Japanese Bookbinding | Newberry

Japanese Bookbinding

Led by Barbara Korbel. Six sessions, 9 am - noon.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Saturdays, February 10 - March 24 (class will not meet on February 17)

9 am - noon

Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (January 9 at 10 am – January 26 at 4 pm): $275
Regular Registration Price (January 26 at 4 pm – first day of class): $302.50

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Online registration is closed, but you can still register by phone. Please call (312) 255-3700 to do so.

Excuse our dust!

Beginning January 2018 the Newberry will be undertaking renovation of much of the first floor. The Adult Education Seminars Program will still have use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Winter/Spring and Summer 2018 terms. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

Explore the craft of Japanese bookbinding. Radically different in methodology and materials from their European counterparts, traditional Japanese bindings focus almost exclusively on paper, thread, and paste to create a variety of structures. This class will serve as an introduction to those materials and techniques. Participants will view two films documenting the production of washi and inks and brushes, and they will make three different bindings spanning the history of the craft. Six sessions.

Barbara Korbel is recently retired from a 34-year career as a book conservator at the Newberry Library in Chicago and previously, the Art Institute of Chicago. She has taught classes and workshops at a variety of venues including the Columbia College Center for Book & Paper Arts, Paper & Book Intensive, Penland School of Craft, the University of Iowa, and Haystack School of Craft.

Materials List


  • Bone folder (available through Hollanders Bookbinding (www.hollanders.com)
  • Sewing needles (straight and curved) (available through Hollanders Bookbinding (www.hollanders.com)
  • OLFA knife
  • ruler
  • pencil & eraser
  • awl (available through Hollanders Bookbinding (www.hollanders.com)
  • paste brush (small) (available through Hollanders Bookbinding (www.hollanders.com)
  • Yasutomo Japanese Sketch Paper Pad 12-1/8” × 18-1/8” (available at Blick’s online at local brick and mortar store)

** $10.00 material fee (payable to instructor at first class session)

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.