Website Under Renovation

We are currently in the process of updating our website. Most links should be functional in the meantime, but we apologize for any inconvenience this causes. We hope to have everything up and running smoothly within the first few weeks of 2017. Please feel free to contact Kath at with any questions.

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Our relocation is complete at last

Keep checking in with us for future classes that we’re working on nailing down for 2017.  Contact Kath with questions at her new number at 707-755-0219 or at

About us update

In Nov 2014, Kath decided to relocate the studio back to Santa Rosa, CA in order to better meet the needs of the many bookbinders in that area and in the greater USA.  After much delay engendered by the West Coast Dockworkers’ labor dispute, she reopened the studio in May 2015 and welcomes enquiries by instructors looking to run classes, students looking for one-on-one or small group instruction as well as others looking for expert binding and restoration services for their treasures.

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Bookbarnkat Studios is relocating

Bookbarnkat Studios (BBKSTU) is relocating to North Bay, CA after five years in Florence Italy.

Beginning in February 2015 (West Coast Ports work stoppage cooperating), BBKSTU will begin holding evening and weekend individualised bookbinding instruction in our new studios at :santa-rosa-map

190 Oak Island Drive (Oakmont area)
Santa Rosa, CA 95409

The area is mecca for artists in all media, home to some of the longest running open studio festivals in the USA.  Not to mention the incredibly scenic Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries, hostelries and world rated restaurants.

In the near future, we will begin offering week and weekend long classes designed to develop your bookbinding skills on a progression from basic journals, books, albums, portfolios and box making to fine binding in decorated full leather.

We will also be offering paper arts, calligraphy, paper decoration including marbling, and other book arts classes over time.  We specialize in inviting world master artists to teach in our studio in addition to our own classes.

We encourage you to contact us with your interests so we can generate and host classes of interest to you and friends.

We invite instructors to contact us to invent new and exciting classes to be hosted by BBKSTU in the beautiful surroundings of Sonoma Valley.

We have a very extensive supply of European and Japanese papers for binding, boxmaking and restoration, and bookbinding tools, contact us with your needs.

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We are on the move

We are entering a new phase of  book barn kat studios. The Firenze studio location is closed and the studio is moving to Santa Rosa, California.

We will keep the website up to date and let you all know when we are able to offer our courses again but this time in California. We are hoping that courses will be available in January/February time but will be announced here first.

Thank you for your support and hope to see you soon in our new home.


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Triple win by Tom McEwan

In the recently announced awards for the Designer Bookbinders 2013 Annual Competition, Tom McEwan’s binding skills won 1st in three of the major categories. Congratulations are certainly in order to Tom who has won top places in almost every competition he has entered a binding in the last several years.

bookbarnkat studios is excited and pleased that Tom will be presenting his class in contemporary decoration techniques for fine binding on April 25 – 27, 2014 (inlay, onlay, image transfer to leather) as part of our Celebration of Marbling Festival. Come and join us for what promises to be an exciting series of classes, demonstrations and lectures.

Designer Bookbinders 2013 Annual Competition

Tom McEwan bookbinding

The Mansfield Medal for the Best Book in the Competition


The Folio Society Prize for the Set Book

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám – 1st Prize Winning Binding by Tom McEwan

Triple win by Tom McEwan bookbindings


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Celebration of Marbling

April 21 to 22, 2014

With pleasure, bookbarnkat studios announces a festival in celebration of marbling with world masters of the art from four countries participating in:cat_and_dog_in_library

  • exhibitions
  • hands-on classes
  • presentations on the history and art of marbling on paper, silk and other materials

To be held in various studios in Florence in the centro and Oltrarno.  While daily schedule plans are still shaping up for this extraordinary time, here is the list of masters coming:

  • Hikmet Barutcugil (Istambul)   – Turkish Ebru marbling, including construction of traditional brushes (2 day class) 21 and 22 April
  • Dr. Jake Benson (USA & Egypt) – Persian marbling: historic techniques and recent discoveries (2 evening lectures). See below for more information.


As part of the Celebration Of Marbling Festival, evening lectures are being given by Dr. Jake Benson on Persian And Indian Marbling 15th Through 17th Centuries: Focused Research. Dates April 21 & 22. See flyer for more information (PDF).

If interested in these events, you are encouraged to send your contact information to to be placed on a mailing list for updated information on the festival.

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Dominic wins the top bookbinding award

Congratulations to British designer Dominic Riley who has just won the top award at the 2nd International Bookbinding Competition.  His award was titled the Sir Paul Getty Bodleian Bookbinding Prize 2013 and was presented in a ceremony at Oxford. The prize was set up in 2009 to recognise craftsmanship and creativity in the art of bookbinding. This year is the second time it has been held.

The theme was William Shakespeare and Dominic produced a binding made of brown and black goatskin which depicts the story of Pyramus and Thisbe. His work has been donated to the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. The winning bindings will be on special two-month long public display at the Bodleian which will also include another fifty-four submissions. – See more from the Bodleian Library: Winners of Sir Paul Getty Bodleian Bookbinding Prize 2013 announced. The competition display will travel to another 10 countries over the next 8 months.

Dominic has been my mentor and inspiration for so many things in bookbinding since 2009. This couldn’t have happened to a finer craftsman.  All the bindings in the competition can be seen at the Designer Bookbinders’ International Competition site

See the full BBC news report


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We got the keys!!

I am so happy to announce that we have the keys for bookbarnkat studios. Saw my studio for the first time today – it’s beautiful!   I’m so happy with it. It is a wonderful space.

Lofty Beams


  Inside looking out



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