This intensive course will introduce students to the traditions and methods of the handmade book, as well as the expressive possibilities available with bookmaking. The course will begin with simple foundational structures such as pamphlet-stitched and accordion-style books and progress through more complex historical structures such as books sewn on supports, long-stitch and Coptic bindings. Exploration with materials is encouraged and students can combine other media that they are familiar with (such as photography, drawing, printmaking, painting, etc.) in creating their book-works. The course will include an introduction to alternative photo processes such as Cyanotype. Additionally, students will be introduced to ornamental and decorative techniques which will be applied to their projects such as marbling, gold leafing and wood and leather work. These techniques are supplemented by research conducted on ancient manuscripts studying calligraphy, illuminated manuscripts, ancient binding structures, and typographic research. Selected field trips will be organized to visit contemporary artists (bookbinders, papermakers) in their studios as well as visits to museums and institutions in the area which maintain collections relevant to the art of the book. Slide presentations, sample works, and lectures will give an overview of the history of the book and its development in Western art. To help expand upon their visual resources many classes will be off-site drawing, painting, and photographing some of the many well-known and lesser-known sites in Florence. This will include visits to museums and institutions in the area that maintain collections relevant to the art of the book.
SRISA studio courses will have personal and course materials to be purchased in Florence. A complete list will be provided with the syllabus on the first day of class.