Ancient craft that is proving addictive

Book binding workshop at Upper Edge Baptist Church, Rastrick.'Back, from the left, Alison Pilling, Janet Clark, Hilary McCarthy, Irene Sharman, teacher Katherine Bolton, minister Lee Reddyhoff, Sue Horsley and Jane Bolton.'Front, Jorja Bolton (left) and Wendy Newby.
Book binding workshop at Upper Edge Baptist Church, Rastrick.'Back, from the left, Alison Pilling, Janet Clark, Hilary McCarthy, Irene Sharman, teacher Katherine Bolton, minister Lee Reddyhoff, Sue Horsley and Jane Bolton.'Front, Jorja Bolton (left) and Wendy Newby.

PAPER making and book binding may be ancient crafts but two women are reviving these absorbing skills at workshops in Rastrick.

Jane Bolton and her sister-in-law Katherine Bolton have been running monthly craft sessions at Upper Edge Baptist Church, Rastrick, and are impressed by the enthusiasm of those signing up.

Book binding workshop at Upper Edge Baptist Church, Rastrick.'Minister Lee Reddyhoff.

Book binding workshop at Upper Edge Baptist Church, Rastrick.'Minister Lee Reddyhoff.

So far this year the two woman have taught students how to make a book collection, how to make handmade paper and how to sew or bind a book.

“It’s a very absorbing hobby and it can be almost addictive,” said Jane.

She became interested in book- binding after Katherine’s husband died and the two found that a shared interest in crafts brought them closer together.

“Katherine’s the expert and had already been to book binding classes in Halifax. She taught me and it became a shared hobby which we thought we could pass on to others through our classes,” said Jane.

Book binding workshop at Upper Edge Baptist Church, Rastrick.'Katherine (left) and Jane Bolton

Book binding workshop at Upper Edge Baptist Church, Rastrick.'Katherine (left) and Jane Bolton

The monthly classes have certainly caught on with some people travelling from as far afield as Settle to attend.

One convert is Lee Reddyhoff, minister at Upper Edge Baptist Church, who attends with his wife Marina.

He said: “It’s a great way to relax. It’s totally absorbing and the time just flies by. I knew nothing about it before I started the classes but I have found it quite addictive.”

Lee has made a number of books since he started the classes in January and has given all of them away as presents.

Jane agrees that hand-made books make the perfect gift. “Each book is unique and special to the person making it.”

As well as books, Jane and Katherine teach people how to make wedding albums, keepsake boxes and pocket and tag books - which open like an accordion.

“People have found the classes good fun, they have learned new things and made new friends in a friendly atmosphere. It’s inspiring to be able to pass on a skill to other people.”

All the books are made with plain paper so that people can use them as diaries, journals or albums - or for recipes, notes, poems or whatever they want.

The book-binding and craft workshops take place on the second Saturday of every month at Upper Edge Baptist Church.

The next one on Saturday, June 9, from 10am to 4pm, will be on making a star book. On July 14 it will be on making a piano hinge spine book and on August 11 it will be on spiral binding.

Future workshops will include making a photograph album or scrapbook and at the beginning of December the workshop will have a Christmas theme.

“Since January we’ve had people making four books in a box, which would make an excellent gift, and making lavender paper,” said Jane.

Session prices vary depending on materials. To find out more contact Jane on 07526 713724.