Drum Leaf Binding


fountain pen, watercolor 6 X 12″ (hot press paper)

Last weekend I tagged along with Bob to the San Francisco Center for the Book where he was attending a workshop in “Drum Leaf Binding” with John DeMerritt. Happily this means more home made sketchbooks for me! And I took the opportunity to practice my reportage sketching, trying to capture the “story” of book making in a state-of-the-(historic)art workshop. There were the tools, like the guillatine, that stayed still while I sketched. . .


. . .along with the people in deep concentration on their tasks, like letter setting tiny type. . .


There were a couple classes going on.


John, giving safety instructions for using the big blade.


Here he’s demonstrating something like how to line up the signatures. I was too transfixed trying to capture the action to pay attention to the instructions.  Luckily Bob followed it all and we came home with the most perfect little book, which he quickly duplicated to make sure he had the steps down.



  1. Ah bookmaking. I started my career in quick print with a small press in the back of the stores. That happy sound. The smell of the ink and warm paper. But bound books are different — nothing like easy and affordable wire bound books with inexpensive paper. What a treat for you! A high end “candy store” tour with samples! Yum.


    1. Finally getting back to you after your fine comments. I love your metaphor of the high end “candy store”. My husband collects beautiful papers and I love to go through them and pick my covers, – definitely like the candy counter.


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