Bookbinding Core 1 :: Coptic Binding

 Registration is closed for this event

May 11th, 2024 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Madison Gordon
  • Workshop Extra: Core Curriculum, Certificate Program
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Wait-list
  • Sessions: 1
  • In-person or Online?: In-person

Workshop Fee (includes materials fee): $200
Click here to apply for a Windgate scholarship

Masks are no longer required for most workshops, though anyone is welcome to wear one if they wish.

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 rent studio time in our bindery. Core classes must be taken sequentially, 1-4.

Click here to learn more about the Bookbinding Core Certificate Program and how to receive a discount!

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.

Competencies Gained:


  • Basic vocabulary of bookbinding tools and equipment
  • Basic bindery practices and procedures
  • Understanding paper grain


  • Folding, pressing, piercing, sewing, cutting and gluing


  • Board shear, nipping press, hand tools

>> Prerequisite: None <<

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

Date & Time: Saturday, May 11, 2024 :: 9:30am-5:30pm :: 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 | Madison Gordon (she/her)

Madison is a bookbinder living in Oakland, CA, currently working at the Key Printing & Binding and Zukor Art Conservation. She is fascinated by paper, and loves making and repairing practical, fun, accessible, and well-made structures for the use and enjoyment of the everyday people. Madison is also trained in letterpress printing and has worked previously with Small Editions in Brooklyn, NY.

Past Student Reviews:

"Madison is engaging and kind. Great instructor!"

"Madison is warm, knowledgeable, kind, upbeat, encouraging and inclusive!"

"Madison is amazing. She is a professional bookbinder and is clearly passionate about her job. It is so fun to watch her excitement when she shows a new technique she learned or when she demonstrates how a piece of equipment in the bindery can cut perfect lines etc. She dropped some snippets of tips or interesting facts of bookbinding which really elevated the experience. I feel like a whole new world opened up to me. It is so cool!"

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