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Japanese Paper Dyeing, Bookbinding and Box-making Summer School


This course is now full. You may contact us to discuss alternative courses or be added to the waiting list in case of cancellations.

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Location Leicester Print Workshop
Date & Time Tuesday 23rd - Saturday 27th July
10.30am - 4.30pm
Tutor  Lucy May Schofield

New for our Summer School is an opportunity to learn Japanese book binding and box making.  

Over the course of the week you will learn the skills to make 5 different binding styles or Toji: Four hole (Chinese), Five hole (Korean), Noble, Tortoise Shell, Hemp Leaf and the Accordion, which will be housed within a Maru Chitsu, an elegant fold-down box complete with bone clasps.  

Inspired by traditional Japanese printed papers, you will spend a day experimenting with making your own hand-dyed Orizome papers.  You will also experiment with Suminagashi; Japanese marbling techniques.  Some of these papers will go on to form the covers of your bindings throughout the week, alongside authentic Chiyogami printed papers.  

Using a selection of fabrics, you will learn the skills to create your own durable book-cloth. This exclusive course will give you the opportunity to create a selection of the strongest, most elegant and practical bindings for artists working with the book form as well as a beautiful way to present and protect them in a stunning box.

About the Tutor

Lucy May Schofield is based in rural Northumberland, after spending a year as artist-in-residence with Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC), my practice is predominantly residency-based. Since graduating from London College of Printing in 2002, I was awarded a 2 year residency at Manchester School of Art, where I also worked as an Associate Lecturer until 2010.

In 2011 I relocated to Japan, where my interest in printmaking developed through the MI-LAB residency program. Works are held in public and private collections including Tate Britain, Yale Center for British Art, Stanford University, Chelsea College of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, State Library of Queensland and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Recent work has been presented at Art Toronto, The London Art Fair and The University of Hawai’i, where I received the Awagami Paper Prize.

Course structure

Day 1 – Japanese Paper Dyeing Techniques (orizome & suminagashi)
• Tutor and class introductions.
• Introduction to Japanese decorative papers with examples.
• Demo of Orizome and Suminagashi dyeing techniques.
• Students fold and prepare washi for dyeing.

• Students spend the afternoon experimenting with both dyeing techniques on washi (Japanese Paper) and linen threads.
• 3:30pm clear up. Leave washi and thread to dry overnight.
• Preparation of paper for the inside of 5 sewn book structures.

Day 2 – Making Book cloth (Urauchi) & Bookbinding preparation (Toji)
• Students continue to prepare their book blocks and select their cloth for box-making.
• Demonstration of ‘Urauchi’ (paper backing) of cloth and students to prepare their own cloth. Leave to dry for 1 day.
• Continue to make book blocks, learning how to secure pages before sewing, attach protective corners, measure a sewing template, select and prepare front and back covers from self-dyed papers.

Day 3 – Sewing and binding
• Begin by attaching covers to all 5 sewn books, front and back.
• Mark up each book with prepared sewing template for accurate stitching.
• Sew each of the 5 books step by step together as a group, increasing in complexity.

Day 4 – Accordion Bookbinding (Orihon) & Box making (Maru chitsu)
• Students learn to make the traditional Japanese ‘Orihon’ accordion book with hard covers.
• Students learn the formula to measure and cut their boards in preparation for box-making.
• Selection, measuring and cutting of the dyed papers for the box-linings.

Day 5 – Box-making (Maru chitsu)
• Making the clasp holders and fastenings for the box out of cloth.
• Gluing & turning in of book cloth.
• Attaching bone clasp fastenings to the box with a chisel.
• Lining box with dyed papers. Leaving it to dry.
• 3:15 pm clean up.
• 3.30 – 4pm – group discussion with presentation of books and boxes.



Online: You can book online here by credit / debit card or Paypal.

Telephone: You can pay by card over the phone during our opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm). Call us on 0116 251 4174.

In person: Call in to Leicester Print Workshop during our opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm) to book and pay by card, cash or cheque.

Pre-course information: We will send you details of how to find us and what to bring with you when we process your booking. 


Full-Print Members of Leicester Print Workshop are entitled to a 10% discount on our inhouse courses. Interested in joining LPW as a member? Click here for more information.