Finishing Tools Workshop with Jeff Altepeter

The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is excited to announce the following workshop with Jeffrey Altepeter.

Making Simple Finishing Tools with Jeffrey Altepeter
June 25 – 26

Workshop Description:

Finishing tools are readily available from P&S Engraving, tool auctions, E-bay and other sources. For traditional design nothing really beats a collection of decorative finishing tools. But making your own tools can offer more immediate control in the design process, the ability to modify as you work, and the ability to do more unique work. Making tools is also gratifying and fun.

This workshop will offer an introduction to the materials, tools and techniques of making your own brass finishing tools for bookbinding. A combination of demonstration, discussion and hands-on practice will prepare students for continued experimentation and more advanced future projects. During the workshop students should be able to complete 3 or more tools—a simple line pallet (an indispensable tool for any collection), a scribe-like tool similar to the “Ascona” tool used for blind tooling curvilinear designs, and at least one decorative tool of either closed or open design (a dot and a circle being very basic examples of closed and open designs).

A material fee of $25 will cover supplied material to make three tools, including handles. Additional tool blanks will be available for sale but you will also get plenty of information about resources for your future projects.

Third Year Studio
369 Congress Street, Floor 6
Boston, MA 02210

June 25 – 26, 2016 (Saturday – Sunday)
9:00am – 4:00pm

$150 – Members
$200 – Non-members

Material Fee: $25 (paid directly to Jeffrey Altepeter at beginning of workshop)

For more information and to register for the class, click the following link:

Pierced Vellum Workshop in New York

Pierced Vellum Workshop
with James Reid Cunningham

This workshop hosted by GBWNY combines a traditional structure with an opportunity for creative play.

DATES: April 15 – 17, 2016
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm

WHERE: New York University, Bobst Library
Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Laboratory
70 Washington Square South – New York, NY 10012

FEE: $425 members / $475 non-members
(includes materials)


This three day class is limited to 8 students.

Vellum stiffboard bindings were common from the 16th to the 19th centuries throughout Europe. This course will explore a hybrid modern structure utilizing historical elements found in early versions of the vellum stiffboard binding, but with flexible joints that create less stress. This binding is sturdy and elegant, takes gold tooling well and is suitable for conservation re-bindings as well as for presentation and design bindings. Using this structure, students will create modern versions of the 17th century pierced vellum binding, with the design created by utilizing a punctured vellum cover revealing decoration on the boards beneath. This course will cover: lap link sewing on vellum tapes; back bead endbands; fabricating and decorating the boards; constructing a stiffboard case; creating a pierced vellum design; and covering in vellum.

Historical examples of pierced vellum bindings can be seen at:

And some of the instructor’s at:

James Reid-Cunningham studied bookbinding with Mark Esser at the North Bennet Street School and received the distinguished alumni award from NBSS in 2006. He spent thirty years as a conservator at Harvard University and the Boston Athenaeum, and served as the President of the Guild of Book Workers from 2006 to 2010. From 2009 to 2013, he was the adjunct lecturer on book conservation in the graduate art conservation department at Buffalo State College. He is a conservator in private practice in Cambridge, MA. His website is

Book Arts Bazaar April 10th

The annual Book Arts Bazaar at the University of Southern Maine will be held this Sunday, April 10, 2016, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Several NEGBW members will have booths at the show. The USM Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Book Arts Bazaar is a festival with book artists, papermakers, bookbinders, printmakers, educators, writers, and all things related to the book.

The Bazaar is free and open to the public.

Event Date and Time:
Sunday, April 10, 2016, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Wishcamper Center, USM Portland campus, 34 Bedford St.