The Drum Leaf Binding Sampler
Instructor Karen Hanmer

Virtual Workshop
Saturday May 13, 2023
10 AM to 1 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From wherever you are, via Zoom.
(This workshop will be recorded, and video will be available to registered students for at least 30 days after the workshop.)

The Drum Leaf binding is the perfect structure for printmakers, photographers, or anyone who desires to present visual narratives with no sewing thread to interrupt the flow of imagery. Because a Drum Leaf is made of single-sided folios, not signatures, the complexities of imposition are not necessary when laying out text.

This workshop highlights the versatility of the Drum Leaf structure by presenting several variations on the familiar quarter cloth with breakaway spine.

The workshop book is a sampler: one book will incorporate multiple techniques:

One-piece Spine Wrapper of parchment or stiff handmade paper
Hugging Spine: in this variation the spine wrapper does not break away from the spine. Rather when the book is opened the wrapper goes concave, conforming to the spine, providing support without restricting opening
Dimensional Panels: this variation resembles a Bradel or Simplified binding: the decorative paper is wrapped around a thin board before being attached to the book.

All versions open flat, are perfect for edition work, and can be constructed quickly in a sparsely equipped home studio.

Note: This is a fast-paced, intermediate-level workshop. Students should be making books regularly and independently, outside a workshop setting.


Advance registration is required for all JCBA workshops. For more details or to register, please email JCBA Director John Cutrone ( John will send you an email explaining how to pay your tuition online. It's a simple process.


This workshop has a set tuition fee of $100.

What You'll Need

Computer or tablet with Internet connection plus the tools and materials listed on this PDF document.


Karen Hanmer's artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays intertwining history, culture, politics, science, and technology. She utilizes both traditional and contemporary book structures, and the work is often playful in content or format. Hanmer's work is included in collections ranging from The British Library and the Library of Congress to Stanford University and Graceland, and of course the Jaffe Collection. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in traditional binding skills.