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A lifelong love of books, crafts and sewing came together for Helen Perry when she started attending bookbinding classes in Cambridge. Helen has always enjoyed making things and bookbinding soon became a new passion. She particularly enjoys turning humble objects such as paper, card and glue into beautiful and practical books, although some do seem too good to use. A phrase often heard in classes!


Helen has worked in adult education since 2006, a positive sideways move from her former career in social work, which she found fitted in well with family life. She enjoys sharing her skills, knowledge and teaching. Helen has worked for many years with Edel Handmadebooks and has also attended courses with other internationally acclaimed bookbinders.


Attending a class will enable you to learn to make and produce your own high-quality books. Helen will be showing you how to combine traditional techniques with modern book designs, using beautiful papers and materials. Forthcoming classes will include books where you see the stitching as part of the book design, as these are a personal favourite of hers. At the end of each class Helen particularly enjoys seeing everyone’s individual style and personality come out in their finished books.


All materials, equipment and tools are provided in each class, giving you an opportunity to test out a new activity without the need to invest in any materials. Classes are designed so that you leave equipped with the skills and knowledge to be able to recreate the books at home, thus enabling you to make your own books …. you will never again be short of a notebook, journal or gift.


Beginning Bookbinding | 7th Sept - 6th Oct | 18:00 - 21:00 |£260

You will learn new techniques in each 3-hour session to complete four beautiful book structures along with a lined slipcase to hold your treasured prototype collection. All of the skills can be 'mixed and matched' so that you have a myriad of design possibilities.  

Week 1: Introduction and Quarter Bound Single Section 
Week 2: Concertina Binding 
Week 3:  Hard Bound Journal
Week 4:  Japanese Stab stitch
Week 5: Lined Slipcase 


Cyanotypes and Book Binding | 15th September | 10:00 - 16:30 | £110

We will use the beautiful orchard surrounding Stapleford Granary for some of our source materials, and spend the morning creating our cyanotypes. Cyanotypes are negative prints of an object, in this instance flowers/plants, in the recognisable ‘blueprint’ colour. Cyanotypes are produced from a camera-less photographic printing process developed in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, St. John’s College/Cambridge graduate. Your favourite cyanotype from the morning will then be used as the covering material for your hardbound book made after lunch. This is a wonderful opportunity to create a unique one-off personal design for your book/s.


Book and Page Repairs| 22nd Sept | 10:00 - 16:30 | £95

Doug Mitchell, a highly experienced book conservator, will lead the day, under his guidance and tuition you will learn the basics of book repairs using a variety of cloths, papers, tissues and adhesives. Through a mix of demonstration and practice you will learn how to: Deconstruct a book in a safe and systematic fashion, repair both individual pages and sections, prepare your book should it require resewing, replace the end papers, undertake any repairs to the cover in order to allow new material to be added.

This day is suitable for all levels of expertise including students new to bookbinding all materials and equipment will be provided, but you will  need to bring with you one or two hard cover cloth bound books, no bigger than A5 and with a stable book block,  (as time is limited), that you are happy to replace the end papers on. 


Tight Back binding weekend | 23rd and 24th October | 10:00 - 16:30 | £180

A Tight Back binding is a historical binding where the book has a leather spine that is adhered directly to the spine, meaning that the covering material flexes as the spine is opened and closed. During this 2 day weekend workshop you will be guided by Doug Mitchell and Helen to stitch your book block onto cords, form the covers, pare the leather for the spines, before rounding the spine and completing your book. All materials and tools will be provided  along with step by step demonstration and practice.

This course is not suitable for complete beginners.


Stacking Boxes | 13th October | 10:00 - 16:30 | £95

Boxes! How we love boxes! During this class we will explore a variety of box options including stacking, dividing and alternative lids whilst also learning (through demonstration and practice) the all-important skills of cutting and covering. Although we will work to the same template there will be the opportunity to personalise with covering and lining materials. A beautiful selection of Payhembury Marbled papers will be available to choose from as well and co-ordinating buckram which is a sturdy book and box covering material. 

Participants will leave with one completed box along with materials, instructions and skills to extend the project into a ‘stack’.


To book or for more information contact - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.