Book Arts Courses

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Continuing Professional Development courses at UWE Bristol

We run courses in artists' books and related processes with visiting experts and in-house staff. All of our CPD book arts courses are listed on these pages and also featured in the Book Arts Newsletter.

The Centre for Fine Print Research at UWE Bristol
Summer Book Arts Institute June - August 2017

This summer’s new Masterclasses include Found Poetry with Jeremy Dixon; Wehmais pop-up box, Secret Belgian and Drum Leaf Binding with Guy Begbie; Boxes, Wraps and Portfolios with Jeff Rathermel, plus Wood Engraving with Ben Goodman, ‘Artistamps’ with Stephen Fowler and Adana Press maintenance and printing with Angie and Si Butler.
They all take place at Bower Ashton Studios, City Campus, UWE Bristol.

Come and join us, learn new skills and make new friends with books.


A Boxed Set Of Printed Books Contained In a Presentation Pop-Up (Wehmais) box: Variations On The Pamphlet & Concertina Book Structures In Both Hardback & Softback Bindings
Five-day masterclass led by Guy Begbie
Monday 19th – Friday 23rd June 2017
Bower Ashton, UWE City Campus, Bristol

The objective of this course is to fully explore the potential of the pamphlet and concertina book structures using printed page content. The aim being to produce a set of 8 books with printed content, formally presented in a bespoke presentation pop-up (Wehmais) box.

The first day of the course will be spent making additive monotype prints using platen printing presses and direct methods of surface printing. A theme of ‘The Architectural’ will provide a starting point subject focus for the printed book content material.

The remaining four days of the course will be spent on constructing and binding the sets of books from the printed material and making the bespoke presentation pop-up (Wehmais) box, which elevates to display the books when opened.

The pamphlet book structures will be made to include both one and two section sewing, with emphasis on innovative and extending page configurations. Variations in blank paper stock and appropriated library discard material will be used for the printing and subsequent book making. A range of book cover construction will be encouraged. This will include both hard and softback, Dos-a-Dos and French Door cover configurations.

The variations on the concertina book structures will be made to the same scale and format as the pamphlet books, with an emphasis on separate hardback cloth bound covers, but also with the inclusion of single piece covers with a spine, along with softback accordion version covers and spine pleating. The page structuring for the printed material content in the concertina books will also be varied and will include gate folds, drop down pages, throw-outs, compound fold outs and paper engineering used to increase the facet surfaces of the page.
During the last day of the course, the participants will have the opportunity to construct a bookcloth covered and paper lined bespoke presentation pop-up (Wehmais) box, made to contain the complete set of pamphlet and concertina books.

Limited to 10 participants. 9.30am – 4.30pm each day. Price includes all materials and catering. £450/£360. Book online


Making Friends with the Adana Press
Led by Angie Butler and Si Butler
Monday 26th – Tuesday 27th June 2017
Bower Ashton, UWE City Campus, Bristol

A two-day course on press know-how, maintenance and small press printing. Have your own Adana, but not sure how to get the best out of it? Interested in this table-top press but never worked on one or worked out how one works? Then this is the course for you!

Bring along your Adana 8x5 (or 6x4) and learn how to maintain and get the best results from your own machine. If you don’t have your own Adana press to hand, you can still learn from our two demonstration models and get started with printing on a table-top platen press. We’ll be very hands-on during the two days giving you both the confidence to progress your printing and develop your knowledge of how to care for this classic printing machine.

Day One: Parts, Maintenance, Lock-Up and Printing
Press Anatomy | Set Up and Press Care | Locking up | Printing with Type and Blocks

Day Two: Printing, Techniques and Trouble-shooting
Printing Projects | Printing with Plates and Lino | Substrates | Inking | Registration

Two-day Masterclass. 9.30-4.30 each day, maximum 6 participants. Price includes catering and materials. £195 / £156. Book online


A Set of two Bound Books with a Slip Case Container: The Secret Belgian Binding With Hard Back Cover Boards & Paper Engineered Page Content & The Drum Leaf Binding with Hard Back Cover Boards
Three-day Masterclass led by Guy Begbie
Monday 26th – Wednesday 28th June 2017
Bower Ashton, UWE City Campus, Bristol

This course is designed for participants with or without bookbinding experience.
During the course, participants will have the opportunity to make a set of two hardback books of the same scale and format with a presentation slipcase to contain them.

The first book will be the Drum Leaf Binding with Hard Back Cover Boards bound in book cloth. This is an adhesive based book structure with full-page spreads. The book is designed to open flat and has no stitching through the centre folds.

The Drum Leaf Binding structure is ideal for artist’s book makers, photographers and printmakers, or those presenting visual narratives without the disruption of sewing thread dominating the visual continuity in the page content.

