Handmade Books Workshop

29 July 2016

Region: London

There are so many wonderful events taking place in RPS London Region!

On Saturday we had our first workshop with Malcolm Raggett. Malcolm is a photographer and photobook artist; you can check him out here.  When I met him to organise the workshop several months ago I was really impressed by both the books he showed me and his enthusiasm and love of the handmade book. This was all evident on Saturday’s workshop. We all brought along the pages and Malcolm showed us how to make them into a glued, lay-flat book with a hardback cover with inlaid image.

So, we all brought in photos that we learnt to bind into a block, attached endpapers to both sides and then made the hard cover. Then a smaller image is inlaid in the front cover, I loved that bit, so stylish. Finally, the endpapers are glued onto the cover which makes the whole thing a single book.

The worst part was that the glue needs to dry properly over 24 hours so we weren’t able to look through everyone else’s book. There was another not so good part actually. 7 hours wasn’t really long enough, 8 would have been better. Finishing was a rush, we will have to give longer next time. The best part is that we learnt the techniques to continue making more books, invaluable. We can then change the shape, endpapers and cover material, personalise the books more. The workshop books were A4 as all of us making the same size meant the same measurements (far less number juggling than I expected) so that we could run the workshop over just one day.

Malcolm was a wonderful tutor, he was so patient and thorough and was always happy to check details of what we were doing. He made an amazing information pack for each of us to take home and we could buy the bookmaking presses we used at the end of the day if we wanted.

I’d really like to add that RPS London events are all organised by volunteers and the RPS is a charity. Only the tutors and venues get paid.