Sunday 4 February 2024

Making Memory Books by Hand

A project for making a concertina book with pockets.

9.30am - 1pm Wednesday 6th March, at No.4 West Mersea, Colchester CO5 8HT

Learn how to construct a unique, concertina fold (with pockets) handmade book that can be used as a ‘memory book’. This would make an ideal personalised Mother’s Day gift and is perfect as a commemorative gift. 

Concertina books are a favourite of mine. They are perfect to stand up and be displayed on a shelf or a table as well as be held in the hand. This workshop is for a hand-made concertina book with pockets.

My particular interest is in simple book forms, concertina (also known as Leporello & accordion fold) Japanese stab binding and pamphlets. For the majority of my books, I use the simplest of tools; a rule, a bone folder, cutting knife, glue, needles & thread, scrap paper and a hole punch. As a printmaker I use ink (of course) and also paint and pens, with stencils and collage for image creating and mark-making.

When any of us make a handmade book, we are following an ancient tradition. All the earliest books showed the mark of the hand at every stage, whether preparing materials (which may be as diverse as leaves and animal skins, or bark and silks) writing with reeds or brushes, letterpress, using handmade inks and making colour from plants and minerals. 

However, this was all very time consuming and we had to wait for the printing press and moveable type to come along before the democratisation of the book, Even so, the hand-made element reminded for many centuries after that.

Examples of concertina, pocket fold books collated to show students in my workshop, Making Memory Books by Hand, at No.4 West Mersea on 6th March (only four and a bit weeks away!) Spaces have booked up quickly, only two places left.

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