Crafting The Past

Book Foredge Decorating Class

Part of our Heritage Craft Skills Workshop

Our research found that our building was a vintage bookshop, run by Henry Sotheran from 1830’s for a few years. Sotheran’s does still exist and is in London, set up by Henry’s nephew.

Foredge decoration has been practiced by bookbinders for centuries. There are a variety of techniques ranging from simple block-coloured edges right through to gauffering (putting an impression into gilt or single colour edges), marbling, and disappearing foredge paintings. Many of these have gained popularity in recent years and publishers are increasingly using foredge colouring as another way to bring decoration into the collector’s editions and first print run of both hardback and paperback books.

This class will be focusing on heritage craft techniques for simple, flat, foredge decoration such as block colour, sprinkling, and flat foredge painting that can be done without specialist equipment at home. During the class we will also discuss the different types of foredge, the reasons behind them, and have a look at some modern and historic foredge decoration examples from Anachronalia’s personal collection.

Participants should bring with them 2-3 books to edge colour, these can be paperback or hardback, with trimmed edges (no torn or rough edge books) ideally new or near new with good quality paper. We will start the class assessing which are suitable to work with. If you are struggling to find suitable books, contact us and Anachronalia might be able to source some for you.

All participants are advised to wear clothes they don’t mind getting paint or dust on, aprons will be provided, as will disposable dust masks for when we are sanding.

10-17:00 (there will be a break for lunch, please bring your own lunch or there are places to purchase nearby)