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1890 Bryant Street, #308
San Francisco, CA 94110

Artist Books are a wonderfully diverse genre and my work is much the same. I'm fascinated by structures and boxes, both traditional and invented. Most of the books included here have some unique sculptural or spacial element to them.

Current Schedule

Workshops for Fall 2017 / WINTER 2018

Here's a list of upcoming classes around the Bay area and the west coast


BOOKBINDING CORE 1 – COPTIC BINDING

CLASS DATE: DECEMBER 9, 2017
CLASS TIME: 9:30AM - 5:30PM
CLASS FEE: $200
CLASS HELD: SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR THE BOOK,
AT 375 RHODE ISLAND ST. SAN FRANCISCO

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION HERE

To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, we begin at the beginning. This, the first of our Core Bookbinding series, introduces students to the craft with the Coptic stitch, one of the earliest structures in binding. In addition to coming away with a finished book made by hand, students will also be introduced to the tools and terms of bookbinding. Basic practices and equipment will be discussed as students familiarize themselves with both skills and safety measures needed for working in a bindery. 

 


Bookbinding Core 3 :: Limp Paper Binding

Register Now
Instructor: Rhiannon Alpers
Workshop Type: Binding
Workshop cost: $200
Workshop Start: July 29th, 2017 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Bookbinding Core 3 :: Limp Paper Binding

In centuries past, books were sometimes sewn onto cords and then laced into soft covers before being bound for a specific collection or library. Often covered with calfskin, these limp vellum bindings became an important structure all their own. In this class students will bind a book using these bindings as a model but employing thick paper as the folded and laced wrapper. Students will learn to use a sewing frame and the skill of sewing headbands.


Distressed Wooden Boards

alpers_woodenboards.jpeg

Instructor: Rhiannon Alpers
Workshop Date: August 26th, 2017
Workshop Information and Registration

Description: In this one-day and evening workshop, learn how to make this very unique book combining unconventional materials and varied use of the longstitch binding. Layers, color, and depth play a key role in the unique hand painted board covers, and the sewing supports are referential to historical bindings with an artistic variation...


EXQUISITE LONGSTITCH BINDING

CLASS DATE: AUGUST 14, 2016
CLASS TIME: 9:30AM - 5PM
CLASS FEE: $170
CLASS HELD AT:
SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR THE BOOK
375 RHODE ISLAND ST. SAN FRANCISCO

REGISTER HERE

Are you longing to take your bookbinding to the next level? Take this one day, beginner’s level class on the exquisite longstitch! Not only will you learn the ins and outs of this traditional German, non-adhesive, stitch pattern binding, but you’ll also learn to laminate decorative papers to create sturdy and malleable book covers. With the use of japanese hole punch to create the stitch patterning, the final product has a polished look, and it makes sewing easier in a unique and changeable pattern structure. We will also discuss the historical importance and prevalence of this binding. You’ll come away with a intricate and exquisite book, and the skills (and spine pattern) to make this binding at home.


WORKSHOPS ARCHIVE

(THESE COURSES CAN BE OFFERED AGAIN UPON REQUEST. PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU
ARE INTERESTED IN HOSTING ONE OF THESE WORKSHOPS IN YOUR AREA. )


BOOKBINDING CORE 1 – COPTIC BINDING

CLASS DATE: July, 2017
CLASS TIME: 9:30AM - 5:30PM
CLASS FEE: $200
CLASS HELD: SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR THE BOOK,
AT 375 RHODE ISLAND ST. SAN FRANCISCO

To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, we begin at the beginning. This, the first of our Core Bookbinding series, introduces students to the craft with the Coptic stitch, one of the earliest structures in binding. In addition to coming away with a finished book made by hand, students will also be introduced to the tools and terms of bookbinding. Basic practices and equipment will be discussed as students familiarize themselves with both skills and safety measures needed for working in a bindery. 



Four Variations on the Japanese Stab

CLASS DATE: April 3, 2016
CLASS TIME: 10-6
CLASS FEE: $175
CLASS HELD: SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR THE BOOK,
AT 375 RHODE ISLAND ST. SAN FRANCISCO
 
REGISTER HERE
 

Japanese stab bindings, also called "yotsume toji" or "pouch books"  are a versatile structure for loose sheets that have a wonderful history and endless variations. This introductory workshop will explore four variations, each structure advancing the techniques from the previous binding in decorative and difficulty. The papers used for the four structures will be japanese style papers, prints and patterns, with silk thread. There will be a discussion of resources, tools and variations on this structure for other book art and binding interpretations. It is helpful to have some basic bookbinding experience (sewing, folding paper, pasting, etc.) but it is not necessary.

