clamps (Irwin or Jorgensen are common brand names; length 6-8”)

Small weights

Corner tool

  • Personal light 

Required materials:

  • -Object(s) for central chamber: ideally your object fits nicely into a 1.5” square (or smaller) opening. It could be a bit wider than it is high. Thickness: at most 1/2”.
  • -Decorative papers to mount on the surrounding panels: This could be a mix or colors, patterns, and/or text. The small panels on either side of the center are 1.5 H x 2 W”; the larger panels at the top and bottom are 1.25 x 4.25” (these measurements are for the panels themselves; mounting papers will be a bit smaller depending on your margins).
  • Long (~25”) metal edge
  • Wood chisels
  • Parallel jaw clamps (2, medium size)
  • Piercing cradle
  • Personal papers for text block and/or guards
  • Personal objects or materials for clasp
  • Apron
  • Personal work light.

See Materials Glossary for detailed descriptions.

Materials/equipment to be provided by instructor:

($45 Material fee included in the price above) 
  • Various boards (some of them pre-cut) to construct the central box, unfolding side panels, covers, and spines of the structure
  • Dubletta Book cloth – a variety of colors 
  • Disk magnets for closures
  • Methyl cellulose (to adjust PVA)
  • Clamping boards
  • Spacers and spacing boards
  • Edge-covering papers (around central chamber)
  • Detailed diagrams for measuring, cutting, assembling, etc.
  • Methyl cellulose
  • Epoxy
  • Tools to share: clamps, rulers; circle template, sanding blocks, etc.

Participant should have previously completed making:

  • Hard-sided box and lid

Instructor Biography:

Margo Klass is a mixed media artist whose work includes sculptural box constructions and artist books. She exhibits her work widely in solo and group shows in Alaska and beyond and is represented in the collections of Alaskan museums, national parks, and in private collections. She is a recipient of grants from the Rasmuson Foundation and Alaska State Council on the Arts and received the 2015 Governor’s Individual Artist Award. She maintains studios and offers bookmaking workshops in Alaska and Maine.