Get to Know: Pamela Train Leutz, Assistant to the Dean of the College/Faculty

Pam_L_013Walk into the dean’s office, and you’ll immediately recognize Pamela Leutz’s desk: It’s the one with the miniature bookbinding press and plough. Leutz, who relocated to Colorado Springs from Dallas almost three years ago, started as the staff assistant in the CC sociology department in 2008, and became assistant to the dean of the college and faculty in June 2009.

Following college, Leutz found her passion for bookbinding when she moved to Dallas in 1977 and for more than 30 years, she has studied, taught, and trained under experts throughout the world.

Living in Dallas and raising a family, Leutz’s passion for bookbinding began with a class at the Craft Guild of Dallas in 1979. She later served as chairman and co-chairman of the bookbinding department and then as an instructor for many years. Leutz has studied with master bookbinders in Switzerland and the Czech Republic. She studied bookbinding techniques such as design bindings, decorative paper making, box binding and conservation, and continued teaching the craft to others.

In 1985, Leutz embraced her craft and began binding books for friends and clients. In 1990, she became inspired by other talented artists upon joining the Guild of Book Workers. For the past 18 years, Leutz taught bookbinding classes at places such as The Craft Guild of Dallas, The Dallas Museum of Art, Imagination Celebration, Southern Methodist University’s informal courses, The Press of Colorado College, and her own private studio.

Leutz’s passion for the craft grew into the love of the artisans who keep bookbinding alive. She recently published a book, “The Thread that Binds: Interviews with Private Practice Bookbinders,” a result of interviews she conducted between 2004-08 with bookbinders across the country, as well as overseas. In the book, 21 independent bookbinders tell their stories. “I believe stories to be more valuable than any material possession. It is my passion to preserve them in well-crafted, hand-bound books that last through generations,” Leutz says.

Bookbinders and book artists will use unbound editions of her book, “The Thread That Binds,” and bind them into innovative and stunning one-of-a-kind bindings for two upcoming exhibitions. The first, an online exhibit in the fall of 2010, is “The Bindorama,” available through the Books Arts web site: The second, sponsored by the Lone Star Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, opens in Dallas in the spring of 2011. In addition, Leutz has her own bookbinding business, also called The Thread That Binds (formerly called The Gilded Edge in Dallas).

A native of Chicago, Leutz was born in Oak Park, Ill., and grew up in Barrington, Ill., where she lived for more than 14 years. She attended Denison University and Northern Illinois University, where she graduated with a teaching degree. When she is not bookbinding, she enjoys long walks with her yellow lab, Sadie, and spending time with family and friends. She is most proud of her three grown children, JoAnn, Julie, and Jack.

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