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“I was on the hunt for a new craft to learn when I heard about this bookbinding course at Gartmore House.”

When there aren’t any bookbinding courses near you, then sometimes the best thing to do is to do it on holiday!

There aren’t many bookbinding courses like this one. Over four days of specialised tutition, expert bookbinder Cassandra Barron will share some of her favourite bookbinding techniques with you. From traditional and contemporary bookbinding methods, to more free-form ways of making your own decorative papers to use in your books.

Get to the heart of the craft with specialised, expert tuition while you get away from all in the heart of the Scottish countryside.

Cass is passionate about recycling and takes much inspiration from nature and found objects so expect lots of lovely papers, old maps, botanical prints and remnant fabrics to work with and be inspired by.

At the end of the your bookbinding course you will have a collection of unique and usable books, which make for great sketchbooks, journals, notebooks and presents as well as the skills and tool to make more of these at home.

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2022

All of our holidays run for 5-nights from Sunday to Friday and start from £979 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy. A £100 per person discount is applied for art, craft and activity guests on a shared occupancy basis.

April 17th to 22nd 2022
August 28th to September 2nd 2022

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests will enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. We also have a full programme of day trips and activities on offer for them. Please add them and day trips at the checkout stage.

How to book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

To confirm your holiday:
A non-refundable 25% deposit is required to secure your booking.

Payment of your holiday:
The balance of your payment must be received no later than 3 months (90 days) prior to the commencement of your holiday. In the case of non-payment, we reserve the right to cancel your booking and any cancellation fees will apply.

If you cancel your booking:
All deposits are non-refundable. Should you need to cancel your booking up to 3 months (90 days) prior to the commencement date, we will refund any monies paid, less your deposit. If you cancel less than 3 months (90 days) prior to the commencement date, no refund will be given.
We do advise you to take out holiday insurance for this reason.

The four days will be loosely themed as follows to allow time to explore different bookbinding and mark making methods:

Making marks and folded book structures – a chance to find out more about Cass’s work and favourite mark making techniques before having a go yourself and creating a collection of decorative papers to use in your books. Techniques covered will include, botanical stamp making, wax resist ink painting and cyanotype printing.
You will also create a number of folded book structures to begin your bookbinding journey.

Leather cover bindings – create a number of different sized leather bound books with decorative exposed stitches. A chance to experiment with different coloured threads, book fastenings, types of leather and leather substitutes.

Collage and Coptic Binding – get to grips with Coptic binding and try our hand at creating eyecatching collaged book covers to give your books a personal touch. You’ll also learn how to incorporate envelopes and pockets into your books and make a mini Coptic bound Artists Book to display your favourite prints.

Buttonhole Binding – create a chunky buttonhole bound journal using remnant fabrics for your cover, leather for the spine and your decorative papers to create colourful inserts. A great project to finish up on that will result in a book that you can treasure for many years to come.

Check in is from 4pm where you will receive a warm welcome from our team.
Once you are unpacked and settled, we invite you to enjoy some tea or coffee and home baking in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
If you have never been on a holiday like this before, we understand how anxious you may be. That’s why, come 6pm, everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet, giving you the chance to meet both your fellow guests and your tutor before the start of the course on Monday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the week, discuss what you would like to achieve during your stay, and answer any questions you may have. 
From there, dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Cassandra Barron
  • All materials required for the course
  • Full board catering
  • 5-nights accommodation
  • Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00). Transfers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports are available at an additional cost.

All materials and equipment for your course will be provided by your tutor, however there is lots of opportunity to incorporate different papers, fabric, buttons and ribbons into your books. So, if you have any old maps, cards, wrapping paper, etc that you would like to include in your books to give them a personal touch, please do bring along.

Tutor Cassandra Barron

Cassandra Barron was born in the North of England but has called Edinburgh home for many years now. As a self taught bookbinder, Cass has a particular interest in working with pre-loved and everyday materials and takes much inspiration from the natural world. She first delved into bookbinding while studying Fine Art Sculpture at Glasgow School of Art, making her own sketchbooks to record her creative process before moving on to using more unconventional materials such as wood and concrete to make Artists Books.

Following her time at Art School, Cass went on to complete a Masters in Art Museum and Gallery Education and has worked for a wide range of cultural venues, creative festivals and community organisations, developing and delivering creative workshops for all ages.

Her passion for bookbinding was reignited 10 years ago when volunteering with Remade in Edinburgh and a piece of leather (from an old sofa) was donated – this led to Cass developing a series of bookbinding workshops, which she now runs under the name ‘Bookbinding with Cass’ and teaches independently and in partnership both in person and online.

‘There is something ever so satisfying about re-imagining materials, such as leather and textile remnants, paper made from coffee cups, old envelopes, maps and buttons into one-of-a-kind books that go on to have a life of their own, be this as a sketchbook, diary, travel journal or memory book. I get a real buzz out of sharing my passion for bookbinding and inspiring others to see the creative potential of pre-loved materials.’

You can find out more about Cass and her work via her Instagram and Facebook. 

  • “Cass leads a brilliant array of different workshops and collaborates with other talented craftspeople. Bookbinding is an excellent skill to learn as it can lead in so many different directions once you have picked up basic skills. I really enjoyed learning how to upcycle materials too. Definite recommendation!” – Susan MacNaughton
  • “Cass is a natural teacher, a professional and friendly person. She also knows the importance of a cup of tea and a biscuit to keep the creative juices flowing!” – Gillian Harrison

Please note: The above reviews come from past workshops and courses run by the tutor out with Gartmore House.

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