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Starburst – An Exposed Binding NEW! Online Class May 15 & 22

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Starburst – An Exposed Binding NEW! Online Class
Two Sunday Sessions: May 15 & 22, 1:30-4pm MT
Instructor: Kristen Lewis
Limit: 15 students. Includes class kit + shipping
To receive your kit in time for class, register by May 8.

We love how modern bookmakers have been using traditional binding stitches in exposed spine books to add interest and color. It’s hard to imagine that such beautiful patterns were never meant to be seen! These hidden bindings were created around the eighth century when books became larger and heavier. The bigger text blocks required stronger structural support, so the signatures were sewn together with hardwearing stitch patterns and covered over with a spine to protect them.

Local book artist Kristen Lewis focuses on the starburst stitch in this multi-session class. The pattern is prettier and offers more decorative possibilities than the better known Coptic binding. Plus, you can really make the stitching stand out by putting a simple contrasting band of paper behind your star. (Talk about wow!) The starburst stitch is one versatile binding.

In addition to the two live online sessions, there are also two video instruction sessions so that you can do the homework at your own pace. During the first of the live sessions you’ll share your prepared covers, go over pages and registration, and discuss structure, form, and function. The second class session pulls everything together. It’s a chance for everyone to check in, ask questions, and share what they discovered – both challenges and surprises. It’s also a time for Kristen to show inspiring variations on the project. There are plenty of innovative ideas for you to play with.

Your reward for the week’s work? A unique and hardworking journal (5" x 6") with a striking pattern on the spine, plus the satisfaction of knowing you’re showing off something beautiful that once was hidden.

Your class kit includes a set of covers, the correctly sized blank pages, and other fun materials. You will receive 2 homework videos (about 30min each). Note that the total homework for the class will take about 2-½ to 3 hours: about 1 hour before the first live session and 1-½ to 2 hours before the second live session. These times are estimates. Please allow yourself plenty of time for the homework since everyone’s pace is different.

This online class will be recorded
and made available to class participants for 10 days after the class.

Class Materials

Please bring the following materials:

  • Awl for bookbinding
  • Scissors
  • A punching surface - mat or cardboard or magazine
  • Glue: PVA (strongly recommended) or Alene’s Tacky Glue. Both are acid free and dry in a flexible way. A glue brush is included in your kit.
  • Old magazine, newsprint, or other paper for keeping glue off the work surface.
  • Optional but very useful: metal ruler 12” or longer, a cutting mat 8 x 10” or bigger, and an Xacto knife with fresh blades
  • Optional but very useful: bone folder
  • Optional but very useful: damp paper towels, hand towels, or baby wipes in case of glue mistakes and to keep fingers clean

Class Kit Includes:

  • Waxed linen thread
  • Foam brush for applying glue
  • Curved bookbinding needle
  • Paper for interior pages
  • Decorative paper
  • Set of covers
  • Paper jigs for punching
  • Handouts
We ship class kits approximately 2 weeks before the class via USPS Priority Mail. You will receive a tracking number (check your spam folder) once your kit ships. Kits can only be shipped within the USA. If you’re outside the USA and would like to take the class, please contact us for information.

Zoom Info

Be sure to look for an email with class details sent out the Monday before the class. The email includes a Zoom link to login, the class agenda, a materials list, and information on any pre-class prep. You’ll also receive a reminder email the day before the class. If you don’t see the class email from us check your spam folder. No email? Double check the email address you entered when you registered. It's on your order confirmation. If there's still an issue, contact

Class Refund/Cancellation Policy

For cancellation made 3 weeks before class we can either issue a refund or apply the funds to another class. We deduct the price of the class kit plus shipping if we’ve already shipped the kit, and we retain a $10 processing fee for EACH class cancelled. If you cancel fewer than 3 weeks before the class there is no refund or credit. If Two Hands Paperie cancels a class, we’ll contact you by email and refund the FULL class fee.

Instructor Bio

Kristen Law Lewis was bitten hard by the book bug during the last semester of her undergrad studies in Studio Art at CU Boulder. She's made all kinds of books since, and even created a line of hand bound books that she sold in galleries throughout Colorado under the name Papercuts Press. She later pursued artifact conservation, a second love, and earned a degree in Museum Studies. Kristen mixes her time between sculpture, bookmaking, and caring for museum collections. Her artwork - which reveals her deep love for paper, books, and maps - originates in her study of nature, and melds scientific and spiritual habits like collecting. These days she finds herself teaching others the art of bookmaking and loving every minute of it! One of her favorite things about book making is that the definition of "book" is so broad. Can you imagine using a paperwasp nest in a book? Kristen could. Using a rainbow of threads, she carefully stitched the nest to form the cover of a book for the 2011 Eccentric Artists Garden Exhibit in Boulder. She's constantly experimenting. Her latest work is with sewable electronics, which can add light to almost any piece of art. To quote her, "Book making is the perfect combination of craft and technology". Her blog is at


Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
Jane Haddock
Starburst class

Really enjoyed the class. I hope to take many more.

Iliana Perez-Zeyda
Excellent Class!

I love the format of the class and think the homework and pre-recorded videos help a lot. Kristen is a great teacher and explains things so well. I’m already looking forward to taking other classes with her!

Diana Basquez
Great Class!

Really fun technique to learn! Instruction is thorough and so helpful. Highly recommended!