13-18 November 2023
Paris has a reputation for romance – ignite your own love affair with a hand-bound book of letters.
Describe the city of passion and light in hand-written inky letters, bound in envelopes created with paper selected from specialist boutiques.
Find inspiration and materials at the flea market and artisan shops. Fill pages with the love of Paris and all your discoveries.
Rachel Hazell shares her knowledge and experience with you over five full days.
Meet for an evening drink at six, on rue Montorgueil (the foodiest street in Paris, great for people-watching).
We’ll share brief introductions to our small group, discuss plans for the week and check logistics. Lastly, I’ll show you where we’ll convene in the morning.
Familiarise yourself with your Parisian ‘studio’ and discover the contents of your goody bag!
A full morning of making – learn a variety of different book structures, and fold up some ingenious origami envelopes.
An afternoon excursion to one of Paris’ oldest bookbinding suppliers. Select a choice sheet of incredible marbled paper, or pick up some ribbon or book cloth in any colour.
The legendary bookshop Shakespeare & Co is a must-visit. Wander around the shelves and pick a book, leave a message on the mirror and try to work out how many beds are hidden around the place… then an optional stop-off at BHV, for exquisite stationery and art supplies.
Walking the City
A day out: starting with a morning visit to a market devoted to paper! Find softly worn legal documents in fine copperplate, romantic postcards and falling-apart-books to repurpose, as well as other delectable ephemera.
There’ll be a well-earned café stop, to revive energy levels and see what treasures have been acquired. After hopping on the metro and a short walk, step into Japanese paper nirvana and try to resist buying every pattern in every colour.
Depending on group spirits, I’ll take you to more boutiques, (including the paperiest street in Paris) for inspiration, research and maybe more purchasing.
Using the materials provided, combined with the fabulous papers from yesterday’s excursion you’ll design your main book project.
Mocking up ideas and talking through themes, cutting out envelope templates, experimenting with lettering styles – you’ll make good progress today.
As a mid-course treat, I’ll take you for a drink with a view, after the sublime experience of calling in at a legendary pastel maker.
Finish the day browsing a brilliantly stocked gallery bookshop for great examples of well-designed books.
Binding and Finishing
Today you’ll bind your love letters together, and add the perfect finishing touches to your book.
There’ll be an opportunity to photograph the completed works, styled with all the special accoutrements of our time together.
After lunch we’ll venture out and visit an extraordinary rubber stamp emporium.
Return to the studio and make beautiful parcels of your books before fond farewells.
Today, you will continue to develop your main book project. Time to focus on details and contents. We’ll finish with a celebratory tea and exceptional patisserie
Each day starts at 10am and finishes at about 4pm.
Accommodation and meals are not included. Please email for a list of suggested places to stay.
There is a LOT of walking – around 10,000 steps a day. Wear comfortable shoes!
Workshop drinks, fruit, nuts and patisseries are provided, as are all materials. (Although you may be tempted to augment your stationery and ephemera supplies during our excursions.)
Itineraries are provisional and could be subject to change.
This course can be purchased as a gift. Please let us know the recipient’s details in the ‘additional information’ box at check out.