 



Specimen Matchbox & Book :: A Unique Treasure of Natural Curiosities

This 2-day weekend course focuses on showcasing a visual collection of natural curiosities is truly one of a kind. We will concentrate on small treasures as decoration in a two piece set: a unique hardcover book with inset decorative panel and a matchbox drawer for it to live in. Using an assemblage of historic illustrations, found objects, and natural artifacts we will create a visual decoration on the book cover and the box top.   

Students will build and cover a matchbox drawer structure to house their book with a compartment for found and collected pieces to accompany their book. The top of the matchbox has an inset panel for creative decoration or sculptural elements to be added. Created as a multiple signature hand-sewn hardcover this book structure allows for content to be added after the fact or collages in with mark making techniques and transfers. The sewing structure is a traditional link stitch and the hard cover has an inset panel for a decorative sculptural panel of curiosities to be added.  During the class there will be a slideshow of contemporary work, which can give students ideas and inspiration about how to take this book to the next level in their artist book practice.  


BOOKBINDING CORE 1 – COPTIC BINDING

CLASS DATE: May 1, 2016
CLASS TIME: 9:30AM - 5:30PM
CLASS FEE: $200
CLASS HELD: SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR THE BOOK,
AT 375 RHODE ISLAND ST. SAN FRANCISCO

REGISTER HERE
 

To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, we begin at the beginning. This, the first of our Core Bookbinding series, introduces students to the craft with the Coptic stitch, one of the earliest structures in binding. In addition to coming away with a finished book made by hand, students will also be introduced to the tools and terms of bookbinding. Basic practices and equipment will be discussed as students familiarize themselves with both skills and safety measures needed for working in a bindery. 

 


BOOKBINDING CORE 3 - LIMP PAPER BINDING

CLASS DATE: July 31, 2016
CLASS TIME: 9:30AM - 5:30PM
CLASS FEE: $200
CLASS HELD SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR THE BOOK,
AT 375 RHODE ISLAND ST. SAN FRANCISCO

REGISTER HERE
 

In centuries past, books were sometimes sewn onto cords and then laced into soft covers before being bound for a specific collection or library. Often covered with calfskin, these limp vellum bindings became an important structure all their own. In this class students will bind a book using these bindings as a model but employing thick paper as the folded and laced wrapper. Students will learn to use a sewing frame and the skill of sewing headbands.

 


 

 

rhiannonalpers_exotic fibers.jpeg

Papermaking Basics: Plants and Exotic Fibers

 

Learn the basics of creating your own handmade paper with exotic fibers from your garden, grocery and local florist. From the harvesting and collecting stage to finished sheets, we'll learn the process for making paper with unique fibers (such as grasses, vegetables, fresh herbs and flowers). Students will get a chance to learn the keys to cook, beat, and form sheets of paper in this one day intensive. Sheets will be air dried and some left to dry under pressure for several days and mailed to students. 

Materials are included, and there is a short tool list which will be emailed for the class once you are enrolled. Fibers for use in this class will be provided and resources given for local sources. Please feel free to email the instructor if you would like to being plants from your garden. 


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SCULPTURAL PAPERMAKING
 

CLASS FEE: $150, Materials fee $15
Taught by Rhiannon Alpers
LOCATION: Held at 1890 Bryant Street, San Francisco

There will be an optional evening session is from 6-8pm for students to learn wire wrapping/building and working with reed constructions for students to create work ahead of time. It's not required for the course but encouraged be able to create more advanced sculptures. 

The full day class is from 10-5pm including clean-up. This is a hands-on class for students to learn about creating custom shaped paper sculptures from armatures. Students will learn building methods for armatures and covering techniques for varied transparency effects. Students can bring sketches and simple wire structures or sewn ideas to work from. The sculptures will be small because of time constraints, but techniques and skills will be discussed for larger scale sculptures.

