Unless otherwise noted, these workshops are held at the San Francisco Center for the Book. 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.
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.
Sunday, December 15, 9:30-5:30; Register/more info or call 415-565-0545
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.
Three days: Saturday, Sunday, Saturday: December 28-29, January 4; 9:30-5:30; Register/more info or call 415-565-0545
Orientation to Leather
It is impossible to imagine the history of Western 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 workshop is a requirement for the advanced leather track in bookbinding at the San Francisco Center for the Book.
Sunday, January 19, 9:30-5:30. Register/more info or call 415-565-0545
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. There are no prerequisites for this class, though some bookbinding experience or experience in the safe handling of fragile items is recommended.
Saturday, February 1, 9:30-5:30. Register/more info or call 415-565-0545
Full Parchment Binding
If you have ever seen or handled a binding covered in parchment, you know the great advantages of using parchment as a covering material. The ghostly, ethereal appearance, the cool and smooth surface, the way it seems to generate its own light from within. Parchment is quite durable, as well: it is resistant to abrasion and wears well. However, parchment is highly responsive to moisture, and using adhesives with it can be a disaster if you don’t use them correctly. In this class, we will learn the best ways to work within this sometimes finicky covering material. We will also be gilding one edge, sewing French double core endbands, and if there is time, we will tool our covers as well.
Three days over Presidents’ Day weekend: February 15-17, 9:30-5:30. Register/more info or call 415-565-0545
Week Long Bookbinding Core
Since 2014, the San Francisco Center for the Book has offered the set of Bookbinding Core classes in an easy to digest series of five consecutive days. In these five days, you will make four books in ascending level of difficulty. You will learn about grain direction, using a board shear and a manual guillotine, how to use a job backer and how to set up a sewing frame, how to distinguish between the different adhesives used in bookbinding and why to choose them, and more. As of late 2019, we have graduated over 100 students in this core certificate program, readying students for a life of happy adventures in bookbinding! Come join us!
Monday-Friday, February 24-28; 9:30-5:30; Register/more info, or call 415-565-0545
Monday-Friday, March 23-27; 9:30-5:30; Register/more info, or call 415-565-0545
Book Repair: The Cloth Reback
In this class, we will learn the steps necessary to repair ailing clothbound books. This style of repair, developed through decades of use in conservation labs and private studios alike, allows the practitioner to safely disbind books with integrity and respect for the original structure, and follows an ethic of saving every part of the original material. The cloth reback can be varied many ways to attend to the many different problems books can have, but all variations are based on the foundational method taught in this class. Students will work on books specifically chosen by the instructor, who will also discuss how to identify books that are not good candidates for this type of repair.
A trio of Saturdays: March 7, 14, 21; 9:30-5:30. Register/more info or call 415-565-0545
Leather Pocket Book
This course is an introduction to books made with leather. Over two days, we will make a simple, refined book with a full leather cover. This will allow students to use skills gained in the Orientation to Leather class in a binding project with beautiful and admirable results. The Leather Pocket Book is based on the style of binding known as limp leather because of its flexible covers. This style was used for devotional texts, field notes, and other types of companion books one might carry along everywhere. To decorate the covers, we will blind tool them using geometric patterns. If you are interested in learning how and why to bind books with leather, this is the class for you.
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 this class.
Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19, 9:30-5:30. Register/more info or call 415-565-0545.
Past Student Reviews
Here is an article one of my students wrote about his experiences in the Week-Long Core.
“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. ”