• To contact the Calligraphic Arts Guild:

  • You can find information about the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto (CAGT) here
    or you can email for more information
    or call Neilson Park Creative Arts Centre at 416-622-5294
    • Classes in the Toronto Area

      For Calligraphy Classes in the Toronto area please go to:
      CAGT through Charlene Sam at
      or Michele Nidenoff at 416-482-5348

    • For Paper Crafting Classes in the Toronto area please go to:

    • For Calligraphic Services in the Toronto area:
    • Louis Wint 416-424-2037 Michele Nidenoff 416-482-5348
      Mark Lurz 905-857-1579


    Descriptions of Classes Available for Stores, Guilds and Interest Groups
    These class descriptions are intended to give an idea of the types of classes that I can teach for your store, your guild, your interest group or your conference. Class descriptions, timelines and tools can be tailored to suit your particular interests and the needs of your clientele. The classes are divided into the following categories:

    • Bookbinding
    • Calligraphy
    • Paper Decorating
    • Interdisciplinary (including stamping, origami, card making etc.)
    • Creative Writing
    • Intensive (Weekend and Full Week classes)

    Simply Bound Books (full day)
    This one day class is perfect for paper crafters who want to learn the basics of bookbinding. You will go home with several wonderful little books and you will have learned the basic skills for choosing papers, working with the proper tools, sewing single signature books, folding an accordion properly and making several simple covers.

    Simple Sewn Books (half day)
    In this half day class you will make three lovely little books based on the single signature book form.

    Gallery Books (half day class)
    Wow! Can you do that again? That is amazing! This book form is sure to get attention when you show it to your friends and family. The prefect book to showcase many types of artwork and photographs, this book has become a favourite for paper crafters from all parts of the globe.

    In Love with the Lotus (half day)
    This is one of the most versatile book forms that a beginner can learn. We will make lotus books in many different sizes and shapes, in singles and in multiples and you will have so many ideas for how to use them when you leave class that you won’t know where to start first.

    Meander Books (half day)
    From puzzle books to travel journals, this is a versatile book form that is perfect for beginners and advanced paper crafters alike. Not only will you make several different shapes and sizes of meander books in class but you will also learn how to make a wonderful box to hold your books.

    Fancy Fold Books (full day)
    This class offers both beginners and advance paper crafters the opportunity to explore folded book forms that don’t require any glue. From the pages inside to the covers they fit into all of the charm of these book forms is in their folds. We will explore accordion books, lotus books, meander books, pocket fold books and so much more and there will be clever covers for all of the books that don’t use glue either!

    Covered Board Accordion (half day)
    This class focuses on the skills you need to learn to cover bookbinding board successfully. You will be shown how to make a rectangular cover and a shaped cover. At the end of the class you will have completed at least one covered board accordion book.

    Flexagons (full day)
    Flexagons are book/card forms that magically twist and turn as the reader interacts with them. In this class you will make many of the basic flexagon forms featured in Sleight of Binding, including the amazing 3-D kaleidocycle.

    Jacob’s Ladder (half day)
    These toys are traditionally make with wooden blocks that tumble over each other.
    Paper crafters with some experience will enjoy the challenge of create a two-panel and six-panel Jacob’s Ladder with paper board and ribbons. Jacob’s Ladders are a fun way to showcase many different paper crafting techniques like rubber stamping, collage, photo memories and more. The amazing Milkman’s Wallet will also be demonstrated in class.

    Getting Under the Covers (half day)
    This class is for paper crafters who want a repertoire of quick and sophisticated covers to use on their books. You will learn to fold, stitch and glue a number of covers that are suitable for simple sewn books and accordion books. There will be a demonstration of how to cover bookbinding boards properly.

    Long Stitch Journal (full day)
    This class is for paper crafters with some basic bookbinding experience who want to learn how to make a multiple signature book. You will learn how to cut and fold paper properly for the sections in the book. You will complete a basic long stitch book in class which features decorative spinal stitching and there will be demonstrations of how to vary the stitching to create different effects along the spine.

    Soft Cover Coptic (full day)
    This challenging book form is perfect for journals and sketchbooks because it lays flat when open. You will complete one soft cover coptic book in class while learning how to cut and fold the sections of the book and how to stitch the distinctive spinal pattern. There will be a demonstration of how to make a hard cover coptic book.

    Post and Screw (full day)
    Remember the scrapbooks of your youth that were held together with posts along the left edge? These were post and screw books. Your finished scrapbook will have a covered board cover made with chiyogami (a wonderful, versatile paper from Japan), black pages and the aura of an age gone by.

    Stab Bindings (half day)
    These bindings come out of the bookbinding traditions of the Orient. In class you will make a lovely sample using oriental papers and linen threads. Your instructions will include several wonderful stitch variations that you can try at home.