 


Exquisite long stitch binding

 

Are you longing to take your bookbinding to the next level? Take this one day, beginner’s level class on the exquisite longstitch! Not only will you learn the ins and outs of this traditional German, non-adhesive, stitch pattern binding, but you’ll also learn to laminate decorative papers to create sturdy and malleable book covers. With the use of japanese hole punch to create the stitch patterning, the final product has a polished look, and it makes sewing easier in a unique and changeable pattern structure. We will also discuss the historical importance and prevalence of this binding. You’ll come away with a intricate and exquisite book, and the skills (and spine pattern) to make this binding at home.


Caterpillar Stitch Binding

Create two different softcover wraparound books with two lines of caterpillar stitches running around the cover to hold in the text block. This binding focuses attention on the beauty of the caterpillar wrap stitch and caterpillar braid stitch. Unlike most caterpillar bindings, the signatures in this structure are bound with the stitch through the cover on the spine. Using handmade paper and leather for this binding gives it a natural look and draws attention to the uniqueness the structure and it’s materials. Students will also see samples of artists’ books created using this binding style. Prerequisite: some bookbinding experience.


BOOKBINDING CORE 4 - CLASSIC ROUNDED BACK CLOTH BINDING

The final class in our Core Bookbinding series (taught in two sessions) uses skills learned in each previous class to create a beautiful and classic rounded back cloth binding.  In this structure students will learn to lace boards into the cords used for sewing the book. After sewing, the book will be rounded and backed before the boards are attached and covered. More terms, more tools, more techniques: such are the rewards of the skilled bookbinder!



Making custom Bookcloth

Being able to make book cloth immensely expands the range of possibilities for bookbinding, opening up a whole new set of choices for cloth color, texture, and weight. Just about any ordinary natural fiber cloth can be made into excellent book cloth. In this workshop, students will learn how to make book cloth in two different ways from start to finish, and leave with many finished samples. The Learn to Make Book Cloth workshop will give students greater creative freedom over the look and feel of covers for books, boxes, and portfolios.

 


 

Miniature specimen enclosures

This 1 day intensive course focuses on showcasing the students’ visual collection of natural curiosities in a truly one of a kind enclosure structure. We will concentrate on presenting small treasures in this book/box combination structure. Works will include a unique hardcover book with frame and inset decorative panel. Using an assemblage of historic illustrations, found objects, altered book components and natural artifacts, students will explore boundless possibilities for adding found/handmande materials and written content.

 



BOOKBINDING CORE 1 – COPTIC BINDING

CLASS DATE: October 4, 2015
CLASS TIME: 9:30am - 5pm
CLASS FEE: $200
Class Held at 375 Rhode Island St. San Francisco, 94103

Register Here

To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, we begin at the beginning. This, the first of our Core Bookbinding series, introduces students to the craft with the Coptic stitch, one of the earliest structures in binding. In addition to coming away with a finished book made by hand, students will also be introduced to the tools and terms of bookbinding. Basic practices and equipment will be discussed as students familiarize themselves with both skills and safety measures needed for working in a bindery. 

 


BOOKBINDING CORE 2– FLAT-BACKED BINDING

 

In this second Core Bookbinding class held at the San Francisco Center for the book, students will create what most of us refer to as a hardbound book. In bookbinding terms, it is known as a case binding; where a sewn textblock is glued into a separate structure known as a case. Students will learn more about the mechanics of books as they build on skills from Core 1 and expand both their vocabulary and capabilities in and around the bindery.

 


Bookbinding Core 3 - Limp Paper Binding

SFCB_BBCore3.jpg

In this Core Bookbinding class held at the San Francisco Center for the book, the third class in the series students will create a limp paper binding in a one day course. In centuries past, books were sometimes sewn onto cords and then laced into soft covers before being bound for a specific collection or library. Often covered with calfskin, these limp vellum bindings became an important structure all their own. In this class students will bind a book using these bindings as a model but employing thick paper as the folded and laced wrapper. Students will learn to use a sewing frame and the skill of sewing headbands.


Bookbinding Core 4 - Classic Rounded Back Cloth Binding

The final class in our Core Bookbinding series (taught in two sessions) uses skills learned in each previous class to create a beautiful and classic rounded back cloth binding.  In this structure students will learn to lace boards into the cords used for sewing the book. After sewing, the book will be rounded and backed before the boards are attached and covered. More terms, more tools, more techniques: such are the rewards of the skilled bookbinder!