Art department launches new bookbinding course

A new elective class on bookbinding will be taught by foreign language and photography teacher Allan Sasaki, starting in September.

The class, a one-semester course meeting three days a week, will teach students the complete construction of a book, from the cover to the paper to the stitching.

Each meeting will be a work period, with construction of materials, demonstration of the process and assembly of the actual book.

Most of the class will center on demonstration, when Sasaki shows students how to do a certain project before they go work on it themselves.

Students will first learn the fundamentals, such as how to make standard covers and do basic stitching and the terminology of book making. A bundle of papers together, for example, is called a signature.

Once they have the basics down the class will spend the rest of the semester making different kinds of books, including pop-ups and a collaborative project for which students will exchange signatures and create books made from everyone’s work, and learning how to use various tools and styles.

“We’ll do as many as we can in a semester,” Sasaki said. “It depends on what the students might want. A lot of people might say ‘I want something I could use for writing in, journaling in…travel journals, books for photos.’”

As all work will be done in class, no homework will be assigned. There are no double periods and the class is open to all students at the Upper School. Sasaki hopes the program will grow to include a more advanced course for some of the more difficult book structures.