Undercover Books

Dates: 7 Oct - 11th Oct 2024 (mon - fri)

Location: Elphin near Ullapool

Course Places : FULL To go on the reserve list, please enquire using the email link below.

Price : £500


Tutors: Jan Kilpatrick and Jan Breckenridge



Undercover Books

This is a week exploring the endless possibilities of story-telling through the highly-adaptable form of the book, making full use of the contrasting approaches to the form as practiced by the two tutors.

You will begin by learning the art of paper-folding, which leads neatly on to making the many forms of book that come from a single sheet of paper.  Known as flutter books, these include concertina, trouser and beak books.  And for a companion set of skills, you will learn how to make soft and hard covers, as well as the basic stitches used in the binding of books. By mid-week you will have developed a playful approach to book-making by creating your own combination or adaptation of the forms learned so far.  This could involve adapting an existing book, or even combining a book with a box. 

The third day will be spent reflecting on examples of books made by or collected by the tutors in order to select the most appropriate form and features for the theme to which you are working.  You will end the day with a plan or working maquette, to help make good use of the rest of the week.

And the final two days give you the opportunity to make an artist's book to house a theme of your own choosing, building on all that you have learned so far.  This can be a refined version of a recognised book form or can be a significant subversion of the form: see the gallery for a photograph  of a flying book!

It could be useful to bring along some memorabilia (such as photographs, text/poem, small objects) to help you with content for your final project, but a full range of materials and ideas will be provided.


Please click on an image to see the full picture.



Jan's studio is in Elphin, overlooking the magnificent mountains of Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor and Cul Beag. This remote location means that accommodation is a little more difficult to find, but the experience of visiting this area makes the search well worthwhile. Many course participants opt to stay in Ullapool, which is 20 minutes drive away. It is a most picturesque fishing village, with a good range of accommodation to suit all budgets. There are many restaurants and takeaways and shops, as well as some evening entertainment, should you have any energy left at the end of that day's workshop. And students often group together and car share for their daily trip up the road, past Stac Pollaidh, to the studio. Please look at the Accommodation links page to find out more.

To read about an innovative community partnership approach to preserving and improving this landscape for the benefit of all, have a look at Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes. To find out about the fascinating geology of this area go to North West Highland Geopark.


Email : info@jankilpatrick.co.uk    Tel : 01854 666279,   Postal Address : Jan Kilpatrick, Cul Mor, Elphin, By Lairg, Sutherland, IV274HH.  

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