Isabelle McGowan, paper craft and ink teacher

Isabelle McGowan

Florence-trained Bookbinder now based in Sydney with over 10 years teaching experience

4.9 (27)

Make Books!

Isabelle McGowan is a Florence-trained Bookbinder working through her Bindery, the Owl & Lion. She specialises in Historical Repair and Restoration of Books, Fine Bindings and Traditional Gold Finishing.

Isabelle completed her Fine Arts Degree (Drawing and Painting, Printmaking) at the Edinburgh College of Art, in Scotland. She went on to train as a Bookbinder in Florence, Italy.

The original Owl and Lion Bindery was situated in Old Town Edinburgh, Scotland.

In late 2017, Isabelle and the Owl and Lion Bindery relocated to Sydney, Australia.
Visit the Owl and Lion Bindery - we are a vibrant bindery based in the heart of Sydney.
We run the largest programme of bookbinding classes in Australia. If you want to learn to make books that folds, flaps and flips, or traditional books from scratch, we are the place to be!

This year we have programmed a series of exciting online workshops, with all things relating to the craft of bookbinding. Whether you want to expand on your crafting skills or start your bookbinding journey, we have something for you.

The Owl & Lion is now based in Sydney, Australia.
WE ARE LOCATED AT:
Suite 6.05
Precinct 75
75 Mary Street, St Peters






Classes


Bookbinding Class for Beginners

date_range Runs regularly

location_on St Peters

1 to 10

label $250

5.0 (2)

Bookbinding Class: Make a Pair of Hard Cover Journals

date_range Your choice of time

location_on St Peters

1 to 30

label $400

DIY Bookbinding for Beginners

date_range Sun 5 Jun, 9:30am

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 30

label $180

5.0 (3)

DIY Traditional Marbling at Home

date_range Sun 20 Nov, 9:30am

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 20

label $380

5.0 (2)

DIY Journal Making: Traditional Hard-cover Book

date_range 28 May, 11 Jun

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 15

label $190

5.0 (3)

DIY Dos-à-Dos (back to Back) Diary

date_range Mon 23 May, 7:30pm

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 25

label $150

5.0 (1)

DIY Bookbinding: Chunky Ladder Coptic Book

date_range Mon 30 May, 7:30pm

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 30

label $100

DIY Relief Printed Venetian Journal

date_range Sat 4 Jun, 7pm

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 30

label $200

Make Your Own Traditional Gift Box

date_range Mon 30 May, 7:30pm

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 15

label $120

DIY Relief Block Printing: Lino and Rubber Block

date_range Mon 25 Jul, 7pm

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 30

label $150

5.0 (1)

DIY Rainbow Venetian Journal

date_range Mon 13 Jun, 7pm

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 15

label $160

5.0 (1)

DIY Sketchbook Making at Home

date_range Sun 10 Jul, 7pm

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 20

label $220

5.0 (1)

DIY Journal Making: Half Leather Hardcover Book

date_range Sat 30 Jul, 9:30am

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 10

label $220

DIY Bookbinding: Mini Folded Sketchbook or Photo Book

date_range Your choice of time

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 40

label $150

DIY Bookbinding: Slotted Stitch Bound Art Diary

date_range Your choice of time

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 30

label $90

DIY Bookbinding: Cross Structure Binding Art Diary

date_range Mon 27 Jun, 7:30pm

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 30

label $90

Make Your Own Traditional Art Portfolio

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 8

label $250

5.0 (2)

Learn Mononoke Bookbinding at Home

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 8

label $140 - $170

5.0 (2)

Bind a Unique Artist or Writers Journal

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 15

label $190

5.0 (2)

