New Middle School Elective Teaches Bookmaking

By: Mrs. Stacey Filippone

Bookmaking is an exciting new elective for students this year.  This class infuses technology with traditional fine arts pairing both skill sets to inspire authentic creativity. Students acquire skills in Adobe InDesign to create the design, layout, and content of their pages and craft the actual paper pages using techniques that date back to A.D. 105 when Ts’Au Lin first began making paper with mulberry bark and hemp. The students spent time researching the craft of papermaking and exploring various possible methods and materials. The materials used in handmade paper are often extensions of the content’s theme.  For example, one student, who wrote about horses, infused the pages with hay to provide extra texture and to extend the elements of her content.


The students especially enjoyed marbling the paper for the inside cover of their books. Marbling paper is considered an expressive and intricate art with each design unique and complex.  Students experimented with  colors, textures, and patterns.  Once they decided on these elements, they began applying the paint and transforming their concepts into creations. The final step of the bookmaking process involved binding pages together through a hand sewn technique.  Students found it interesting how bookbinding has evolved over the years and appreciated the arduous tasks involved in handmade bookbinding.  

This project allowed students to explore their self-interests. They included prose, poetry, photographs, and personal artwork in constructing the content of the books.


Pictured above is Addie Steele’s book on the dogs her family has fostered through the years. It is entitled Ten Tails: My First 10 Foster Dogs. She was able to include a picture of each dog, information about the dogs, and a quote dedicated to each animal.