Millimeter Binding Intensive

This event is currently full. However, you can click "Register Now" and be added to a waiting list. You will be notified if a spot become available.

July 24th, 2023 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Michael Burke
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Wait-list
  • Sessions: 5
  • In-person or Online?: In-person

Workshop Fee (includes materials fee): $770
50% 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. 

Developed in Denmark during WWII when materials were scarce, the Millimeter Binding takes its name from the minimal amount of leather used on the spine. Soon after its invention, it became the last word in refinement for simplified fine bindings and small editions. With its combination of fine goatskin and beautiful pastepaper covers, it is often the first leather binding that students learn to make across northern Europe.

First, students will sew their signatures on frayed-out hemp cords. Then they'll make the special Scandinavian ‘hooked’ endpaper and a ‘lapped’ paper hollow. Thin millboard is used for the covers, which are attached with adhesive to the hollow and cords, making the structure solid but flexible.

There are several variations on the traditional millimeter binding, depending on where the leather is applied. In class the three main styles will be made: the first has leather on the spine and corners, the second has leather at the head and tail edge, and the third has leather at the spine and fore-edge. The top edges are decorated and headbands attached. Students will learn three methods of edge decoration: the simple solid color wash; the painted edge; and the graphite edge. In addition, three kinds of headbands will be attached: stuck-on cloth; leather wrapped; and two-color silk-sewn.Finally, the bindings will be tooled using three different techniques: blind, carbon and gold.

Taken together these three bindings make a very handsome set of models which beautifully show off the elegance and refinement of Danish binding, and by working on three books at once this class is a very good way of honing skills through repetition.


>> Prerequisite: Bookbinding Core 1-4 or equivalent. Students new to SFCB will be asked to provide samples of their work <<

Materials to Bring: All tools and materials will be provided. Students are encouraged to bring their personal bookbinding toolkit, especially scalpels and paring knives, if available.

Date & Time: Monday-Friday, July 24-28, 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:

“What I liked the most was the attention to our techniques by the instructor.”

“Michael is very patient, organized and so knowledgable! I love that he pays attention to the students and gives us feedback on our techniques. The pace of the class was very good, no stress considering we were putting together 3 books. Gave a great idea on how to do production work.” 

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States