DIY Bookbinding: Paperback to Hardback

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 8

label $150

Learn Caterpillar Bookbinding

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 8

label $100 - $140

DIY Chunky Book with Leather Spine

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 15

label $100 - $140

DIY Bookbinding: Make Your Own Butterfly Knot Journal

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 10

label $180

DIY Treasure Box for Your Bits and Bobs

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 15

label $140 - $170

Make Three Nesting Boxes at Home

date_range Contact for details

videocam

LIVE STREAMING

local_shipping Craft kit delivered

1 to 10

label $250 - $300



Gallery





Reviews

(27)



Summer Woods May 2022

Make Your Own Traditional Art Portfolio



Very happy with my art portfolio. Teacher was really helpful during the whole process. Loved using all the different materials

Paper Craft and Ink workshop review by Summer Woods Sydney


Dorothea Haeusler May 2022

7 ClassBento workshops attended • 4 reviews

Bind a Unique Artist or Writers Journal



Our first venture in bookbinding, we did well for first timers, I think. Thank you Isabelle.


Emily H Apr 2022

25 ClassBento workshops attended • 2 reviews

DIY Journal Making: Traditional Hard-cover Book



I am blown away by the results from this class! Easy to follow along with concise instructions from Isabelle making things go so smoothly. The pictures speak for themselves and even as a one off class you’ll be glad you did it!

Paper Craft and Ink workshop review by Emily H


Alicia Wandek Apr 2022

9 ClassBento workshops attended • 9 reviews

Make Your Own Traditional Art Portfolio



Gosh this online class was tricky! Isabelle was very patient, I was the only newbie in this class, so I had plenty of questions. I’m really pleased with my finished Art Portfolio. It looks so beautiful & is made to last. This is definitely one of my favourite Class Bento classes.


Matilda Hillam Apr 2022

77 ClassBento workshops attended • 45 reviews

Paper Craft and Ink class



Isabelle is an absolutely fantastic teacher. I would not hesitate to highly recommend any of her courses.


Matilda Hillam Apr 2022

77 ClassBento workshops attended • 45 reviews

DIY Sketchbook Making at Home



Isabelle is an absolutely fantastic teacher. I would not hesitate to highly recommend any of her courses.


Matilda Hillam Apr 2022

77 ClassBento workshops attended • 45 reviews

Bind a Unique Artist or Writers Journal



Isabelle is an absolutely fantastic teacher. I would not hesitate to highly recommend any of her courses.


Matilda Hillam Apr 2022

77 ClassBento workshops attended • 45 reviews

Learn Mononoke Bookbinding at Home



Isabelle is an absolutely fantastic teacher. I would not hesitate to highly recommend any of her courses.


Matilda Hillam Apr 2022

77 ClassBento workshops attended • 45 reviews

DIY Dos-à-Dos (back to Back) Diary



Isabelle is an absolutely fantastic teacher. I would not hesitate to highly recommend any of her courses.


Matilda Hillam Apr 2022

77 ClassBento workshops attended • 45 reviews

Paper Craft and Ink class



Isabelle is an absolutely fantastic teacher. I would not hesitate to highly recommend any of her courses.


Matilda Hillam Apr 2022

77 ClassBento workshops attended • 45 reviews

Pottery class



Isabelle is an absolutely fantastic teacher. I would not hesitate to highly recommend any of her courses.


Maureen Glaister Feb 2022

DIY Bookbinding for Beginners



Absolutely fantastic. Isabelle makes it look easy but it isn’t. She is an expert. Will come back in May 10/10. Maureen


Chris Johnson Feb 2022

DIY Journal Making: Traditional Hard-cover Book



Isabelle provided a box of times all delivered in time for the online Zoom. Her instructions were clear and her two camera presentation allowed for clear visual understanding of techniques required. Completed the construction of a book in the time given and exceedingly proud of result.

DIY Journal Making: Traditional Hard-cover Book review by Chris Johnson


David Millar Feb 2022

DIY Journal Making: Traditional Hard-cover Book



The class was excellent - step by step a book appeared like magic - Isabelle is engaging and was able to move each participant through to a close. Even when I fell behind slightly at one point I never felt I wouldn't be able to catch up as instructions were able to be repeated in good time. Masterfully done, thanks Isabelle.


