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A website about constructing metal book clasps, bosses and other types of book hardware, showing examples of book clasp repair and restoration. Information on workshops offered by Joycelyn Merchant on the design and construction of metal bookclasps.

Closure, the blog version, is here.

Blog | Clasp I, II | Clasp III,IV | Demo Books | More Clasps |Workshops | Clasp Repair | Clasp Restoration | Replica I | Replica II | Résumé | Links

About and Closure, the blog

After a 25 year career as a jewelry designer and metalsmith, I became interested in the book arts, bookbinding and book repair. While learning about bookbinding and conservation, I realized that information about and resources for book closures or book furniture were very limited. So I did some research, and began to make my own clasps, bosses and other book hardware.

In 2003, I began to teach workshops on designing and making metal book clasps, teaching bookbinding students and book artists enough simple metal working techniques to enable them to easily make some clasps using readily available tools and materials. The first workshop was at Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts in January 2003. Since then I've taught workshops at Paper and Book Intensive (PBI), 2004; at the FOCUS Conference of the Oregon Book Arts Guild, 2005; for the New York Guild of Bookworkers; and at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA in 2006. In 2007 I taught workshops for the California Hand Bookbinders, and for Hollander’s in Ann Arbor, MI. I taught again at the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Colombia in January 2008. The only workshop I will be teaching this summer will be held at the Focus on Book Arts (FOBA) Conference in Portland, Oregon. Info here.

I also occasionally accept commissions to custom make replica clasps, or clasps which echo the feel of lost clasps, or to make missing parts for clasps on antiquarian books and old family Bibles. Some examples of that work are shown on several pages beginning here. In addition to focusing on the clasps, I also sometimes make books with or without clasps, and do some limited book repair.

The book arts community is especially generous in sharing information, and it is in that spirit that I offer this web site. I'm in the process of adding a blog which will duplicate all of the info on this website, and which will be updated with more recent clasps and books. Although the minute details of clasp making are not covered here, this site and Closure, the associated blog can still serve as a useful reference for others who are interested in this subject. I hope sharing my venture into this aspect of the book arts will provide a small contribution to a neglected area.

Examples of books and clasps shown on this site may not necessarily be historically accurate; rather, they are offered to demonstrate a variety of clasp styles and methods of attachment.

E-mail if you have comments or questions, or if you would like to plan a workshop.



Blog |Clasp I, II | Clasp III,IV | Demo Books | More Clasps |Workshops | Book Repair | Clasp Restoration | Replica I | Replica II | Résumé | Links

All content and images © Joycelyn Merchant 2003 - 2009, now and forever.