The Ideal Sketchbook

 Registration is closed for this event

August 5th, 2023 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Michael Burke
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Wait-list
  • Sessions: 2
  • In-person or Online?: In-person

Workshop Fee (includes materials fee): $350
Scholarship available; click here to apply.

This is an in-person workshop. As of January 2023, masks are strongly encouraged but not required unless otherwise indicated. 

The Ideal Sketchbook is modeled on the ones used by Wordsworth and Ruskin as they wandered the Lake District to draw and write. Strong, elegant and pleasing to use, it was the 'daybook' of choice for all the great Romantic poets and artists.

The Sketchbook is an honest structure made from good quality materials, opens beautifully flat and is very durable. Most importantly for the beginning bookbinder, it can be made at home with no equipment, just a few simple tools, and requires no pressing.

Working from full sized sheets, we will fold and slit the paper to give a beautiful, feathery deckled edge. We’ll sew the book with linen thread on hand-made tapes, and sew in a cloth hinge for strength. The spine is rounded, for easy opening, but not backed, which eliminates the need of a laying press. The case is made from greyboard covered in a strong natural canvas.

If time allows, students will tool their finished binding with creative lines and circles, using traditional finishing tools and both carbon and colourful metallic foils. All this makes for a handsome, rugged book that can withstand all the hard knocks associated with going 'out into the field'.

Beginning bookbinders are welcome.

>> Prerequisite: None <<

Materials to Bring: None. All tools and materials will be provided.

Date & Time: Saturday & Sunday, August 5 & 6, 2023 :: 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. Registration will close three days prior to the start date of the workshop to allow the instructor time to prep materials for class. 

About the Instructor | Michael Burke (he/him)

Michael Burke studied bookbinding with Dominic Riley and paper conservation with Karen Zukor. Michael lives in England, where he teaches bookbinding as well at events across the UK. He is a past chair of the North West and North Wales region of SoB. He has taught for diverse book arts groups in the USA, including Los Angeles, Seattle and Salt Lake City. In recent years he has taught at the Paper and Book Intensive, travelled to São Paulo to teach for the Brazilian group ABER, and in 2011 presented Byzantine binding at the Seminar of the Guild of Bookworkers. Michael researches the structures of ancient and medieval bindings and received his Masters degree in the History of the Book from the University of London in 2011.

Michael and Dominic are co-founders of Book Camp, an immersive residential bookbinding experience which aims to teach new generations of binders.

Past Student Reviews:

“It didn't matter what binding I was being taught. I learned so many tiny tips on doing things I'd struggled with before or never realized could be done more cleanly.”

“Michael is always totally prepared for the class. Materials and handouts are well organized.”

“Michael is one of the reasons I take classes at SFCB.”

375 Rhode Island St
San Francisco, CA 94103-5133
United States