Sally Sheehan Dec 2021

DIY Traditional Marbling at Home



Isabelle was fabulous. Our kit contained everything I needed and I am feeling inspired and confident to Marble paper


Tanya Leigh Dec 2021

Pottery class



Loved this class, the teacher was lovely and knowledgeable, really fun. I have some gorgeous Christmas decorations now.

Pottery workshop review by Tanya Leigh Sydney


Katrina Macdonald Nov 2021

Learn Mononoke Bookbinding at Home



I really really enjoyed learning about bookbinding and sharing the experience with other makers. Isabelle is a wonderful teacher. I highly recommend this and look forward to learning more in future classes.


Kristine Hardy Oct 2021

DIY Rainbow Venetian Journal



A very interesting class at the right pace. Resulted in a useful and pretty journal.


Kye Merton Oct 2021

DIY Traditional Marbling at Home



I have marvelled at beautiful marbled patterns and wondered how on earth they were created. I know a little bit more about the history of this craft now and loved every minute learning the process. Isabelle is an excellent online teacher - kind, patient, no question too silly. My paper is glorious. Can't wait to make more!


Patricia Jungfer Oct 2021

3 ClassBento workshops attended

Paper Craft and Ink class



Fun class, with a good amount of interaction, Isobelle was fabulous in answering all questions. She was very generous with her help.

Paper Craft and Ink workshop review by Patricia Jungfer


Helen Patrice Oct 2021

12 ClassBento workshops attended • 7 reviews

Paper Craft and Ink class



It was a lovely class, well thought out and taught, but not ultimately my sort of thing.


Kye Merton Sep 2021

4 ClassBento workshops attended • 4 reviews

Paper Craft and Ink class



I spent a truly enjoyable Sunday morning with Isabelle exploring the marvellous world of 'Wunderbuch'. I have been introduced to book binding, experienced water colour for first time and have a glorious Tunnel Book in progress. Isabelle's tuition was engaging and easy to follow. Highly recommend this class.


Cassandra Williams Sep 2021

DIY Bookbinding for Beginners



Isablle was incredibly kind and patient, guiding us all through the process of making our books. She made sure we could see clearly what she was demonstrating and repeated steps to make sure no one got lost. Thankyou for a fantastic class - I can't wait to make more books!

DIY Bookbinding for Beginners review by Cassandra Williams


Corrina-Leigh Forster Sep 2021

DIY Bookbinding for Beginners



Isabelle is a fantastic instructor and her work is flawless! 100% recommend and I have book more classes!

Paper Craft and Ink workshop review by Corrina-Leigh Forster Sydney


Alice Young Apr 2021

Bookbinding Class for Beginners



I couldn’t have loved this class more! Isabelle is an amazing teacher - knowledgeable and patient. I love her back story too - all contributing to the experience she shares - her time training in Italy and Scotland and building her business with national institutions in the UK. Can highly recommend this class.

Paper Craft and Ink workshop review by Alice Young


Amanda Walsh Dec 2020

2 ClassBento workshops attended • 2 reviews

DIY Relief Block Printing: Lino and Rubber Block



A really great class. Lovely teacher who is extremely knowledgeable. Great location in a creative hub and I went home with lots of lino blocks and skills to continue on my own. A great day!


Tegan Webb Mar 2020

15 ClassBento workshops attended • 16 reviews

Bookbinding Class for Beginners



Amazing two day course! Very fast paced and comprehensive, with not group and individual instruction. Awesome new studio location. Isabelle really knows her stuff! Highly recommend.

Bookbinding Class for Beginners review by Tegan Webb




Book with Isabelle McGowan online. You'll be covered by ClassBento's exclusive money-back satisfaction guarantee and our loyalty program bonus.

If you need a customised class (e.g. for a larger group or a special event), we can make it happen.

Book for yourself or get as a gift.

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