Personal Geographies

11 – 15 October 2019

Explore Venice through the eyes of an artist and bind together your discoveries in a handmade book.

Meet artisans, browse in the quirkiest of bookshops (with gondolas as bookshelves) choose the finest Italian papers and inks, and swoon over 15th century maps in the Special Collection of an ancient library.

Rachel Hazell guides you through the process of creating a unique artwork to document your experience – The Extraordinary Expandable Sketchbook Journal.


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Day 1

Meeting & Making

Assemble at the San Marcuola vaporetto stop. Welcome to the workshop location and find your personalised goody bags.

Introductions. Meet your fellow adventurers and settle into our studio space. A day of making: learn an abundance of bookbinding skills and techniques, including map folds.

Visit the inspiring graphics school nearby, tour the print making facilities, view exhibition and get acquainted with a ground-shifting map artist.

Gather for a drink and cicchetti at a vinoteca in the Cannaregio area.

Day 2


Morning: Be introduced to The Extraordinary Expandable Sketchbook Journal structure. Start assembling papers and deciding on your book’s size.

Afternoon: Visit an exceptional library special collection to pore over ancient charts and manuscripts. Compare notes over a Bellini at Harry’s Bar.


Day 3


A morning developing narratives and investigating mapping methods with exercises and design prompts. Examine the significance and symbolism of maps.

Outing to see a charming small artist book press, stopping for ice-cream and a visit to an amazingly characterful second-hand bookshop.

Day 4


Studio day to work on your personal project. Experiment with a poetic text generation exercise. Committing to paper and collating content. Optional dinner at an  delicious atmospheric local restaurant.

Day 5


Bookbinding: Creating hard covers and binding your Sketchbook Journal together.

Pore over the details of each other’s Personal Geographies and see what you’ve created together.

Celebratory trip to a literary café nearby.

Please Note

On the first day we’ll meet at 11am. The remaining days will start at 10am and finish at about 4pm.

Accommodation and meals are not included. Please email for a list of suggested places to stay.

Workshop drinks, fruit, nuts and patisserie are provided.

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.

Please read the terms and conditions before booking and e-mail with any queries.


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