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)

RSVP: newyork@guildofbookworkers.org

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 http://www.reid-cunningham.com.


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