College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

USM Book Arts Center to Offer Drop-spine Box Workshop

April 12, 2013

Contact: Jeanne Curran, (207) 780-4198

PORTLAND, Maine – Some books, photos and special artwork need extra protection from the elements, and the drop-spine box, also known as a clamshell box, is the perfect solution.

Interested craftspeople will have the opportunity next week to learn how to make a drop-spine box from one of Maine’s top bookbinders, Martha Kearsley of Strong Arm Bindery in Portland. A daylong workshop suitable for both beginners and the experienced will be sponsored by the Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts, at the University of Southern Maine, Portland.

The details of the workshop are:

  • Drop-spine Box (Clamshell Box) Workshop with Martha Kearsley, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, April 20, Wishcamper Center Multi-Purpose Room, 34 Bedford St., University of Southern Maine, Portland; $125 fee; limited to 18 participants; for more information and to register, call (207) 780-5900.

“A clamshell box is a gorgeous way to protect and package an artist's book, or a suite of prints, photographs or drawings," said Rebecca Goodale, center coordinator, adding that they are “the cream of the crop of packaging. It’s probably one of the fanciest boxes you can have for your art work.”

The box consists of two trays, measured and built to fit around a book that are built onto a cover. The finished box can stand on its own on any bookshelf

Kearsley is a well-known Portland bookbinder who owns and operates Strong Arm Bindery, where she specializes in the repair of antiquarian books, box-making and edition work. Kearsley also is an instructor in the bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School, a historic crafts school in Boston.

For more information about Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts, go to:

For more information about the Strong Arm Bindery, go to:

For more information about USM’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, go to:

For more information about USM, contact:

USM Office of Public Affairs