Making handmade books at Pateley Bridge

Pateley Bridge Joan Newall Bookmaking course featured

I’ve been very lucky to get onto a course at the No 6 Studios in Pateley Bridge to learn how to make handmade books. The course tutor, Joan Newall is a well-known artist and is very knowledgeable about how to make all sorts of forms of books. In the first class we learned so much about the grain of paper – something I had never really thought about before.

Last Saturday was the second class and we focused on the star book. This is mainly for displaying a theme or an idea in an exhibition – but it could have any use you wanted. Someone in the class suggested it would make a lovely birthday card.

Pateley Bridge Bookmaking course Joan Newall

Its immediately obvious why its called a star book – when its opened out the top and bottom form a lovely star shape. This is just plain paper as we were learning how to make the book form. For homework I want to make a decorated one and I have also decided what I am going to use this plain one for – if it works out I’ll share it very soon.

When the book is closed, it looks much more like a book…

Pateley Bridge Bookmaking course Joan Newall

I was really pleased about how this turned out bearing in mind its plain white paper and a cover made with Paperchase wrapping paper. A very nice wrapping paper but the idea as we go through the course is to make our own decorated papers and use those as covers. I like how the cord wraps around and closes by winding the two beads and then ties to hold the book in place when its open as a star.

Pateley Bridge Bookmaking course Joan Newall

The book is only small. It measures three and a half inches high and is only about an inch wide when its closed. Very similar in size to the concertina book that I made in the first class.

Pateley Bridge Bookmaking course Joan Newall

I’m really excited about the next class in March as we are doing Japanese Stab stitch binding. This is used to make a ‘proper’ book and I have dreams of making my own notebooks when I get onto practicing that.

No 6 Studios at Pateley Bridge

The Number 6 Studio Gallery is in the centre of Pateley Bridge, a small town right in the heart of Nidderdale in the Yorkshire Dales. This picture is from the No 6 website, which details all the courses the are available during the year. Most start in September and carry on until July.

Handmade books Joan Newall Pateley Bridge No 6 Studios

I love attending the course and Joan is lovely to work with but I feel a bit out of my depth I must admit. This is real artistry and I hope I am up to the challenge! So far we have had two classes, less than we should have because Joan was out of action after being in hospital in November. She looked very well this weekend so hopefully she will be back to full fitness very soon.

Nidderdale is in the middle of some of the most fantastic scenery but I didn’t have much opportunity to take a picture. Although the weather was mild when I set off, the Dales are a bit higher up and it was very chilly as I drove over the tops at 8.30am. On a deserted road, I thought I was stop and take a few quick pictures of the rolling hills and dry stone walls so parked in the entrance to an ice cream parlour. No-one would want ice cream at this hour of the morning in January! So I thought… I only had chance to take one photo when a car came up and wanted to turn in.

Next time it will be spring, or nearly, so I will be sure to take some more, and of Pateley Bridge itself.

View over the hills into Pateley Bridge


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