Pastepapers Old & New

August 12th, 2023 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Michael Burke
  • Workshop Type: Binding, Arts
  • Workshop Status: Open
  • 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. 

Although known from around 1650, pastepapers were made really popular in the mid 1700s by the Moravian Sisters of Herrnhut in Saxony. Recent study of these papers has sparked a revival of interest in them, and in this workshop the instructor will introduce you to the methods, materials and patterns used on the original pastepapers.

Class will begin by mixing the colors using natural earth pigments, and making the few simple tools used by the Sisters. Students will then reproduce each of their original designs using the same colors, patterns, freehand brush strokes and tooling. Part two of the class will bring us up to date with a wide range of inventive techniques for making modern pastepapers.

The instructor will demonstrate how to make combs, stamps, rollers and other mark-making tools used in pastepaper design, and show a range of techniques he uses to create many different effects, from the simple pulled papers, to the highly regular striped patterns.

>> Prerequisite: None <<

Materials to Bring: 


  • 1 inch and 1-1/2 inch paint brushes
  • apron or old clothes
  • cellulose sponge
  • notebook and pencil
  • things to make marks in paper, such as: string or cord, plastic decorator's comb (Artex spreaders), natural materials such as leaves, old credit cards, rubber rollers (brayers), bubble wrap

Date & Time: Saturday & Sunday, August 12 & 13, 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:

“I came away with a big stack of paper, much of which I like and can use.”

“Loved the small class, creativity of other students and lots of time to do our own work.”

“[I liked] the history and Michael's guidance on how to read the patterns, giving us an approach to see how the patterns were made mostly without tools (Moravian Sisters). Then taking us through the steps of making them or attempting to reproduce them.” 

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States