Bookbinding Core 1-4 :: Weeklong Intensive

 Registration is closed for this event

March 18th, 2024 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Juliayn Coleman
  • Workshop Extra: Core Curriculum, Certificate Program
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Wait-list
  • Sessions: 5
  • In-person or Online?: In-person

Workshop Fee (includes materials fee): $850

SFCB has scholarships available to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts. Please click here to read more about the different options and to apply for assistance.

PLEASE NOTE: This instructor requires that all students be masked. If you choose to enroll you will be expected to bring and wear a mask for the duration of class.

Bookbinding Core Certificate Program

The San Francisco Center for the Book celebrates the craft and art of bookbinding. Our Bookbinding Core Certificate Program introduces students to four different binding models, leading them through the history and evolution of bookmaking.  It provides students a comprehensive foundation to delve into the practice of binding and qualifies them to work in our bindery. 

Bookbinding Core 1 :: Coptic Binding 

To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, we begin at the beginning. This, the first of our Core Bookbinding series, introduces students to the craft with the Coptic stitch, one of the earliest structures in binding. In addition to coming away with a finished book made by hand, students will also be introduced to the tools and terms of bookbinding. Basic practices and equipment will be discussed as students familiarize themselves with both skills and safety measures needed for working in a bindery.

Bookbinding Core 2 :: Flat-Back Case Binding  

In this second Core Bookbinding class, students will create what most of us refer to as a hardbound book. In bookbinding terms, it is known as a case binding; where a sewn textblock is glued into a separate structure known as a case. Students will learn more about the mechanics of books as they build on skills from Core 1 and expand both their vocabulary and capabilities in and around the bindery.

Bookbinding Core 3 :: Limp Paper Binding 

In centuries past, books were sometimes sewn onto cords and then laced into soft covers before being bound for a specific collection or library. Often covered with calfskin, these limp vellum bindings became an important structure all their own. In this class students will bind a book using these bindings as a model but employing thick paper as the folded and laced wrapper. Students will learn to use a sewing frame and the skill of sewing headbands. 

Bookbinding Core 4 :: Classic Rounded Back Cloth Binding 

The final class in our Core Bookbinding series (taught in two sessions) uses skills learned in each previous class to create a beautiful and classic rounded back cloth binding. After sewing, the book will be rounded and backed before the boards are attached and covered. More terms, more tools, more techniques: such are the rewards of the skilled bookbinder!

The Weeklong Intensive rate is discounted $100 off the individual workshop fees (reg. $950)

>> Prerequisite: None <<

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

Date & Time: Monday-Friday, March 18-22, 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 approximately three days prior to the start date of the workshop to allow the instructor time to prep materials for class. We recommend you not wait to register, as workshops that don't meet our minimum enrollment will be canceled, sometimes as much as a week in advance.

About the Instructor | Juliayn Coleman (she/her)

Juliayn Coleman has been a professional bookbinder since her graduation from the North Bennet Street School bookbinding program in 2003. Her private practice encompasses all levels of book repair and conservation, custom portfolio and enclosure making, teaching, and being a good ambassador for the craft of bookbinding in general. Some of her creative and professional projects can be seen at

Past Student Reviews:

 “Juliyan was really excellent. Even when I was too tired and frustrated with small threads to laugh at her jokes, her expertise and teaching knack shone through and helped get my head around the material—which was remarkably rich, stimulating, and satisfying. Bravo!”

“Juliayn is a very patient instructor! I'm very grateful for her passing on her knowledge and experience!”

“I loved it all. She was very good at giving methodical instructions. It was fun to learn how to use different materials and tools. All of my books came out pretty great which is a reflection on the good teaching!”

“Comprehensive and easy to follow. I've come away with an excellent understanding of book structure and basic bookbinding.”

[What did you find most valuable about this workshop?] “Getting best practice tips such as how to position myself and materials for comfortable and efficient workflow. Being able to ask many, many questions and have them answered.”  

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