    Piano Hinge Books (half day or full day)
    These versatile books are wonderful to display because their flexible spine allows them to open into a full circle. They can be rectangular or shaped to complement the theme of your book. The spine feature is a wonderful place to showcase found objects, beads and special cords.

    Miniature Library (half day)
    This lovely set of miniature books has its own slipcase. You will go home with six lovely accordion books in their own box. A great way to showcase a special collection of quotes, family stories, vacation memories and so much more.

    Take Out Two Ways (half day)
    In this class you will make a delightful take out box and you will learn how to make two simple book forms that fit easily inside it (lotus book and simple sewn book). These sets of books are magical and you will go home wanting to make lots more.

    Monoline Copperplate for Scrapbookers (full day class)
    As scrapbooking gains popularity many people are looking for ways to improve their writing so that they can show their work with pride. This class will introduce you to either a monoline italic or a monoline copperplate script that are simple and elegant. These hands look great in albums and they can also improve your daily writing! We will talk about tools and tricks for using lettering in albums and working on different papers and coloured backgrounds.

    Writing With a Glass Pen (half day class)
    On first glance these pens look ornamental rather than functional. However, these pens are often the perfect tool for the handmade and ornamental papers that you want to use in your work. In the class we will explore a variety of writing fluids and you will be introduced to a monoline copperlate script that is both elegant and functional for scrapbooks, cards, collage and journalling.

    Making Celtic Knots (Half Day or Full Day)
    Celtic knots are wonderful, intricate patterns which can be created in strict historical form or with a much more modern feel. These patterns are easier to create than you might imagine and are a wonderful way to add borders and unique decoration to your work. Instruction will be given in creating the basic knots, freely drawn images and border work. Resources will be shown which will help expand your knowledge of the history and design possibilities of this craft.

    Gesso, Gold and other Good Stuff (full day/weekend)
    Gesso is a coating that can be applied to paper, cloth and wood to create a soft, responsive surface for a variety of mediums and materials. Gesso can transform a journal, an altered book or a found object into a playground for chalks, inks and gilding supplies. This class will expose you to a wide array of materials, techniques and tools in a way which will allow you to explore your own creative style in greater depth.

    Paste Papers (full day)
    From vibrant swirls to the look of frescoed walls, this paper decorating technique is versatile and fun. Using common kitchen ingredients and acrylic paints we will create a painting medium that allows you to tranform paper with lush textures and colours. The papers you create in this class are perfect for calligraphy, handmade books, stamping, collage, journalling and so much more.

    Throwing Paint About (full day)
    Be sure to eat a nutritious meal before you come to this class! There are a myriad ways to decorate paper and in this class we will explore techniques that will allow you to add more dimension to your art work. Using a variety of pigments, mediums and tools we will splash, dab and spray our way through the day and create papers that will have your friends begging you to show them how! Please wear old clothes and come prepared to play! This is a great class for novices but even advanced papercrafters may come away with a few new ideas or some twists on the old ones.

    Watercolour for Wimps (Half Day/Full Day)
    I grew up being afraid of watercolours. They were very mysterious and what little experience I had with them led me to believe that they were unwieldy to use and hard to control. Sound familiar? In this workshop the art of using watercolour will be demystified and you will learn simple techniques to make them an integral part of your papercrafting projects. Not only will you learn how to use watercolour for simple illustrations but many innovative ways of creating unique backgrounds will also be demonstrated. You may bring your own watercolours and brushes or pay an additional materials fee and have paints and a brush provided for use during the class. Oh yes, and bring a roll of toilet paper with you!

    Working with Walnut Ink (Half Day/Full Day)
    Historically, this rich brown ink was made by scribes with the boiled and ground shells of walnuts. Artists today have rediscovered this wonderful ink and are using it for calligraphy, paper decorating, fabric dyeing and even photo tinting. In this class you will get to experiment with writing tools that work well with walnut ink, you will explore its possibilities for paper decorating and you will get to see samples of the many ways it can be incorporated into your art work. From vintage looks to modern backdrops you will find this is a versatile product to have in your tool box.

    Photo Transfer (half or full day)
    Photographs, especially ones mellowed with the patina of time, evoke a strong emotional response. These photos are made even more haunting and alluring when they are transferred onto fine art papers, enhanced with colour tinting and used as backdrops for poignant remembrances, cards and collages. The transfer method will be demonstrated and students will have the opportunity to transfer their own images onto art papers. This process is particularly applicable for students interested in keeping memory journals and creating family histories, but it is also an exciting springboard for calligraphic broadsides and handmade art books. (Class only taught when an outdoor workspace is available due to the fumes created during transfers. Not suitable for pregnant artists.)

