the school for bookbinding arts

Winchester, Virginia

sbba logo

2019 Calendar of Classes

‡ indicates that a prerequisite is required

Core Classes

Advanced Leather Binding Restoration‡  
April 11 – 12    $295

New Cloth Binding Construction Workshop
May 16 – 17    $295

Introduction to Book Restoration 
June 13 – 14    $265
July 25 – 26    $265
August 15 – 16    $265

Advanced Cloth Binding Restoration‡  
September 19 – 20    $295

Introduction to Paper Repair
October 24 – 25    $295


Boxing Week ~ October 9 – 16

Victorian-Era Box Structures
October 9  (Wed)    $195

Clamshell Box Making
October 10 – 11    $295

Preservation Enclosures for Rare Materials
October 16 (Wed)    $225

Advanced Clamshell Box Making‡
Dates set based on course demand


Marbling Fortnight ~ September 5 – 18

Enhanced Paper Decoration
September 5 – 6 (Thurs – Fri) $285 + $45 materials

Beginning Paper Marbling
September 9 – 10 (Mon – Tue)    $285 + $45 materials

Bookbinding for Book and Paper Artists
September 12 – 13 (Thurs – Fri)    $285 + $45 materials

Pigment Grinding & Marbling Ink Preparation
September 16 (Mon)    $185 + $30 materials

Historical Marbled Paper Patterns
September 17 – 18 (Tue – Wed)    $285 + $50 materials

Note: Students reap the greatest benefit by taking both
the Pigment Grinding and the Historical Marbling courses.



Book Sewing Intensive‡
July 18 – 19    $295

Endband Sewing Intensive‡
August 2 (Fri)    $195

Hand Papermaking
October 3 – 4    $295


All classes are Thursday – Friday unless otherwise noted.

To Our Students Past, Present, and Future

It seems I’m always pondering about bookbinding in one aspect or another. Over the years it has pleased me enormously to discover how many other people think about bookbinding–perhaps not as obsessively as I do–but at least some of the time. It would be lonely without kindred spirits.

When I started Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding in 1991, I little imagined that a life-long journey had begun. Starting first as only a bookbindery, Cat Tail Run quickly became a place where interested folk would come seeking instruction in the craft. Over time, what began as simple one-on-one instruction has grown into the entity we call The School for Bookbinding Arts, offering well over a dozen workshops each year with the bulk of those courses being held in our on-site instructional facility, Studio 2. Exciting news for us is that in 2019 we will be putting finishing touches on Studio 3. As an addition to Studio 2, Studio 3 will serve to greatly expand our workshop space and provide opportunities for us to bring a greater number and variety of workshops to our students.

Letter to StudentsThe philosophy behind our workshops is one that I developed as a result of my own experiences during my bookbinding apprenticeship and internships. I came to believe that bookbinding could be effectively taught through short, focused courses within a carefully designed curriculum. In this way, people who were interested in the craft but who were unable to apprentice full-time could still gain competence and satisfaction in bookbinding by taking classes and then devoting regular periods of time to practicing what they learned. I have been gratified over the years to see my instincts in this were on target as I have watched our students learn and enjoy bookbinding, with quite a few working in the field of book repair and some going on to institutional conservation training.

The School for Bookbinding Arts is a place where those of us with a love of the book can continue the traditions of a craft that has been practiced continuously for hundreds of years and shows no sign of becoming obsolete. If you’ve never studied with us, please consider taking some of our workshops. I know your hands will enjoy the feel of the craft and your brain will be challenged as you come to understand something as commonplace as a book is at the same time one of mankind’s most elegant, delightfully complex, and versatile inventions. Most of all, we will enjoy having you on our journey–we still don’t know where it’s going, but we can absolutely say there appears to be no end in sight.

Yours truly,
jill deiss
Jill Deiss, Bookbinder


Cost of materials included unless otherwise noted.

Workshops include instructor demonstration of techniques and student practice time.

Supplemental handouts accompany each class.

Advance payment of tuition is required.

Any materials fees are conveyed directly to the instructor on the day of class and are not collected by The School for Bookbinding Arts or Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding.

Cancellations less than seven days prior to the workshop will require that an administrative fee of approximately 20% of the workshop tuition be withheld from the tuition refund.

In the event of catastrophic weather conditions or similar disruptive circumstances, Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding and The School for Bookbinding Arts reserve the right to cancel classes with a full tuition refund to students.

Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding and The School for Bookbinding Arts reserve the right to limit the class roster as necessary for each of the workshops.

studio-1 studio-2 studio-3