The Drop Spine Box Online Workshop

Guild of Book Workers ~ California Chapter Sponsored Virtual Workshop
The Drop Spine Box
Presented by John DeMerritt
Saturday, April 10th 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Saturday, April 17th 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Saturday, April 24th 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Pacific Standard Time
Presented live via Zoom

Boxmaking has its origins as a tributary of 19th century bookbinding craft. Using the same techniques and materials as bookbinding, boxmaking also utilizes simple principles of joinery to create housings that protect work and reinforce content. ​We will explore a systematic and formula-based approach to creating the drop spine, or “clamshell” box structure.

Workshop Structure:​ This 3-session workshop will be taught in a hybrid format of live instruction and independent work done outside of the workshop. An online syllabus comprising handouts, online resources, and short instructive videos will be provided, along with a thorough resource list. A list of required tools will be sent out upon registration.

Session One​ will be spent learning how to make a clamshell box from a kit provided by the instructor, which will include cut substrate and covering materials as well as adhesives. We will go over covering techniques, miters, cutting sequences, templates, formulas, and adhesive awareness.

Session Two​ will focus on the construction of a custom spine box. Online instruction on this day will focus primarily on techniques for cutting binders board without a board shear, formula-based approaches to cutting box components, and reviewing covering techniques. Participants will also learn how to source their own materials to make boxes with what they have in their home. This custom box will be constructed outside of class time.

Session Three​ will be spent reviewing student work, troubleshooting, and addressing final questions and comments.
Intended Students: ​This workshop is designed for intermediate level students who have some experience working with bookmaking materials, using adhesives, and covering three dimensional shapes.

Materials/Resources: ​A kit of materials to build the clamshell box will be delivered before the first day of the workshop. A separate list of tools will be emailed upon registration. A Google Folder will be made available to all participants prior to the workshop and the Zoom links will be sent out 5 days in advance.

Registration Details: ​$135 USD for GBW members / $155 USD for non-members. Click ​here​ to register by March 21st, 2021. The workshop will be recorded and available for 3 months after the final date. There is a cancellation fee of 10% of the registration fee up to 30 days before the workshop. No refunds are given for cancellations made within 30 days prior to the workshop. Registrations may not be shared and are non-transferrable. Please direct all questions to ​​.

John DeMerritt owns and operates John DeMerritt Bookbinding, in Emeryville, CA. His studio produces books and portfolios for artists, galleries, fine press publishers, and institutions. John has taught and lectured at The SF Center for the Book, The Kala Institute, Columbia College Center for Book and Paper, Visual Studies Workshop, Oregon College of Art and Craft, The Guild of Book Workers, North Bennet Street School, UC Santa Cruz, Dartmouth College, and Paper and Book Intensive. From 2000 to 2013, he taught Book Structure at the San Francisco Art Institute​. ​John and his wife, Nora Pauwels, publish collaborative projects with artists under their imprint DeMerritt | Pauwels Editions.

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