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.
Evening Open Studio is an opportunity, for those who qualify, 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 your 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.
Thursday, January 12; 5-10 pm.
To rent studio time, please email email@example.com (link sends e-mail) 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 Leather 1; the materials fee includes an edge paring knife that you will need in class, as well as in Leather 1.
Saturday, January 21; 9:30-5:30. Register/more info
The Decorated Edge
A beautifully decorated edge can be a highly expressive part of a fine binding or an artist’s book. From subtle to funky, decorated edges add a special touch to the textblocks they adorn. In this class students will learn several techniques used in edge decoration, focusing on three basic materials: ink, graphite, and 23K gold leaf. They cover sprinkling all along an edge and in patterns with two colors. Everyone will also learn how to use graphite on an edge, create a perfectly smooth surface, and gilding with 23K gold leaf in the basic method taught by Hugo Peller at Ascona. Some experience handling gold leaf will be helpful, but not necessary.
Saturday, February 4, 9:30-5:30; Register/more info
Quarter Leather with Laced On Boards (new!)
Making a book with leather is always a reason for excitement. There is a little more work involved, but when you’ve carried out all the steps prior to covering with attention and intention, the experience of covering a book in leather is like no other. The result is also like no other. In this class we sew a book on raised cords, using handmade paper for endsheets and goatskin leather on the spine. We will practice all the skills we’ve accumulated in sewing textblocks and endbands, rounding and backing, lining the spine, and cutting board, and add what is needed to cover the book with leather on the spine and paper on the boards. This book structure takes the skills students learned in Bookbinding Core 4 :: Classic Rounded Back Cloth Binding, raises the bar and bridges the gap between cloth and leather binding with exquisite results. Ideally this class is intended for students who have completed SFCB’s bookbinding core and the one-day Orientation to Leather class, though if you have other bookbinding experience that you believe is equivalent, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
PLEASE TAKE HEED! This is part of a sequential series of classes which follows Orientation to Leather. If you have not taken Orientation to Leather, you must do so before you can register, participate in, and enjoy this class. You must also take Orientation to Leather in order to receive the leatherworking tool you will need for Leather Core 1.
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, February 18-20; 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, March 4, 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, March 6-10, 9:30-5:30. Register/more info, or call 415-565-0545.
Full Leather Casing
This course is an introduction to books made with leather. A small, refined, full-leather casing will be made in Harmatan Fine goat skin over thin boards. These covers will introduce blind tooling, a decorative technique, to the student. This binding, sometimes called a limp leather binding, is based on a historical binding often used for field guides or devotional texts.
Learning leather binding is a great way to advance your bookbinding skills, but please take heed: working with leather is different from bindings done in cloth and paper. Therefore, this is part of a sequential series of classes which follow Orientation to Leather, where you learn valuable leatherworking techniques and receive an edge paring knife. If you have not taken Orientation to Leather, you must do so before you can register, participate in, and enjoy this class. If you have questions about the prerequisite, please contact the Center.
Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26; 9:30-5:30. Register/more information
Another Way to Rebind a Paperback
Hey you, finicky readers out there! In this workshop, we will take a paperback book and transform it into something more durable and easier to flex and open. We will reuse the old covers and spines, creating a recessed area in the new covers to retain the book’s original graphic feel. This is also one of the most common treatments for books in single sheets, so it is a technique you’ll be able to use for other types of projects as well. This is a new alternative to the earlier Rebind a Paperback workshop with different skills covered. Both methods are good, especially for ailing paperbacks, and fun to learn.
Please note that we will be rebinding books provided by the instructor, so you can perfect the techniques before improving on your own personal treasures.
Saturday, April 1; 9:30-5:30 Register/ more information
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. ”