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!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


In a word.... WHEW! What an incredible two weeks!  

  • 12 students with varying levels of experience and knowledge, all with unique personalities and backgrounds
  • 1 fabulous, DEDICATED and PATIENT instructor
  • 1 incredible facility and equipment
  • 1 super organized and thoughtful administrator (Judy) with perfect memory
  • 14 days of mostly lousy weather
  • 1 gondola field trip
Combine ingredients in large box canyon (Telluride). Mix well. Add a pinch (?!) of humor. Mix some more. Keep mixing until all the lumps are gone and you have a smooth blend (kinda like paste). Place in press off and on. Cut into rectangles. Yield: +/- 30 books and some pretty lasting friendships.

Call me biased... I LOVED this class. It was, of course, my first BIG class. For me, it was a total delight. I learned so much! (I daresay Don did too...;-) What a lot of work for everyone but, in the end, a success. A big THANK YOU! to everyone in the class and to Don for his excellent guidance, skill and gentle demeanor. This was a large class but everyone worked together, supported and helped each other, and felt they gained in numerous ways - skill, understanding, experience. In some ways, we became like a family as well... an extra bonus! I could not have had a better experience for my first go around at learning what this place is all about.

Don receives an award!.. a gift from the National Archives of Malaysia.

More later!

Posted by Deb

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sewing, Paring, Covering....

Our second week of Fine Binding is starting out with a bang. I think students were busy in the studio this weekend, but I hope some of them have gotten outside to enjoy the fantastic scenery. I'll be the first to admit that we've had lousy weather this spring. But the truth is, it is still beautiful. Fresh snow on the peaks is quite picturesque. 

Check out what a few people are doing.....

Students in Paris with Monique and Hélène!

A group of intrepid students and Monique Lallier are in Paris, Brussels and Brugge for two weeks, with Hélène Jolis as their professional guide. They are touring the amazing studios of some of Hélène's contemporaries, and visiting rare book collections and libraries (and eating lots of delicious pastries and drinking some fine French wine, I'm sure!) We are all very jealous and wish we could be there with them; just thinking about the yummy cheese is making my mouth water! I can't wait to hear about everything that you've seen (and eaten!) Please take lots of photos. Here are some photos of the group sent to me by Yumiko Harris.  My first comment is, "Wow! You all look so snappy in your French tourist outfits! Not what you usually wear the studio here in Telluride!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don Glaister is Here!

Don is here teaching Fundamentals of Bookbinding and Intermediate Fine Binding. We have a terrific group of students from all over the world....Malaysia, Taiwan (via New Mexico), Canada, and from many different states: Oregon, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and California. Class is going really well (as far as I can tell) and Don is being his usual funny self, transmitting the intricacies of fine leather binding in a clear, straight forward manner. I took this class last year and loved it...what a joy to spend every day making something by hand, using all hand tools. And taking such care as to make things perfect. What a dream, to spend every day in the studio. It can be a reality if you put your mind to it. There are several students here who do just that, spend their days in the studio making things as their main job. 

Our student from Malaysia, Zam, took this trip having never left his country, flown on a plane, or seen snow. And this week, we continue to have a late spring here in Telluride. We threw a few snowballs at Zam yesterday, and today was his 51st birthday, so we had a cake and he opened a small gift from the class: an AAB t-shirt and a brand new French paring knife. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Check out the new window sign that Dan is putting on our outside window. Awesome!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reusable Bags from Pam!

Pam Wood, one of our devoted students, had a brilliant idea. 

When the town of Telluride went plastic-bag free earlier this year, we sent a note to our students alerting them that they would need a reusable bag at the grocery store or pay $.10 for a paper bag when they shopped. I personally embrace the ordinance and think we need to decrease the amount of single-use disposable bags, bottles and packaging that our society uses. 

Anyway, when Pam got the email, she had this brilliant idea. Why not have reusable bags at the studio for visiting students to use? Pam went ahead and printed a large quantity of cute, reusable bags with the AAB logo on them. 

Here is Brenda Parson's class modeling the groovy new bags. We are giving every student a free-reusuable bag, thanks to Pam's generosity and creativity. 

From everyone at AAB—faculty, staff and students, we send a big THANK YOU to Pam!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Restoration of Cloth and Leather Bindings

Brenda Parsons is here from North Carolina teaching Restoration of Cloth and Leather Bindings. Brenda  graduated from AAB's Book Conservation Program in 2009, and currently is senior conservator at Etherington Conservation Services where she has worked for 24 years. Students are learning TONS about how to repair and restore cloth and leather bindings using Japanese papers and various techniques. We enjoyed Brenda's talk on the "Preservation of Historic Memorabilia," last night, which gave an overview of the kinds of projects she works on at Etherington's: books, photo albums, paintings, newspapers and more. 

In other news, we are having a very cold spring here in Telluride and it snowed 5 inches last night and it is still dumping! Some people might like this weather, but I must admit that I long for warm, spring days. I know they are right around the corner. 

There are still a few spaces in Don Glaister's Leather Box Making class coming up in two weeks, and also in Tim Ely's class the first week of June, A Field of Play or Thinking Outside the Slipcase. Call us if you would like to register!