The pages in this book structure are made of single sided folios. This makes any printing and layout imposition of page content relatively straightforward.
Each page is also a double thickness, allowing for the inclusion of hidden paper based collages and montages. During the course these will be created as part of the book binding process. They will be hidden between the double sheets of the pages, to be then viewed through cut aperture fold back reveals.

The second book to be made during the course will be the Secret Belgian Binding With Hard Back Cover Boards. This book structure is sewn with an elegant and distinctive thread pattern. The sewing is used to lace the front and back covers to the cover spine piece, so the cover is made up of three separate book board components and the sewing is visible on the outside of the book. Measures are taken in the binding construction, to hide the interior thread on the inside of the covers.

The book block/pages for this binding are made up of signature folios that are attached in the sewing process to the inside spine of the cover. This binding is robust and durable and allows the book to lie flat when open. During the making of the book block pages we will create a variety of pull out pages that will incorporate paper engineering and pop up content.

During the last stage of the course, participants will have the opportunity to construct a bookcloth covered bespoke slipcase to contain the two book set.
Limited to 10 participants. 9.30am – 4.30pm each day. Price includes all materials and catering. £270/£216. Book online


Making Words: Found Poetry and Artists’ Books with Jeremy Dixon
Weds 12th - Thursday 13th July 2017
Bower Ashton, UWE City Campus, Bristol

The Centre for Fine Print Research at UWE is delighted to announce a new class for our 2017 Summer Book Arts Institute. A two-day found poetry and book class with poet/artist Jeremy Dixon of Hazard Press. Day One – generating poetry and then coming up with ideas for books. Day Two – making books.

More info about the tutor Jeremy Dixon can be found at: http://www.hazardpress.co.uk

Limited to 10 participants. 9.30am – 4.30pm each day. Price includes all materials and catering. £170/£136. Book online


Wood Engraving: An Introduction
Led by Ben Goodman
Weds 19th July 2017
Bower Ashton, UWE City Campus, Bristol

An introduction to the art of wood engraving with Ben Goodman, Artist Member of the Society of Wood Engravers (www.bengoodman.co.uk). The course will introduce you to techniques of wood engraving, using lemon or box blocks and a selection of printing papers. Ben works in the relief print area at Bower Ashton and at Bristol Bound Bookbinding, and is also a skilled letterpress printer.
One-day Masterclass. 9.30am – 4.30pm. Max 10 participants. Price includes catering and materials. £110/£88. Book online


Artistamps 3-day workshop with Stephen Fowler
Tuesday 8th – Thursday 10th August 2017
Bower Ashton, UWE City Campus, Bristol

Artiststamps, or artists’ stamps, are closely associated with mail art; they reflect its spirit of marrying art and the everyday. Stamps signify payment, and mail artists test and tease the postal system with their playful appropriation of this official form of evidence.

Create an array of stamps during this three-day workshop by learning how to carve rubber stamps from erasers and a number of DIY perforation techniques.

The famous CFPR perforating machine will be available to use and Stephen will teach you how to create single and multiple-coloured stamp impressions, and mask and position rubber stamps accurately. You will be encouraged to send your results through the post to a national and international networks of mail artists.

About Stephen Fowler: Small press publications, rubber stamps and alternative printmaking are the focus of Stephen Fowler's authorial illustration practice. His zines and artists’ books are held in national collections such as the Tate and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Fowler has also run collaborative and experiential workshops in printmaking and drawing at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Birmingham Library, the V&A, the Wallace Collection, Arnolfini, Hayward Gallery’s Wide Open School, and Margate’s Turner Contemporary gallery. His book on rubber stamping, published by Laurence King, is out now.

Three-day Masterclass. 9.30-4.30 each day, maximum 8 participants. All materials, teas/coffees and lunch are included in the price. £200/£160. Book online


Boxes, Wraps and Portfolios with Jeff Rathermel
Weds 9th - Friday 11th August 2017
Bower Ashton, UWE City Campus, Bristol

This three-day workshop will provide both beginners and experienced artists with the basics to create a variety of containers for books, prints, photographs and other three-dimensional objects. Through hands-on work, participants will create soft-cover wraps, hard-case portfolios and several styles of boxes, including clamshell and fitted lid structures. An assortment of decorative papers will be provided to customise each in-class project. In addition, instructions for customising each structure to fit personal projects will be provided.

Jeff Rathermel received an MFA in printmaking, hand papermaking and book arts from the University of Minnesota in 2000 and is the current Executive Director of Minnesota Center for Book Arts. He has exhibited internationally and his work is included in many public collections, including Yale University, University of Chicago, University of Washington, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota Museum of American Art, and Walker Art Center. He has served as Affiliate and Adjunct faculty at the College of Visual Arts, the University of Minnesota Department of Art, Carleton College Department of Art, Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has offered past workshops through the University of the West of England's Center for Fine Print Research.

