The Deluxe Box

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 29th, 2023 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Dominic Riley
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Open
  • Sessions: 2
  • In-person or Online?: In-person

Workshop Fee (includes materials fee): $400

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

The Deluxe Box is the last word in housing for fine books. It was invented at the end of the nineteenth century as a way of protecting rare and valuable books, whilst being a thing of beauty in its own right, hinting at the book inside with its rounded leather spine, raised bands and gold tooling.

Students will begin by building two trays covered in bookcloth. Next, a case will be constructed, with its spine made from shaped balsa wood. False raised bands are attached to the spine, and then the leather is pared and attached. The case is completed with a cloth liner on the inside, and finally, the two trays are glued up and attached to the case.

The leather will then be tooled with gold across the raised bands, and a title label added. Whether it is used to house a fine binding, cherished ephemera or suites of prints, this is the ideal box for the job.


>> Prerequisite: Some boxmaking and leather experience; any of the Box Making Core workshops plus Orientation to Leather plus one Leather Core workshop, or the equivalent <<

Materials to Bring: 

  • Your bookbinding toolkit
  • Sharp leather paring knife and strop
  • Natural sponge
  • Large paste brush

Date & Time: Saturday & Sunday, July 29 & 30, 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 | Dominic Riley (he/him)

Dominic Riley Is an internationally renowned bookbinder, artist, lecturer and teacher. He has his bindery in England, from where he travels across the UK teaching and lecturing. He spends part of the year teaching in San Francisco and across the USA. His work is mostly restoration and Design Binding, for which he has won many prizes in the Designer Bookbinders competition. He was elected a Fellow of DB in 2008 and is Patron of the New Zealand Association of Book Crafts. His bindings are in collections worldwide, including the British Library, the Grolier Club in New York and the San Francisco Public Library. In 2013 he won first prize, the Sir Paul Getty Award, in the International Bookbinding Competition. Dominic is a past President of the Society of Bookbinders. Dominic and Michael Burke are co-founders of Book Camp, an immersive residential bookbinding experience which aims to teach new generations of binders.

He has taught masterclasses in the USA, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, at the Centro del Bel Libro in Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Canada.

Past Student Reviews:

“Instructor was very knowledgeable and was able to take you through the steps in a very easy to understand manner. Regardless as to whether you were a beginner or had a bit of background.”

“Gifted both in skill and the ability to deliver his knowledge.”

“Instructor was amazing- knowledge of technique, history, and personal anecdotes was informative and interesting.” 

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States