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Re: papercase report

 I have made some off list responses on the paper case class I taught to
a few people, but thought I'd send something to the list as well by way
of thanks to those who showed some interest in my original posting about
the class.
 I started off by having the class read O.W. Holmes Sr's. poem about the
Deacon's marvelous shay, a carriage so well constructed and balanced in
all its parts that it lasted 100 years without a single repair and then
disintegrated.  That led us into a discussion of choosing materials and
the various ways of dealing with stress points and weaknesses while
making a binding.  They all had some previous experience with
bookbinding, so they had the basic techniques. Edge paring paper was new
to them, and it didn't help that the supply order got garbled somehow so
we had the wrong shape of scapel blade to do it with.  Still, it was
possible to pare with them so we managed.  Halfway through the week,
when they had finished the plain case and were ready to start on a laced
case, I brought them over to the Law library where I work and we looked
at about a dozen books dating from the 16th to 18th centuries in vellum
and paper bindings from England, Spain, Germany, and Italy.  By the last
day of the course they were just finishing up the laced case.
  If one judges by quantity of books finished, the course was a bust.
We were using modern text blocks scrounged from used book shops and
parental shelves, or brand new, and each person almost finished two
bindings.  I, however, was glad they got interested in questions of
judgement, learning to assess the needs of the text block before them,
using that information in the selection of cover material, attachment of
guards and endsheets, spine linings...in short, the whole nine yards. I
think they enjoyed the week, but I haven't heard back from the school
about the course evaluations yet.
 Anyhow, thanks again to you all.

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