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Masterclass: Medieval Heart Book - Sunday 13th February 2023

$250.00 - $450.00 Coming soon

Image of Masterclass: Medieval Heart Book - Sunday 13th February 2023
  • Image of Masterclass: Medieval Heart Book - Sunday 13th February 2023
  • Image of Masterclass: Medieval Heart Book - Sunday 13th February 2023
  • Image of Masterclass: Medieval Heart Book - Sunday 13th February 2023
  • Image of Masterclass: Medieval Heart Book - Sunday 13th February 2023

Make this your best Valentines date ever, by binding a Medieval heart book with us!

In this season of chocolates and candy hearts, we wondered: how, and when, did the heart become associated with romance in Western culture? The early Egyptians believed the heart was the seat of the soul; the Greeks, the seat of both reason and emotion. It’s not an unlikely association, but there does not seem to be an absolute source for it.

We will make a heart shape book in this workshop, filled with faux parchment paper, cut to shape. There is a lot of cutting down of the paper to shape, but as with all binding, satisfying to make. The book will be sewn, lined and finished in full leather, red of course. The hard part will be deciding if you will keep it for yourself or give it away!

The first known depiction of heart = love, from Roman de la poire (ca. 1250), shows a suitor handing his anatomically correct heart to the object of affections, who looks somewhat taken aback. Within only a few years the heart symbol had become more decorative and less anatomical, and firmly associated with devotion, both romantic and religious. It’s not surprising, then, that bookbinders have been drawn to the heart shape in creating books.

Medieval  heart-shaped books were generally composed of hand-lettered and illuminated folios stitched together. In many cases the unopened book resembled an almond. When the book is opened it blossoms, so to speak, into a heart.

© Det Kongelige Bibliotek 2003
“The Heart Book,” left, dates from the 1550s. It is the oldest known Danish collection of ballads, and contains 83 love songs from the court of King Christian III.

© Det Kongelige Bibliotek 2003
The Book of Hours of Amiens Nicolas Blairie, picture 2, when opened, makes a more classic heart shape. The shape was such that, opened, “the two halves of the almond bloom to fit the contours of a heart, concrete evocation of the heart of the person praying the prayer that opens.”

Date: 13th February 2023
Time: 9.30am - 4pm

Book with a friend or lover and receive a discount.

All materials and tools are supplied at the Bindery.
Bottled water, Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided free for you to help yourself throughout the day.

Please note: This is a technical workshop. No experience necessary, but the workshop requires a certain level of capability and confidence in using sharp instruments and being able to follow verbal instructions is expected.

How am I eligible for refresher prices?
You are able to book in to the special refresher price, if you have completed the EXACT course with us before. i.e, this is the 2nd, 3rd etc time you are taking the same class at the Owl and Lion Bindery. No exceptions shall be considered.

Wild Binders Club members often receive an additional discount price on top. 


Holding deposit confirms your place and are non-refundable. Should you change your mind, it is transferable within 12 months onto another course or in credit for materials and tools. You will receive an invoice for the rest of the amount owing 2 weeks before the commencement of class.

Workshop written and delivered by Isabelle McGowan © 2020 Isabelle McGowan. All rights reserved.