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If you have questions about our products, custom work, or if you have general questions about bookbinding, letterpress, or toolmaking we would love to hear from you!

Nashville, Tennessee 37211

Crowing Hens Bindery is a one-woman bindery and letterpress print shop that specializes in traditional handmade blank books, letterpress printed stationery, limited edition fine art prints, unique book jewelry & letterpress-printed decorative papers. As the owner of a Nashville-based private business, I do my best to honor the heritage of fine craft and art that saturates my community and region. All of my products are designed and made by hand in Nashville, Tennessee from high quality materials available using traditional bookbinding techniques. I aspire to create beautiful, useful work that becomes a part of your everyday life.


An Introduction to Bookbinding: Single & Multi-Section Books

In this workshop we will explore the basics of sewn book structures. Two structures will be explored: a pamphlet (single section) and a single needle link (multi-section). During this workshop we will talk about the tools, materials, and considerations for making these simple and versatile book structures. No previous binding experience is necessary.


Binding on a Dime: Make Unique, Hand Bound Books on a Budget

In this workshop students will learn how to begin bookbinding with little investment by using available and scrap materials, that when combined can result in unique, inventive, and expressive books. This workshop will explore a multi-section binding with exposed sewing.

Books made from this workshop are perfect for sketchbooks, journals, art journals, and "junk" journals. Students may bring additional materials that they wish to incorporate into their binding, however the focus of this workshop is in the construction of the book itself.

We will also explore economical alternatives to traditional bookbinding tools and equipment, some of which are "free" and others that you can make to suit your bookbinding needs. No previous binding experience is needed.


An Introduction to the Springback Binding

This nineteenth century, deluxe stationery binding was used primarily for ledgers and is known for its signature “spring” action. Designed to offer the user a completely flat writing surface, this binding is ideal for photo albums, guest books, journals, sketchbooks, and hardcopy ledgers.

This course offers an introduction to the construction and mechanics of the Springback Binding style, including a molded paper spring, split boards, levers, made endsheets, and a large headcap that can be easily formed.

This overbuilt, utilitarian stationery binding will incorporate the use of leather with minimal, no-nonsense paring. For this reason it can be an excellent foray into working with leather.

Please note: This is an advanced, fast-paced workshop for students with traditional binding experience. Students should be comfortable sewing on supports, have experience rounding textblocks, have experience with forwarding, and be comfortable using adhesives and leather. Because we will be constructing several components and completing various stages of the binding process over the course of a short period of time, this workshop also requires a good deal of focus and stamina to finish within the allotted time.


An Introduction to Linoleum Carving & Letterpress Printing

During this workshop we will explore the tools, techniques, and various methods for transferring images onto the block. Safe carving techniques will be stressed to minimize injury and bench-hooks will be provided. Using pre-mounted linoleum, each student will carve one block and print it on an antique letterpress. Previous carving and letterpress experience is not necessary. Materials and tools will be provided. Students are encouraged to bring an image or be prepared to draw directly on the block.


Suminagashi – Japanese Paper Marbling

Suminagashi, the art of Japanese paper marbling, is a tradition of paper decoration that is centuries old. A very approachable method of marbling, this style is great for beginners and advanced marblers alike. Because the designs are often unpredictable, it is a technique that can help you learn to “go with the flow” and embrace variation. In this workshop we will explore the process of Suminagashi and experiment with a variety of inks and tools.


Decorative Papers on the Letterpress

Decorative papers have long been an essential material in the construction & design of a book. Whether used as endpapers or to cover boards, the use of these papers can introduce a variety of colors and patterns to further enhance a book’s appearance and offer an attractive and more economical alternative to full leather or cloth bindings. At a time when decorative papers were not as commercially available as they are today, binders in the past occasionally designed or commissioned their own decorative papers, featuring repeating patterns and often imbedded with images representative of the publisher’s iconography. Custom decorative papers can also become an integral component in the overall design of a fine press book.

In this two-day workshop students will design their own original decorative papers. In day one, each student will generate an original design that will then be drawn directly onto a pre-mounted linoleum block or transferred using carbon paper. The majority of the day will be spent carving. On the second day, students may spend time finishing, embellishing, or cleaning up their designs. Once carving is finished, each student will print a small edition of their papers on a Vandercook proofing press.

Safe carving techniques will be stressed and bench-hooks will be provided to minimize the potential for injury. Each student will be provided with one pre-mounted linoleum block and a sheet of carbon paper to transfer their design. Carving tools will be available for students to borrow if they do not own carving tools. Paper and oil-based printing ink will also be provided.

Note: This is a fast-paced workshop with an ambitious goal of producing a decorative paper large enough to cover a standard-sized book board, approximately 12”x 12.” Previous linoleum carving and letterpress experience is not necessary, but students must come prepared to spend much of their time carving. During this workshop, carving and press time will be limited; for that reason students will not be able to print large editions of their papers, but they may do so at a later time.




Pastepapers – Make Your Own Gift Wrap

 The making of pastepapers is a time-honored tradition of bookbinders throughout history as a way to make beautiful decorative papers to clothe books. Books, however, are not the only objects that benefit from beautiful paper. These one-of-a-kind decorative papers can add a personal touch and make your gift-giving all the more special. Using acrylic paints and a wheat paste base attendees will explore the tools of the trade and experiment with a variety of methods to manipulate the paint and layer textures. No previous experience is necessary. Tools and materials will be provided, but come ready to get messy. Attendees are encouraged to bring an apron or wear appropriate clothing.