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Anne Canright: A contemporary take on a medieval closure

I find the history of bookbinding fascinating. Before we had book board and paper we had wonderful, non-production materials. Metal corners and clasps were designed to adorn, protect and preserve the written word. Of course our artistic side wasn't content with just "protection," we had to show our skills, ingenuity and individuality!

This class is steeped in history and includes discussions about and photos of historic books, physical models, demonstrations and a lot of hands-on work. You can expect to leave class with several complete pieces, depending on your speed and skill level.

Christine Cox
Book furnishing collection in silver, brass and enamel, some historic models, most are contemporary

Let's grab our pliers and blow torches and get medieval on your books!

Many Carolingian, Romanesque, Gothic and later books were made with metal furniture to protect them, and fastenings to keep them closed. Whether you are binding in wood or in book board (or even in metal), learn the basic fabrication skills you need to make brass and copper bosses, clasps, corners, front-pieces and other historic furniture.

The techniques you learn will transfer beautifully to contemporary books as well as to jewelry-making.

Christine Cox
Closures modeled on a French set on a book made in 1180

Each student will receive an excellent booklet with history and instructions.

Prepare to learn a lot and to love it!

You will learn to how to design, saw, file and finish your own book hardware. Once you are comfortable with your skills you'll progress to etching, patinating and soldering. Make your own corners, hinges, bosses and clasps, and then learning how to attach them to your book covers.

We will cover safety and materials handling, metallurgy, basic chemistry and how all of this fits into our historical timeline.

We encourage you to bring any of your own materials or books you'd like to practice with, but we furnish everything you need to etch, fabricate, solder, etc.

Christine Cox
Bloodwood, sterling and onyx
(special materials not included in class price)

This class is exclusive; taught only by Christine Cox in Volcano, CA.

A class can be really wide ranging. Come to my studio in beautiful Northern California, play with my toys, make art, meet like-minded students and expect anything!

Book Jewels: Fastenings and Furnishings for Bookbinders

Instructor: Christine Cox

2018 Dates

January 18 - January 22
(only 2 seats left)

April 26 - April 30
(waiting list)

Jun 7 - June 11
(waiting list)

All dates: 9AM to 4PM
Price $600
(includes lunches and materials, within reason)
All levels, though experience will serve you well

To make inquiries or to sign up, email us at:


  • Everything for all projects is supplied by the instructor.

  • Completely unique and unavailable anywhere but at the Volcano Arts Studio.

  • A certain amount of hand-strength is required in any metal fabricating you do.

Plaquette with 4 bosses and frontpiece
Christine Cox
4 bosses with soldered pins, cold-connected frontpiece. Brass and nickel silver mounted on wood.

What to Bring

  • Journal or pad for notes
  • Magnification: I have a few OptiVISORs to loan out and we also sell them here, so don't run out and buy one. We share.
  • If you have a respirator mask bring it along (like painters use, available at hardware stores - filters should be for aerosol particulates). Although a respirator mask is highly recommended, don't feel that you need to buy one just for this class. I have lots of paper masks that you can use.
  • I have plenty of medium and large latex gloves. If you are allergic to latex or have extra large or extra small hands, please bring several pairs to use during the week.
  • That's it! It's so nice to travel without a suitcase full of expensive tools, isn't it?

Gallery highlighting some great student work from past classes

Joanne Patrick
(frontpiece for a velvet book)

Joanne Patrick
(frontpiece for a velvet book)

Debby Jones
Closure for a wooden book

Frontpieces for a walnut book




A variety of etched, pierced, hot- and cold-connected book bosses, frontpieces, closures and corners. All of these projects were done by 3 students over 5 days. Joanne Patrick, Fred Perrin, DaNelle Haynes

Book hardware class pieces

Class pieces by:
DaNelle Haynes, Emily Graham, Joanne Patrick (Etched, pressed, formed, hinged, cold connected)

Hinges and closure for walnut book


Joanne Patrick
Hinged hasp and strap, etched brass

Christine Cox
Brass corner with cabochon
(mounted on wood)


Kath Thomas
Bezel-set corners, bosses and an anchor plate with soldered peg