Ethiopian Codex & Traveling Case

 Registration is closed for this event
$ 395.00

August 10th, 2019 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Michael Burke
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Closed
  • Workshop Start: August 10th, 2019 9:30 AM
  • Workshop End: August 11th, 2019 5:30 PM
  • Sessions: 2

Ethiopian binding is one of the oldest methods of binding with wooden boards, was used for devotional texts, and recently inspired the sewn boards binding. This workshop will yield a flexible non-adhesive book that opens fully. Wooden panels will be drilled and shaped to give smooth book boards. The signatures will be sewn with a linking chain stitch employing pairs of sewing stations, and the sewing will go directly into the boards to form the attachment. Thongs will be added to the boards to secure the book's closure. Although they were often left bare, the boards can also be covered in leather, and have braided leather endbands, for a more luxurious book. The covers can then be decorated with religious designs. The protective case is a shoulder bag made from leather. It has a long strap that allows the owner to keep the book ready to hand. This flexible yet sturdy case will be made from only three pieces of leather, sewn together with a strong thread. The simplicity of the case elegantly complements the beauty of the Ethiopian Codex. 

Materials to Bring: Scalpel (available from Havels:, and if you have them: hand drill with thin bits, Japanese screw punch.

Optional and available at SFCB for student use during workshop: bone folders, sewing needles, cutting mat, dividers, metal ruler, pencil, scissors.

Workshop Fee (includes $70 materials fee): $395.00

Date & Time: Saturday & Sunday, August 10 & 11, 2019 :: 9:30am-5:30pm

Location: 375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Note: Please read over the SFCB Registration Policies before signing up for a class


About the Instructor | Michael Burke

Michael Burke studied bookbinding with Dominic Riley and paper conservation with Karen Zukor. He lives in the Lake District, where he teaches bookbinding. In recent years he has taught and lectured at Society of Bookbinders conferences and seminars, and at Guild of Bookworkers meetings in the USA, as well as teaching tours in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Each year he teaches summer school at the San Francisco Center for the Book and across the USA. Michael researches the structures of ancient and medieval bindings, and has a Masters degree in the History of the Book from the University of London.

Past Student Reviews:

 “Very satisfying to make a complete set! I loved working with wood and leather as well. The other students and Michael were great.”

“Michael's enthusiasm is infectious. His ability to bring to life historical structures and the larger context of their production is a treat rarely to be savored in these types of workshops.”

“As always, Michael. He's always a joy to take a class with.”

$ 395.00
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States