Classes, Camps, Lifelong Learning

Bonding Over Bookbinding

"We always get excited when a new brochure comes out and we make plans for what we want to do next."

-Amber Egbert

Amber and Karrica showing collection of books

When there’s so much to divide us, how do we build community? How do we stay connected to our loved ones? How do we reconnect with ourselves in a digital age that has us continually distracted and overwhelmed?

Amber Egbert and her daughter Karrica Egbert have one simple idea that’s worked for them; taking Community Education classes from UVU.

This mother and daughter pair have taken about a dozen Community Ed classes, but their favorite by far to take together has been bookbinding. “For me, it’s a way to connect with Karrica while also doing something we both love,” Amber explains. They both agree that taking classes multiple times has allowed them to make new friends too. “It’s been awesome to meet so many different people doing what they love or being willing to try something new and potentially fail at it,” Karica explains. “Each class is a small, supportive, and safe community.”

So what’s the particular appeal of bookbinding? One of our bookbinding instructors, Judy Sommerfeldt, suggests that “in a world of technology and virtual materials, there is something very satisfying about making a book that you can hold in your hand. Taking raw materials and using centuries-old skills and processes to turn them into beautiful books is very rewarding.”

Another of our bookbinding instructors, Amanda Parramoure, explains that the books are not only fun to make but useful too. “There's so many ways to use your books: record travels, daily diary, paper collaging, DIY planner, bullet journaling, etc. They're very fun to decorate, not just write in.”

While the end product is a nice memento, it’s within the journey of binding the books that Amber and Karrica strengthen their bond. “I love spending time with Karrica and these classes have given me an opportunity to do that. . .it’s a shared experience that creates lasting memories between the two of us.” Karrica adds, “Sharing these classes with my mom has been awesome and a great way to spend time with her. We get to laugh and puzzle over new skills together, it’s been a great way to build our relationship.”

Together, they’ve taken 7 bookbinding classes, but it’s not just bookbinding that they love. “Screen printing was fantastic,” Karrica says. “Knitting was spectacular. Honestly, you can’t go wrong. Each instructor is an expert in their field and teaches you so much. . .I love the skills I have accumulated.” Recently Amber and Karrica attended our watercolor weekend retreat at UVU’s Capitol Reef Field Station. Amber describes it as her favorite Community Ed experience so far while Karrica enthused that the Capitol Reef Field station was “absolutely amazing” and that she will “definitely be signing up for more.”

Mother and daughter bookbinding team

So, back to the initial question; how do we build community? We start small with our shared interests, our hobbies, and our past times. We start at Community Education. Invite a friend or come alone and Discover new ideas, new people, and new opportunities. Maybe you’ll see Amber and Karrica in class one day.

“Community represents more than a group of people who happen to live in the same place. Community also represents a feeling of fellowship, courtesy, and connection. And that’s the feeling I hope our classes will inspire.”
-RJ Willing, UVU Community Education Director