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Dominic Riley: Edge Decoration

March 16 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Everyone is familiar with – and awed by – the gilded edge. But gilding takes many years of practice to master. However, book edges have been decorated by other methods for centuries, and these styles of edge treatments are, by contrast, extremely easy to learn. In fact, you can become proficient at all of them straight away! We will start with the easiest technique, the splattered edge – also known as the newspaper edge – used for centuries to decorate large bound-up volumes of newspapers and magazines. Next comes the solid red edge found on bibles, almanacs and journals, followed by the sprinkled edge common on cheaper books from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Then we will produce the more complex coloured, sprinkled and waxed edge found on nineteenth-century leather bindings, and proceed to the classic German-style graphite edge, which gives a luxurious black sheen. We will finish with the painted edge, used on design bindings, which allows for a more artistic interpretation of the overall book design.  

Materials: £10 est.

Tools list: finishing press* (ideally with a couple of blocks to raise it off the bench a little), plenty of plastic pots for mixing paint, 3 small kitchen plates, various sized artists’ brushes, cobbler’s knife, old toothbrush, sandpapers of various grits, lots of waste paper/newspaper, apron. Plus plenty of paperback books to work on. (* if you don’t have a finishing press, let Sue know when booking as we should be able to find one for you).


March 16
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Community Centre, Kelsall
Chester Road
Kelsall, CW6 0SB
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Sue Wood
07974 709664