Unless otherwise noted, these workshops are held at the San Francisco Center for the Book. The Center moved at the very end of 2012 to 375 Rhode Island Street, so all the workshops listed here will be held in the new location (just around the corner from the old location). You can register on the webpage for each individual class, linked to in each listing, or call the Center at 415-565-0545.
I also offer a wide range of private tutoring in special topics; please inquire if you have a specific area of interest. Past lessons have included boxmaking, tooling, book conservation and basic paper repair techniques, edge gilding, photo albums and portfolios, and more. My full contact info is listed here.
SFCB Bookbinding Core 1: The Coptic Binding
This, the first of the SFCB Core Bookbinding series, introduces students to the craft with the Coptic stitch, one of the earliest structures in binding. In addition to coming away with a finished book made by hand, students will also be introduced to the tools and terms of bookbinding, such as cutting board on the board shear, the concept and practice of grain direction, and sewing with linen thread and four needles. Basic practices and equipment will be discussed as students familiarize themselves with both skills and safety measures needed for working in a bindery.
Saturday, September 9, 9:30-5:30; Register/more info or call 415-565-0545
Open Studio Rental
Evening Open Studio is an opportunity for students of bookbinding and related arts to work on their own projects with an experienced instructor on hand. This particular edition will feature binding instructor Juliayn Coleman as the monitor. Bring in the binding projects that have you stumped, and she’ll provide advice and encouragement. This would be a great time for those who have taken Juliayn’s classes to review course material, but all are welcome. Registration is not required, but without 3 RSVPs, this session will cancel.
Wednesday, September 20, 5-10 pm; Register/more info or call 415-565-0545.
Orientation to Leather
It is impossible to imagine the history of bookbinding without leatherwork, and difficult to advance in learning bookbinding without having some skill or understanding of how leather is used in making books. Fancy books, plain ones, rustic or refined, historical and modern all have used leather in some fashion. Even many books without the tiniest scrap of leather still have borrowed working methods from leather bookbinding. This introduction to the advanced track in leatherwork for bookbinding helps students cross the frontier of those remote and mysterious tools and techniques commonly used in leather bookbinding today.
The first half of the class will explain and demonstrate the technical aspects of knives, and you will experience how to get and maintain a great edge. We will look at the various advantages and disadvantages of PSA abrasive sheets, Japanese water stones, oil stones, and stropping compounds. We will also explain the different surfaces available for using your knife, and how they act on knives: litho stones, marble, and tempered glass. If you have a knife for leather working that has dulled or lost its shape, and you’d like to learn how to tune it up yourself, please bring it to work on.
The second half of the class will focus on the various methods used to pare leather: edge paring with knives, and all-over paring with a Schärf-Fix or Brockman paring machine. There will be plenty of time for guided practice on your own in order to gain confidence with this essential skill. For those who learn quickly, paring for onlays and labels will be covered. This class is a requirement for the other leather bookbinding classes at the Center; the materials fee includes the edge paring knife that you will need in this class, as well as any subsequent ones you may take.
Saturday, September 23; 9:30-5:30. Register/more info
Paper and Paste
While bookbinding and book repair share many skills and techniques, they are also distinct pursuits. This course is intended to introduce the student familiar with bookbinding to key practices within basic book repair. What is the difference between conservation and restoration? What is pH and how is it tested in paper? What are the different adhesives used in book repair and what is the selection process? Through both discussion and hands-on practice, students will get the answers to these questions and more in order to start to appreciate the challenges and rewards of book repair. This class is an excellent introduction for any student wishing to take the Basic Book Repair: The Cloth Reback class, or any of the book repair classes offered by Dominic Riley and Michael Burke at the Center in the summer.
Saturday, October 7, 9:30-5:30; Register/more info, or call 415-565-0545
During the early part of the 1900s, leather was in short supply in northern Europe. Always a more desirable book covering material than cloth or paper, especially in areas of hard wear such as the spine and corners, leather was becoming rare due to the first world war’s restrictions on the use of it in non-military applications. Binderies had to find ways to provide durable, attractive books while using less leather. Millimeter bindings were born out of the need to conserve rare materials, yet still get the benefit of using a little bit of them. Allowing only a single millimeter of leather to show on the boards at the spine and corners, these bindings also made the most of what northern Europeans inherently had in abundance: leather paring skills. Since the early 1900s, many hand binders around the world have developed and refined this style of binding as an artistic expression. In this class, we will begin to explore the creative options available when making use of this modern style of hardcover binding with leather. We will use our own paste papers (the instructor will provide some if you don’t have yours from Core 1) to decorate the larger portion of the covers.
Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15, 9:30-5:30; Register/more info or call 415-565-0545
SFCB Week-long Core Certificate in Bookbinding
SFCB has reorganized its core bookbinding and printing curricula. We now offer the Bookbinding Core in four segments, spread out over five days of classroom time. The Core classes are: the Coptic Binding, Flat-back Link-Stitch with Casing, Limp Paper Binding, and Classic Rounded Spine. You may now take these classes as an innovative week-long intensive. The week-long intensive includes all four classes in the Core in an easy-to-digest, continuous stream of five dreamy, wonderful days spent binding your favorite books. What could be better? You will become more confident with gluing, with sewing headbands, cutting binder’s board; even the basic elements of edge decoration are included. If you are coming from afar and would like assistance with logistics, contact me or ask the lovely professionals at the Center when you call to register.
Monday through Friday, November 6-10, 9:30-5:30. Register/more info, or call 415-565-0545.
The dos-à-dos binding dates back to the late 1500s and reportedly is of English origin. Sometimes done with embroidered cloth covers, sometimes in leather, there have been many variations since that time. For this class we will be borrowing from several binding traditions to construct a unique and fun book in which endpapers and covering material merge, intersect, and mirror each other.
Saturday, December 9, 9:30-5:30; Register/more info or call 415-565-0545.
Past Student Reviews
“The knowledge of the instructor and her ability to recognize the skill level of the students was key to the class. Juliayn was able to assist each individual according to their skill level with professionalism and patience, making a great classroom experience.”
“Juliayn was a great teacher. She was patient and also good at rolling with whatever came up. I appreciated her attitude to the learning process (that we need to practice these things before getting them right) while also emphasizing best practices and techniques for bookbinding. I enjoyed the time when she would deviate from the actual binding of the book to give us a mini lecture on the field, on adhesives, paper quality, where to buy materials, history of the art, etc.”
“I loved the instructor’s calm manner and accessibility- plus she has a great sense of humor, something much appreciated during stressful maneuvers.”
“Juliayn is always so cheerful, funny, organized, and patient! I love her classes! She teaches good practices which promote good habits.”
“Can’t say enough of Juliayn’s patience, composure, and professionalism. I struggled with several steps and she was always there to help me with her smile and kind heart.”
“Love her sense of humor and friendliness, as well as her depth of knowledge. Very happy that I got to take this class.”
“Thanks to Juliayn’s encouragement and excellent teaching, I was finally able to pare leather without tearing giant holes in it. ”