We are delighted to offer our very first online creative workshop: a collaborative bookbinding and sketching workshop inspired by house plants and the everyday.


Two Arienas workshop artists - bookbinder Cass Barron and sketcher Mark Kirkham, aka ‘Bookbinding with Cass’ and ‘The Edinburgh Sketcher’ - join forces for this collaborative workshop that will equip you with the skills to make a series of hand-bound sketchbooks and inspire you to start using them straight away.


During lockdown Cass and Mark came to appreciate the everyday, particularly their house plants and the nature on their doorstep. This workshop will encourage you to work with what’s around you and get creative in your own space, in your own time.


Cass will guide you through making a handy book case with book-cloth spine and pen/paintbrush holder, ideal for sketching on the go, with the added benefit of being multi-use - the inserts are interchangeable so you can re-jig the inside depending on what you want to sketch on that day. Once your book case is complete, Cass will show you how to make a fold and cut concertina book to fit inside, as well as a single signature stitched sketchbook made up of different types of paper to add colour and texture to your sketching. She will share a nifty technique that can be used to stitch your sketchbooks together once they have been filled – a great way to collate your work and keep it in one place!


Mark will join Cass throughout the bookmaking to share tips and ideas for adding a personal touch to your inside book covers as well as demonstrating some creative ways to add watercolour washes to your paper before turning it into books – a great way to take a way that blank page fear in preparation for sketching. Once your books are complete Mark will take you through a number of drawing exercises that will focus mainly on pot plants you have in and around your house. This will involve working with an ink pen and watercolour set, exploring tone, light and shading to discover your own style and create sketches full of character.


How the workshop will run


The workshop will take place online in the form of a series of pre-recorded videos which take you through the process step-by-step – much like we do at our face-to-face workshop, but with the added bonus of being able to pause, rewind and come back to the workshop as works best for you. You will have life-long access to this workshop so can complete it in your own time and return to it again and again. 


Keeping it social - optional Zoom get-together


An optional Zoom Sharing event is included and will be hosted by The Arienas Collective. Places are limited to allow time for sharing and questions, so if you'd like to join in please request a space in 'Add a note' section when checking out. You'll get an invitation to the next Zoom, when you will have the chance to meet Cass and Mark, find out more about their work, ask questions and share your books and sketching journey so far (if you want to) – a way for us to replicate the ideas sharing and social element of our face-to-face workshops that often happens in between the making over a cuppa! A reminder with details will be sent out by email.


How to choose the right price option


Since some of you may have taken workshops with Mark and Cass before and/or already have some of the kit at home, we've created a range of pricing options. Please read through these carefully to make sure you choose the right one for you.


£130 = Access to Mark and Cass’s online tutorials including FULL KIT

This option includes access to Mark and Cass's online tutorials, including the Zoom Sharing Event plus all the kit you will need for this workshop. This option is perfect for those who are new to bookbinding and sketching with watercolour and pen. This full kit includes Mark’s recommended watercolour set, fine liner and water brush; paper, card, leather, glue and fastenings to make a refillable A6 book case; paper already cut to size (enough to make 1 A6 concertina book and 4 A6 single signature stitched sketchbooks); high quality bookbinding tools – so you can continue making your own sketchbooks at home. Plus a teabag and biscuit to fuel your creativity! To choose this option simply add the quantity of places you wish to the cart and proceed to checkout.


£115 = Access to Mark and Cass’s online tutorials including BOOKBINDING KIT ONLY

This option includes everything in the full kit described above EXCLUDING Mark's sketching tools (watercolour set, water brush, fine liner). 


£125 = Access to Mark and Cass’s online tutorials including SKETCHING KIT ONLY

This option includes everything in the full kit described above EXCLUDING Cass's bookbinding tools (awl, bone folder, ruler). 


£110 = Access to Mark and Cass’s online tutorials including MATERIALS ONLY

This option includes everything in the full kit described above EXCLUDING Sketching and Bookbinding tools but including all the paper and materials you need to make 1 refillable book case, 1 concertina sketchbook and 4 single signature stitched sketchbooks. This is the perfect choice for those who already have all their own bookbinding and sketching tools. 


£80 = Access to Mark and Cass’s online tutorials (NO KIT)

This option includes access to Mark and Cass's online tutorials, including the Zoom Sharing Event, but no kit. You will receive a full list of the materials and tools you will need to participate with some suggestions of where to get these from. This is ideal for those of you who already have all the bookbinding and sketching equipment you need for this workshop (see the 'full kit' description above for details). 

Online bookbinding & sketching course with optional zoom | £80-£130

  • We are not able to offer returns or refunds for this online workshop option.

  • The ‘with kit’ options include first class postage within the UK. If you are based outside of the UK, we will need to charge extra to cover international shipping (this will vary depending on where you are based), please email us for details.