    Gelatin Prints (Half Day/Full Day)
    This printmaking technique uses common kitchen ingredients and waterbased pigments to create ethereal andhaunting prints. Working with watercolours, aquarelle crayons and water based inks you will explore the effects that it is possible to acheive with this method of printmaking.

    Suminagashi Marbling (Half Day)
    The ancient art of Japanese marbling is called suminagashi. Using water based dyes and water we will create wonderful swirls of pastel and grey to create backgrounds for cards, broadsides and hand bound books. This process uses non-toxic materials and is a wonderful technique for paper crafters of all ages and levels of experience.

    Masterfield Papers (Half Day/Full Day)
    Named for Maxine Masterfield, this technique allows you to create one of a kind pieces of decorated paper. Using a wide palette of luscious colours and a few tools you will make papers that echo the patterns of nature. While your papers are drying there will be demonstrations of ways to enhance the papers with fine markers, inks and stamping as well as samples of finished projects using Masterfield papers.

    Decorating Wooden Treasure Boxes (half day)
    A little faux finishing, some rubber stamping, collage...and voila - a wonderful box to hold a special book, childhood treasures, photographs, vintage cards...Boxes made to store special things become treasures themselves.

    Origami for Stampers (half day)
    Mixing origami forms with stamped backgrounds is a great way to decorate cards and book covers. In this class we will demystify the process of reading origami instructions and you will make three origami figures that will be perfect for a variety of seasons and occasions.

    Origami for Scrappers (half day)
    In this class you will learn three origami forms that are perfect to complement a variety of scrapbook pages. You will be amazed at how easy it is to follow origami instructions after a few of the basic folds have been explained to you. You will see sample pages that showcase the origami forms taught in class.

    Quilt Inspired Paper Crafts (half day)
    In this class we will take several famous quilt block designs and work with them to create paper quilt features that make great cards and scrapbook decorations. These blocks can be embellished with charms, grommets, stitching, beads, antique buttons and ribbons to make them into one-of-a-kind additions to your artwork.

    Bargello (half day)
    This stunning paper features a characteristic wave pattern first designed by fabric artists in Italy and is a perfect technique to showcase chiyogami which is a lush silk screened paper from Japan. You will learn a strip piecing method familiar to quilters which makes creating this paper much easier. You will complete one sheet of bargello in class and you will be shown lots of ideas for projects that are perfect for completion with bargello.

    Iris Folding (half day)
    This paper craft is a perfect way to combine your scraps of special papers into dynamic designs that are perfect for cards. You will learn how to make a fan card in class and will be shown how to go about creating your own unique designs.

    Hand Carved Rubber Stamps (half day)
    With a sharp blade and a steady hand you can create your own rubber stamps! In order to maximize your success with this craft we will look at many examples of successful hand carved stamps and at a number of good sources for simple, clear designs. You will learn about the different tools you an use for carving and the different types of materials that can be used to make stamps. Each student will complete at least one stamp in class.

    Paper, Scissors, Beads! (half day)
    From specially created handmade papers to recycled comic books, everyone has papers in their stash that will make stunning beads. You will make a variety of shapes and sizes of beads in class and we will show you how to mix your handmade beads with beads you can buy to make lovely bracelets and other great jewelry. These beads are perfect for book embellishments as well.

    Paper Jewelry (full day)
    Explore the world of paper jewelry in this full day class. You will go home with at least four pieces of jewelry that are ready to wear and will make great gifts for holidays and birthdays. You will learn how to use basic jewelry making tools and supplies and how to combine them with paper folding, collage, rolling, embossing and more to make unique one-of a kind adornments.

    Kumihimo - Japanese Braided Cords (half day)
    This class will introduce you to the amazing braids and chords that can be made using the techniques employed by Japanese artisans for hundreds of years. You will make a very simple braiding loom out of cardboard and you will use it to create several inches of a eight strand braid. A proper kumihimo loom will be shown in class and you will learn how to read a basic pattern. These braids are wonderful for handmade books and for jewelry and mix well with polymer clay beads.

    Haiku (half day)
    Haiku are lovely three line poems that use nature as their focus. If you are looking for a way to begin to release the poet that you have always felt was buried deep inside you, this class will be perfect for you. (This class works well with the Stab Binding class as the completed poems are perfect for that book form.)

    Variations on Journal Entries (full day)
    Journalling has become a skill that many paper crafters want to explore. Regardless of whether your writing is destined for an heirloom scrapbook or a very personal artists’ book, you will find the exercises in this class will help you to develop your own unique style of writing.

