Closure: The Bookclasp Blog

2009 April 1
by JM

Welcome to my new blog about constructing metal book clasps, bosses, and other types of book hardware. I’ve created it as a supplement to my original website,, in order to offer the information in a blog format which I think will be a little more convenient to use. Although my original site will still retain all of its original content, including the examples of book clasp repair and restoration, and general information on clasp construction, this blog will also soon mirror much of that info, and any new updates will be posted here

As a way of introducing my blog, I am posting the original introduction here.

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. I hope sharing my venture into this aspect of the book arts will provide a small contribution to a neglected area.

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 book 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 blog and associated web site. Although the very specific details of clasp making are not covered here, this blog and website can still serve as a useful reference for others who are interested in this subject.

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.

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