Bookmaking with Wendy Poma

Jun 10, 2013

WendyPoma_Bookmaking_ACodex versus case. Do you know the difference?

Wendy Poma does. She’s been teaching traditional bookmaking at Glendale Community College since 1999, and she’ll be hosting a bookmaking workshop at Vroman’s on Saturday, June 15th.

All supplies are included in the price of the workshop ($40) and the final product will be a hard covered book with a spine and sewn signatures. (To learn the meaning of any unfamiliar terminology, sign up!)

Bookmaking with Wendy Poma
To reserve a space, call 616.449.5320.
Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena 91101
For more info, visit

WendyPoma_Bookmaking_BHP: How did you come to be a bookmaker? 

Wendy: I have always enjoyed anything to do with paper arts. I can remember at the age of five watching a television show and a woman was making some crafty-type project and was cutting paper with scissors, and I thought that sound of paper being cut was so exciting! Many of the classes that I took through high school and college had to do with paper and design. I didn’t know until years later my calling was book arts. I took some classes in the art and that did it—I was hooked.

HP: What part of the process most excites you? What is the most challenging?

Wendy: I love teaching, as I want to inspire those who take my classes to continue the art of making books. I want to keep the art alive. I love seeing the papers, boards and glue, and then—a few hours later—it has turned into a work of art.

WendyPoma_Bookmaking_CHP: Are you an author as well or what type of books are these that you create?

Wendy: I am a book designer. I create different structures of basic books. There is more than just one book type. There are open spine books, Coptic books, traditional bookmaking (which is called a Codex books), and also Japanese stab bound books. The list goes on and on. I have started a book on the book arts but have put it aside. My happiness comes in hands-on working with students; it is very rewarding to see the finished product at the end of class and the look on the students faces—the surprise on their faces, that they have made a professional, finished book.

HP: How does one decide on paper type, binding, etc.? What variables need to be considered?

Wendy: Selecting papers is always great. You choose what you like or if it’s for someone else, what they like. Pretty simple. You do want to use high quality papers, boards, and especially glue. You put so much time into creating a book that you don’t want it falling apart. You want it to last. Quality is very important to me.


HP: Are you commissioned to make a book for someone or do you make books and sell them, or something else?

Wendy: Years ago I started my own business of making books for clients. I found that wasn’t my calling. It was hard for me to make a book with someone else’s choices. Working with students inspires me and I love getting immediate feedback. I love what I do, so I feel very fortunate to be able to share it with others.




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