    Developing Your Own Journalling Illustration Style (full day)
    Many of us feel that we aren’t artists because we can’t draw. We are hesitant to even attempt to create an artists’ journal because the thought of illustrating it is just too scary. In this class you will learn a wide variety of techniques for illustrating, illuminating and transforming journal pages that don’t require drawing.

    How to Write Instructions (full day)
    Do you love to teach but find that it is difficult to prepare course materials that provide clear instructions for your students. Is there often a person in your class who just doesn’t “get it” and you are not sure why? In this class you will learn about the different types of adult learners that will be in your classes, how to plan a lesson that will be easier for your students to follow and how to write instructions that will be helpful for a variety of learning styles.

    These classes are designed for serious students and artists who want to immerse themselves in an area of study for a significant amount of time. Most of these classes can be tailored to a full weekend, half week or full week format.

    Finding Your Niche (weekend, half week or full week)

    As artists we all struggle to find our own niche, to speak our own voice. In this class you will have the opportunity to explore, experiment and entice your own artistic persona into clearer focus through a variety of experiences and activities which will include elements of collage, bookmaking, creative writing, image transfer, stitching, stamping.... If you have ever wanted to make an artists’ book and needed the time and guidance to make it a reality this is the class you want to take.

    Pockets Full of Books (week long)

    This class is for papercrafters who want an intesive introduction to bookbinding. By the end of the week you will have been introduced to papers, materials and tools, sewn books, accordion books, folded books, creating book content, book covers and so much more. You will return home with enough book making ideas to keep you creating for years to come.

    Sleight of Binding (2-3 Day class)

    Do your books do tricks? After you take this course your books and cards will flip, slide, turn, revolve and just generally astound all who see them. You will learn how to create flexagons and other books that contain folding tricks which make them absolutely unforgettable. Some of the projects covered in class will be hexaflexagonals, quatrigons, kleidocycles, Jacob’s Ladders, Chinese Sewing Kits and woven accordions. These wonders require special consideration for text placement and lettering styles. Some class time will be devoted to working out appropriate lettering which will work in a fluid way.

    Copied, Bound and Numbered: Creating Limited Edition Books (5 Day Class)

    This course is intended for calligraphers, bookbinders, printmakers, collage artists, rubber stampers, desktop publishers and anyone interested in exploring the possibilities presented when the word meets paper. Limited edition books can take many forms and in this class you will discover the joys of producing a myriad of accessible books which lend themselves to small edition reproduction by hand or by using the computer printer or the photocopier.

    The initial two days of the course will be spent immersing ourselves in making dozens of small prototype books, covers, slipcases and wraps. All of these books are suitable for use as one of a kind artist’s books and many samples of these will be available for study. During the third day of class we will explore ways of getting text into books. We will discuss type and calligraphic design, the rules of text layout and ways in which they can be accomplished using the skills that you have. Calligraphic layout will be demonstrated as well as desktop publishing and scanning. The remainder of class time will be spent on creating a small printing of a limited edition book by hand or using a photocopier. Students will be given assistance with choosing a book form to suit their text, with the layout and design of the book and with production procedures and tricks which will lead to a satisfying finished product. Students may work on this project alone or may choose to collaborate with another student. Students may choose to participate in a book exchange at the end of the class or at a later date chosen by the students.

    The Journal: Form and Content (3-5 Day Class)

    It is through the journals of men and women from the past that we get our clearest picture of what life was like for them and how they fit into their own time. Journals come in many different forms : formal to intimate, banal to erotic, unadorned to embellished. This course is an intensive introduction to multiple signature sewn book forms that are suitable for a variety of journalling purposes. In this class you will learn how to create coptic and long stitch journals which will suit a wide variety of purposes. Interspersed amongst the bookbinding times will be periods of creative writing where you will be challenged to explore a variety of creative writing and illustrating styles so that you can begin to develop a style of journalling that is uniquely your own. Monoline copperplate and other useful calligraphic hands for journals will be demonstrated and exemplars will be provided. In the five day class, samples of different techniques for illustrating journals with drawings, rubbings, transfers, memorabilia, travel brochures and rubber stamps will be shown and students will have opportunity to try some of these techniques.

    “Folded: Not Sewn”: Variations on the Accordion (2or 3 Day class)

    A few simple folds and you have a book. A few more folds and a judicious cut or two and you have an entirely different structure. From the concertina to the gallery book, this course will give students the opportunity to make a wide variety of accordion books such as reverse folds, basic pop-up books, gallery books, tunnel books, flag books, meandering books and several books that do tricks. Instruction the first day of class will cover basic forms and work techniques. Ample time will be given for students to study samples and make models of the books and covers. The second day students will work with a text and create mock-ups of a variety of layouts and formats. The instructors will facilitate private and group critiques of these rough drafts and students will be encouraged to created a finished book during the last day of class.