Three-day Masterclass. 9.30-4.30 each day, maximum 8 participants. All materials, teas/coffees and lunch are included in the price. £200/£160. Book online

All courses can be booked via our online store.


Feedback from class attendees in 2016

Our Summer Book Arts Institute ran over June – August 2016, with guests from Europe and the USA attending new and old favourite classes. Here are their thoughts on the classes last summer:

Wood Engraving with Ben Goodman

The tutor was:

  • Excellent, excellent, excellent, excellent, excellent
  • Patient, knowledgeable, inspiring
  • Awesome, engaging, very informative and made the subject

The best aspect of the course was:

  • An excellent introduction to new process
  • Very practical – learnt lots of new tips
  • Everything
  • Learning a new skill which I will certainly use in my practice
  • Learning difficult cutting techniques

Letterpress Printed Book Arts Intensive with Angie Butler

The tutor was:

  • Absolutely excellent.
  • Faultless.
  • Years of experiences generously shared and infinitely patient.
  • She was really wonderful and excellent, and quite patient.
  • Excellent!
  • Excellent.
  • Angie Butler is skilled, compassionate and very good teacher. Good timekeeper, encouraging and keeping a healthy learning pace.
  • 25 out of 10 – v.v. good.

The best aspect of the course was:

  • An engrossing and inspiring experience.
  • Everything.
  • Learning and doing with such an expert tutor.
  • Being supported fully in learning process.
  • Good environment, made welcome from the start. All the equipment worked well and there were plenty of examples to learn from and emulate. I’m looking forward to trying out new skills on new projects.

Primitive Print in the City III with Stephen Fowler

The tutor was:

  • Excellent as always.
  • Very highly indeed.
  • Excellent! Very good fun, inventive, eccentric, very engaging and challenging.

The best aspect of the course was:

  • Meeting people and sharing ideas.
  • Being at Bristol’s MShed was really good.
  • Printing outside.
  • The other students and the brilliant tutor.
  • Another excellent course.
  • Experimenting, especially clay printing outside the museum and using the industrial environment as source material. Loved it!

‘Artistamps' with Stephen Fowler

I came on the course because:

  • The tutor, Stephen Fowler, was highly recommended by former students.
  • To learn printmaking skills I can use at home to develop my own practice.
  • To gain further experience in making stamps, with particular emphasis on artiststamps which was unfamiliar to me. I also really enjoy returning to UWE for the CPD courses to keep in touch with former students from my year.
  • To learn new skills and develop my practice, take techniques from the workshop to incorporate within my art and meet the legendary Stephen Fowler.
  • To further my knowledge in artiststamps and the techniques involved. To aid a creative block. The use of specialist equipment.
  • To expand my experience of printmaking

The tutor was:

  • Passionate and knowledgeable about the subject matter.
  • Excellent.
  • Stephen was excellent – he is kind, patient and extremely enthusiastic.
  • Engaging, informative, interesting, approachable, fun, humble, modest, relaxed, learned – top notch.
  • Excellent.

The best aspect of the course was:

  • All the days were well organised and informative, four days would be ideal.
  • Experimenting, being inspired, meeting other creative people, learning skills.
  • Great course, great idea.
  • The best aspect for me was turning my design into a stamp using the perforator! I also found out I could make perforations using a dressmakers wheel so I can continue creating ‘stamps’ at home.
  • Fun, fun and more fun! Will come back next year to do more.
  • The use of an antique perforator held at UWE. Stephen showing us alternative methods using equipment found in the home environment.
  • Every part, extremely well tutored and managed. I look forward to another workshop or more!

Making Friends with your Adana Press with Angie Butler and Si Butler

The tutors were:

  • Angie and Si were excellent and explained everything really well, and gave us a huge amount of useful tips – a brilliant duo act!
  • I had an Adana press in my loft for more than 10 years – did not know how it worked. Excellent course, both Si and Angie are friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable – they covered everything.
  • I bought an Adana on Ebay – no instructions! Fantastic tutors, very helpful and eager to share knowledge.
  • First class – excellent.
  • Excellent.

The best aspect of the course was:

  • Working as a group and coming away with more confidence.
  • Getting my press working and knowing how to use it.
  • Understanding the machine and fundamentals of letterset
  • Learning to use, look after and set registration for printing
  • Thorough, calm introduction to Adana

Decorate Japanese Techniques for Paper and Book with Jeff Rathermel

The Japanese Book, Print and Paper Arts class with Jeff Rathermel 2015 The Japanese Book, Print and Paper Arts class with Jeff Rathermel 2015 The Japanese Book, Print and Paper Arts class with Jeff Rathermel 2015 The Japanese Book, Print and Paper Arts class with Jeff Rathermel 2015 The Japanese Book, Print and Paper Arts class with Jeff Rathermel 2015

The tutor was:

  • Excellent – Jeff was extremely kind.
  • Highly knowledgeable, patient, informative – great!
  • Excellent, very well organised, clear instructions, very patient.
  • Highly knowledgeable bookmaking practice.
  • Excellent – Jeff is great at demonstrating and keeping you on target, he was really helpful with all abilities.

