Book making – simple and creative structures with Tracey Bush

Ref: SLW13511

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2 places available

About this course

Combine text and image to create an artist's book. Explore a range of simple book formats and hand binding techniques, such as case-binding. Ideal if you have loose imagery on paper to transform into book form.

Course Description

Enjoy exploring ways of creating a unique book. It is ideal if you have lots of imagery on paper, for example your own drawings, writing, prints, patterns and photographs, and wish to now transform this material into book form.

You will explore a range of simple book formats. The tutor will demonstrate a range of different book structures and hand binding techniques, including a pamphlet book, a concertina book and Japanese styles. General studio bindery practice is also discussed. In the introductory session, there will be a handling session of the tutor’s collection of artists’ books, pamphlets, sketchbooks and blank book forms, and an introduction to making, covering grain direction and making origami books.

By the end of the course, you should have produced samples of different, simple book forms, as well as completed a more considered individual book. You will also gain an awareness of some contemporary artists’ books.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • You will be provided with:
  • An individual pot of bookbinding PVA glue
  • An individual pot of starch paste
  • A bookbinding needle and thread
  • Beeswax
  • Paper, cotton rag paper, board and cloth sufficient for the production of the set books

What students need to bring

  • Materials to aid the development of the book you wish to create
  • Images: photos, drawings, paintings on paper, small prints, paper ephemera
  • It is suggested that you bring a retracting blade, e.g. Stanley knife for cutting paper and small amounts of board. Please do not bring a snap off craft knife or knife with a fixed blade.
  • It is also useful to bring a good quality set square, small good quality ruler, mechanical pencil and good quality scissors. The following materials are also useful if you have them: a notebook, pencils, pens, special paper or board, special fabric scraps, an apron, and any ribbon, cordage or string that you may wish to use as a tie.
  • Please wear covered footwear in this workshop.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Various papers, including: cartridge paper, watercolour papers and Khadi papers
  • Bone folders, book cloth, etc.
  • Available from tutor:
  • The following items will also be available for use during the course: bone folders, bradawls, small scissors and bookbinding needles.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Tracey Bush

Tracey Bush trained as an illustrator, and successfully freelanced for many years. She has produced a series of books, which have been acquired by the Yale Centre for British Art, Tate Britain and the Marvin Sackner Collection of Concrete Poetry. In 2014 Tracey was commissioned to create the large scale 'Ports of the World' butterfly box, which is installed on the P&O cruise ship, Britannia.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.