the school for bookbinding arts

Winchester, Virginia

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workshops & study

To Register for Classes:

  1. Call or email to confirm availability.
  2. Class tuitions can be paid for with a credit (VISA, MC, Discover, AmEx) or bank card (over the phone). Class tuitions can also be paid for by filling out a registration form for the class (available by clicking on the class name anywhere in this website) and sending the registration form with a check made out to Cat Tail Run. We provide receipts as proof of registration. If a course has a materials fee, please hold the money for that fee until the day of the class. Materials fees are only payable to the instructor of a course.
  3. Your payment confirms your registration.
  4. Please scroll down to "Policies" to see the policy statement pertaining to workshops.

2016 Calendar of Classes

‡ indicates that a prerequisite is required

Standard Courses

Advanced Leather Binding Restoration‡  
April 7-8    $275

New Cloth Binding Construction 
May 19-20     $275

Introduction to Book Restoration 
June 16-17    $245

Introduction to Book Restoration 
July 21-22    $ 245

Fore-Edge Painting & Edge Treatments
July 28-29    $295

Book Sewing Intensive‡ 
August 4-5    $295

Introduction to Book Restoration 
August 18-19    $245

Advanced Cloth Binding Restoration‡  
September 22-23    $275

Hand Papermaking  
October 6-7    $275

Introduction to Paper Repair 
October 27-28    $285

course descriptions

Marbling Week ~ September 7 - 13

Pigment Grinding &
Marbling Ink Preparation
September 7    $185 + $30 materials

Historical Marbled Paper Patterns
September 8-9    $285 + $50 materials

Beginning Paper Marbling
September 12-13    $285 + $45 materials

course descriptions

Boxing Week ~ October 13 - 19

Clamshell Box Making
October 13-14    $275

Victorian-Era Box Structures
October 15    $185

Advanced Clamshell Box Making‡
October 17-18    $285

Preservation Enclosures for Rare Materials
October 19    $205

course descriptions

To Our Students Past, Present, and Future

It seems I'm always pondering about bookbinding in one aspect or another. Over the years it has pleased me enormously to discover how many other people think about bookbinding--perhaps not as obsessively as I do--but at least some of the time. It would be lonely without kindred spirits.

When I started Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding in 1991, I little imagined that a life-long journey had begun. Starting first as only a bookbindery, Cat Tail Run quickly became a place where interested folk would come seeking instruction in the craft. Over time, what began as simple one-on-one instruction has grown into the entity we call The School for Bookbinding Arts, offering well over a dozen workshops each year with the bulk of those courses being held in our on-site instructional facility, "Studio 2."

Letter to StudentsThe philosophy behind our workshops is one that I developed as a result of my own experiences during my bookbinding apprenticeship and internships. I came to believe that bookbinding could be effectively taught through short, focused courses within a carefully designed curriculum. In this way, people who were interested in the craft but who were unable to apprentice full-time could still gain competence and satisfaction in bookbinding by taking classes and then devoting regular periods of time to practicing what they learned. I have been gratified over the years to see my instincts in this were on target as I have watched our students learn and enjoy bookbinding, with quite a few working in the field of book repair and some going on to institutional conservation training.

The School for Bookbinding Arts is a place where those of us with a love of the book can continue the traditions of a craft that has been practiced continuously for hundreds of years and shows no sign of becoming obsolete. If you've never studied with us, please consider taking some of our workshops. I know your hands will enjoy the feel of the craft and your brain will be challenged as you come to understand something as commonplace as a book is at the same time one of mankind's most elegant, delightfully complex, and versatile inventions. Most of all, we will enjoy having you on our journey--we still don't know where it's going, but we can absolutely say there appears to be no end in sight.

Yours truly,
jill deiss
Jill Deiss, Bookbinder


Cost of materials included unless otherwise noted.

Workshops include instructor demonstration of techniques and student practice time.

Supplemental handouts accompany each class.

Advance payment of tuition is required.

Any materials fee are conveyed directly to the instructor on the day of class and are not collected by The School for Bookbinding Arts or Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding.

Cancellations less than seven days prior to the workshop will require that an administrative fee of approximately 20% of the workshop tuition be withheld from the tuition refund.

Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding and The School for Bookbinding Arts reserve the right to cancel classes with a 48-hour notification with a full refund to students. Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding and The School for Bookbinding Arts reserve the right to remove students from a class roster, with or without a refund of tuition.

studio-1 studio-2 studio-3