Nag Hammadi Codex

This event is POSTPONED. Please email for information about future workshops.
$ 400.00

August 8th, 2020 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Michael Burke
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Closed
  • Workshop Start: August 8th, 2020 9:30 AM
  • Workshop End: August 9th, 2020 5:30 PM
  • Sessions: 2

The Nag Hammadi codices take their name from the Egyptian village where, in 1945, a clay pot containing thirteen ancient books was discovered. They are the earliest extant codex bindings ever found, and were uncovered in remarkably good condition. This workshop will lead you through the making of a codex bearing all the characteristic features of these early book structures. We will construct a sympathetic facsimile of the Nag Hammadi codex, and experience the structure and form of ancient bookbinding. We will make our version of this third century book from a textblock of folded papyrus, bound together with knotted leather tackets on a leather spine piece and covered in boards stiffened by layers of papyrus. The boards have leather edging strips, and the book is covered in hand-dyed North African goatskin. It is held closed with beautiful leather ties and wrapping bands, which are integrated to the cover using a delicate slotting and lacing technique. 

Materials to Bring: Metal tweezers; scapel, if preferred over utility knife.

Optional and available at SFCB for student use: bone folder, awl, utility knife, metal ruler, self-healing cutting mat, paste brush, dividers, Japanese hole punch.

Workshop Fee (includes $75 materials fee): $400.00

Date & Time: Saturday & Sunday, August 8 & 9, 2020 :: 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:

[What did you like most about the workshop?] “The fascinating structure; the opportunity to work with leather (including paring and dying); the opportunity to work with papyrus; the humor and energy of the instructor.”

“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.”

$ 400.00
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States