Dear Friends, Students, Faculty Members and lovers of books,

This is Deb Stevens. I am the administrative director for the American Academy of Bookbinding based out of Telluride, Colorado. This blog was started as a way for all of us, those who have studied at AAB, friends of AAB, as well as those who want to find out more about this place, can keep in touch with each other during the year. I'll be posting all kinds of photos, news and updates as regularly as possible (or newsworthy). I hope you will also share any bookbinding thoughts, questions, revelations, etc. Send me your photos and let us all know what you're up to. Keep connected!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Students in Fine Box Making were very ambitious, making more boxes than we had anticipated. This was the kind of class where some students stayed in the studio late into the night (or even into the wee morning hours...I'm talking about you, John!) The boxes were gorgeous. It is always a treat to see new students, some who had never before made a box or a book, jump in and find a new passion. This is a common theme here at the Academy—book lovers who don't know anything about the art of fine bookmaking get a taste, and they become hooked for life. It's fantastic!

We are now deep into our final week of classes, and our full class of 8 students is going well. When I walk into the studio students are engaged in their work and can barely look up at me...every minute counts in a week-long workshop. New Oriental Binding is a simple yet elegant technique that allows the book to open flat without any glue touching the sections of the book. I don't have any finished photos, but I'll post some at the end of the week. Here are a few shots of students focused on their work.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009


It snowed a little this week, but that didn't deter students in Monique Lallier's Fine Box Making Class. Students started with fundamental box making and learned some of Monique's secret techniques. Some students worked in cloth, and others in leather. Monique finds the Buffalo Skins excellent for boxes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monique in Ann Arbor and Telluride

Director Monique Lallier is in her fourth week of teaching, having taught for one week in Cheerio, NC, then two weeks in Ann Arbor, and now two weeks in Telluride. What a busy schedule! Her two week class in Ann Arbor, Fundamentals of Bookbinding, was outstanding. Her is a photo of Monique with her students.

This week in Telluride she is teaching Fine Box Making, and next week she'll teach New Oriental Bindings. Talk about diverse! That's our incredible director! Stay tuned for more photos.


Many of you know that the Old Stone Building is getting a complete remodel. Yeah! The roof was completely taken off and is getting redone, the drywall downstairs was pulled off to expose the stone from 1900, and stairs will be relocated and an accessible bathroom will be put in downstairs. Here are a few photos to see what is happening. The building should be ready by April 1, 2010, just in time for Spring classes.

Buffalo Skins from France

We ordered some beautiful Buffalo Skins from Remy Carriat. Don and students are cutting the skins into quarters. There are lots of colors to choose from, and the skins are excellent quality...very few nicks and dings.

DON GLAISTER: What was the Alternatives Class really about?

Don Glaister's class that ended on Friday, Introduction to Alternative Techniques, was fabulous. It was everything the description said it would be: learning really cool decorative techniques and concentrating on how to implement these techniques into a design binding. Students explored all sorts of neat techniques that Don has developed and perfected. Students were also challenged to think about how to incorporate these new techniques in a design for a leather binding....that was the hard part! I personally think the design part of leather bookbinding is the most interesting, and can be the most creative. I could feel the intense thinking going on in the studio each day, as participants used their imaginations to come up with visual imagines that related their books. Some of the techniques that Don demonstrated were: drawing on leather, using an airbrush, feathered onlay, board forming, leather molding, blind tooling, and different techniques for paring and sanding. They also made some custom brass tools. Enjoy the photos!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


On the weekend between Don Glaister's Intermediate Fine Binding class and his Introduction to Alternative Techniques class, the students who stayed over took an excursion up to the top of Imogene Pass. This is a pass over 13,000 feet that is just above the Telluride valley. Daniel Tucker was the tour guide, and at one point, everyone had to get out and push the Suburban up the hill through some snow!

Don's "Alternative Class" started this week. Students are busy thinking about how to design their covers using interesting techniques that Don has developed and perfected. This class will be offered in San Francisco at the San Francisco Center for the Book next March, so I'll post more photos the in the next few days to give you an idea of what you could be learning.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

2010 Schedule Now ONLINE!!!

Our 2010 schedule of classes is now available on our updated website:


What isn't posted there yet are two classes at satellite locations: Boston at the North Bennet Street School, and San Francisco at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Here is a short description of those two classes:

SATELLITE CLASSES: San Francisco and Boston
The American Academy of Bookbinding is partnering with the San Francisco Center for the Book, the Hand Bookbinders of California and the North Bennet Street School to offer specialty classes with AAB faculty members. By expanding some of AAB’s offerings to the east and west coasts, students will have an opportunity to study with AAB faculty and not have to travel to Telluride or Ann Arbor.

San Francisco, California
March 22-26, 2010, five days
Donald Glaister, “Introduction to Alternative Techniques”
Course Fee: $800

Boston, Massachusetts
June 2010, dates TBA, five days
Monique Lallier, “New Oriental Bindings”
Course Fee: $800

For more information and to register, please contact Judy Kohin, aab@ahhaa.org, 970-728-8649.

Photos from Don Glaister's Class

Don Glaister's two week class, "Intermediate Fine Binding" is wrapping up. What a wonderful two weeks it has been. With the Old Stone Building being remodeled, classes were held in the Depot. I was nervous about the temporary space, but it worked out just fine. We had only one board shear, and with eight students it was not a problem (hey, maybe we don't need three board shears after all!)

Students traveled from Vancouver, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Wyoming.

Don will teach "Introduction to Alternative Techniques" next week. Stay tuned to find out what that is all about!