Since 1993, Telluride, Colorado has been home to the American Academy of Bookbinding. The historic Old Stone Building in downtown Telluride houses the bookbinding studio. Built in 1909 and constructed of native stone and indigenous red limestone mortar, the building was first used as a livery stable and assay office, and then by old Step-and-a-Half Adams, the local undertaker, for his trade. The building experienced many business incarnations over the decades. Completely gutted and remodeled in 2009 and 2010, the beautifully renovated facility consists of a well lit, 1,400 square foot bookbinding studio and a comfortable student lounge, where books are available for further study, and students may relax before and after class. Students have access to the building 24 hours a day.
Telluride is a spectacular backdrop for this intensive program. In addition to being a designated national historic district and Colorado creative arts district, the town is surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks . . . the sheer force of their beauty and solitude instill a level of peace that welcomes creativity. Out of class, students can hike in wilderness areas, or amble along the San Miguel River. With cool nights and warm days, nothing beats the Colorado Rocky Mountains as a perfect setting for the American Academy of Bookbinding.
Many of the courses offered at AAB begin with a Sunday evening gathering to meet the other students and the instructor, become familiar with the studio and spend some time preparing textblocks to put in the presses for the night if needed. Students in these courses should plan to arrive the Saturday before or early on Sunday. It is also advised to come a day early to become accustomed to the altitude if traveling from a lower elevation.
Classes are generally held from 9 AM to 5 PM with an hour break for lunch. The time is divided between presentation of the information, demonstration, and hands-on work. Students have 24-hour access to the studio throughout the duration of the course and are often found working late, coming back in the evening or coming in early and on weekends for two-week classes. Though this is not expected or required, most students find they wish to make the most of their time at AAB and are encouraged to approach their learning experience in a serious and focused manner.
In addition to class time, AAB often schedules time for instructor and student presentations throughout the week. The instructor presentation usually occurs on Tuesday evenings and the student show and tell activities are generally after lunch one or two days during the course of a week. Students find participation a valuable part of the learning experience.
In Telluride, students can choose to make their own housing arrangements or have the Academy assist them. In arranged housing, students stay in condominiums and houses within walking distance of the AAB studio, shops, galleries and hiking trails. Students stay in private rooms in a shared house or condo, or can stay in a private condo/hotel at a higher rate. Usually students are paired in two and three-bedroom accommodations; occasionally a student will need to stay in a one-bedroom unit. The Academy is dedicated to finding accommodations for students as economically as possible, so please let us know your situation and we will try to find a creative housing solution. Seasonal camping (mid-May through mid-October) is available within walking distance of the Academy studio, and there are several National Forest campgrounds within 10 miles of Telluride. If you are making your own housing arrangements, please call the Academy for a list of preferred accommodations.General Information for Students
The facilities are excellent and it was great that we were allowed access even late into the night if we wanted. I was glad to take advantage and use the space and equipment as much as possible during the two weeks.
Since 2010, Monique Lallier and Don Etherington have opened their personal studio for AAB classes. The Lallier/Etherington studio is a beautiful, comfortable and fully equipped facility. The studio is located in Summerfield, North Carolina, a suburb of Greensboro. Courses in Summerfield provides students the opportunity to study in an alternative home environment that may be closer to home. Class size in Summerfield is limited to four students. Admission to the courses is competitive and students are selected based on commitment and skill. Pre-existing students are given priority until February 1. Tuition assistance is not available for the Summerfield campus.
Greensboro is home to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as well as Etherington Conservation Services in nearby Browns Summit, the company Don founded in 1987. If time allows, students may visit the extensive bookbinding library at the University that houses the largest collection of Don and Monique’s bindings, and get a personal tour of Don’s company where a variety of interesting conservation projects are in progress.
Summerfield has a number of affordable hotels and extended stay accommodations. There is an apartment building five miles from the Lallier/Etherington studio where three students can share accommodations. Once enrolled, the Academy will put students in contact with each other and with Don and Monique to secure accommodations and share lodging and rental cars, if needed. Students are then responsible to find appropriate housing and transportation. Greensboro has a large commercial airport that is a 15 minute drive from Summerfield and the Lallier/Etherington studio.