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Art & Design - Stroud School of Art

SGS Stroud

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Course Detail

Altered Books - Steve Smith

Part time course

About the Course:

Throughout this evening class we will explore approaches to transforming old books into items of mystery and surprise. ‘Books’ can also be created using unorthodox resources such as cloth, wood, cardboard etc. or combinations of different materials. The end result could be an object/s which no longer looks like a book, has another purpose or implication but can reflect a learner’s personal and imaginative aspirations. 

What will I learn?

During the first 2 weeks of this 5 week course learners will receive tuition in methods of carving, folding, tearing, and reassembling a ‘given’ book. For the remainder of the course learners have the option of further developing this approach or creating a unique piece of work/s which may represent a diary, journal or become a stand-alone piece of sculpture where students will learn how to push out the barriers and combine and join various materials by stitching, gluing, collage and painting etc.

How will I be taught? 

Because we will be using tools such as craft knives etc. the tutor will instruct learners in safe ways of working. We will initially discuss the origins of ‘Altered books’ and study examples of other practitioners in order to get the creative juices flowing and the tutor will show various methods of work using demonstrations in a group or 1:1 situations. My aim is to create a friendly, informal and productive environment and encourage group discussions at intervals throughout the course as well as ongoing encouragement and positive critiques at the end of each lesson.

How will I know how I am doing?

Regular feedback on progress and practical work will be provided by the tutor combined with peer assessment.

Do I need any experience?


What do I need to bring to my first class?

Materials and tools will be provided including books, however please bring your own personal resources such as books, personal items papers, cloth, tools etc. if you wish.

Are there any extra costs?


What can I do next?

Research practitioners, visit/hold exhibitions. Enroll in other/progression courses (see courses in Stroud SGS website or prospectus).

About my Tutor:

10 years Employed: Technical Illustrator-Aircraft/Mining industry. 26 years-Self-employed illustrator: Historical, archaeological, narrative, educational and advertising illustration. 16 years Tutoring: Various groups in art and related subjects.

Dates & Costs

Altered Books - Steve Smith

Duration: 5 weeks
Qualifications: None