The best aspect of the course was:

  • Speed, variety of techniques covered.
  • So nice to work through multiple decorative paper techniques, allow the time to experiment and trying out different bindings using the paper that had just been made.
  • Really well organised course, nice to have space to work and plenty of materials. Lovely to have so much prepared, i.e. paper and boards cut, so we could progress quickly through techniques.
  • A good relaxed atmosphere.
  • Paper decorating processes.
  • Learning the water and oil marbling
  • Learning new paper techniques.

2D-3D Experimental Book Art Structures with Guy Begbie

I came on the course because:
  • To widen skills and knowledge.
  • Loosen up my approach to printmaking and book arts.
  • To re-engage with art after a break.
  • To learn new book-making skills and combine print, the 2D/3D element was the main reason.
  • To expand my knowledge of making books to be more 3 dimensional.
  • I enjoy book arts and I have attended Guy’s courses before so know they work for me. I wanted to extend my experiences and find different ways of constructing books.

The tutor was:

  • Excellent.
  • Very thorough. Took time to explain as many times as required.
  • Excellent.
  • Very good – there was a good amount of flexibility in the class to accommodate students' particular interests.

The best aspect of the course was:

  • Allowed to create individually.
  • To enhance own strengths.
  • Demonstrations were structured but then time to experiment with own ideas – it was a good balance.
  • Good to see current artist’s work in progress.
  • The freedom to develop my own book structures but with guidance by a really good tutor.
  • Interaction with other people on the course.
  • Having a whole week to experiment and having expertise of a very experienced book artist. I liked painting and bookmaking combined

Some of the Book Arts classes held at the Centre for Fine Print Research

The collaborative artist's book made in the Fluxus Lab class The Fluxus Lab summer school with Jeff Rathermel The Fluxus Lab summer school with Jeff Rathermel Imposition and Inkjet Printing for Book Arts class with Melissa OlenImposition and Inkjet Printing for Book Arts class with Melissa Olen
Guy Begbie's Advanced Bookbinding class Guy Begbie's Advanced Bookbinding class Guy Begbie's Advanced Bookbinding class Guy Begbie's Advanced Bookbinding class Guy Begbie's Advanced Bookbinding class

2D-3D Experimental book art structures with Guy Begbie
Advanced Bookbinding for book artists with Guy Begbie
Advanced Letterpress with Angie Butler
Altered Books with Guy Begbie
Architectural Book Structures with Guy Begbie
‘Artistamps' with Stephen Fowler
Book Boxes and containers with Guy Begbie
Bookbinding for Book Artists with Guy Begbie
Collapsible Star Binding and The Coptic Stitch with Guy Begbie
Comics, Books, Zines with Offset lithography with Jon McNaught
Contemporary Letterpress - Finding your form(e) with Angie Butler
Contemporary Letterpress 2 - Making An Impression with Angie Butler
Contemporary Letterpress 1 – Getting Type High! with Angie Butler
Creative Laser Cutting with Claire Phipps
Cut It Out! Introduction to Laser Cutting with Sarah Barnes
Decorative Japanese Techniques for Paper and Book Arts with Jeff Rathermel of MCBA
Fluxus Lab Assembling Box with Jeff Rathermel
Home Made Rubber Stamps and books with Stephen Fowler
Imposition and Inkjet Printing for Book Arts with Melissa Olen
Japanese Book, Print and Paper Arts with Jeff Rathermel of MCBA
Laser-cutting for Book Artists with Tom Sowden
Letterpress for beginners with Angie Butler
Letterpress with Angie Butler
Letterpress Printed Book Arts Intensive with Angie Butler
Making Friends With Your Adana Press with Angie and Si Butler
Making Books: Binding, Pages, Covers and Cuts with Angie Butler
Pop-ups with Alexandra Czinczel
Primitive Printmaking with Stephen Fowler
Primitive Printmaking in the City with Stephen Fowler
Printing Without Picas: A Pressure Printing Masterclass with Angie Butler
Pulp-printing with Tim Mosely
Roller printing with Stephen Fowler
The French Sewn Flat Back and Concertina Binding with Guy Begbie
The Pamphlet/Booklet and Japanese Stab Bindings with Guy Begbie
Using Digital Technology to Produce a Book with Dr Douglas Holleley
Wide Format Print and Laser Cutting for Arts and Crafts with Paul Laidler and Tom Sowden
Wood Engraving with Ben Goodman

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