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Po Box 193216
San Francisco, CA

A close-knit group of hand bookbinders, with shared interests in creating and collecting fine bindings, joined together to promote hand bookbinding and related book arts and to exchange information and ideas. 

Full 2016-2018 Workshop Listing



With this year we are taking a different approach to workshops. We will offer workshops as part of a curriculum that we are divided into the following categories: Structures, Decorations & Design, Conservation and Repairs, Tools: Maintenance and Making.  Each year we will try to offer at least 1 class in each category/section.


SCHOLARSHIPS: As a member organization which includes binders of all levels, we strive to create space for everyone to learn new skills and applications. To apply for a scholarship CLICK HERE and fill out the PDF form. Details of the scholarship are included at the top of the form.  



Inlay and Onlay Techniques with Karen Hanmer

Instructor: Karen Hanmer
Workshop Dates:
February 9th - 10th, 2019
Workshop Times:
San Francisco Center for the Book presents: A Hand Bookbinders of California Master Class
 375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Workshop Fee (includes $60 materials fee): $375 for Hand Bookbinders of California members*; $425.00 for non-Hand Bookbinders of California members.
*To receive this discount, HBC members MUST call to register and pay over the phone (415-565-0545)

In this two day workshop, students will learn a variety of inlay and onlay techniques for use on leather bindings. Techniques demonstrated will include: backpared, feathered, flat and sculptural onlays; inlaid and incised lines; raised, flush and recessed inlays.

Students will complete a set of plaquettes to showcase the techniques they learn. These, together with a detailed handout covering all the techniques presented will be a valuable reference for future projects.

Pre-requisite: Orientation to Leather or similar leather paring experience.

About the Instructor: Karen Hanmer’s artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays intertwining history, culture, politics, science and technology. She utilizes both traditional and contemporary book structures, and the work is often playful in content or format. Hanmer is winner of the Jury Prize for Binding in the 2009 Helen Warren DeGolyer American Bookbinding Competition. One of only ten graduates of the American Academy of Bookbinding’s Fine Binding program, Hanmer also holds a degree in Economics from Northwestern University. An acknowledged leader in the book arts community, she served on the editorial board of The Bonefolder, the peer-reviewed online book arts journal, and is a reviewer for the Guild of Book Workers Journal. Hanmer curated Marking Time, a triennial exhibition sponsored by the Guild of Book Workers. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in basic binding skills. See more of her work on her website at:

anne hillam2.jpg

Two Semi-limp Parchment Binding Styles

Workshop Instructor: Ann Hillam
Workshop Dates: March 19-23, 2018
Location: 1890 Bryant St Studio, San Francisco CA 94110

Much research has focused on limp parchment bindings, resulting in a clear terminology used to describe these structures. This class will focus on the relatively less-researched genre of bindings referred to as “semi-limp”. On its surface a simple structure, this style of binding presents many quandaries for researchers and conservators. The lines between semi-limp and stiff-board bindings can be blurry at best, and even the task of compiling a consistent vocabulary to describe them is far from straightforward.

Instructor Bio: Anne Hillam is a book conservator in private practice providing consulting and conservation services for institutions and individuals in New York City and Western Massachusetts. She has been in the field for more than twenty-five years, specializing in the conservation of books and paper artifacts, with a strong interest in parchment bindings. Anne acted as Head of Conservation at the New York Academy of Medicine’s Gladys Brooks Book & Paper Conservation Laboratory from 2007–2012, where she also held positions of Conservator and Senior Conservator of special collections. She is currently a contract conservator in the Barbara Goldsmith Conservation Laboratory at New York University. Anne is a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).



Workshop Instructor: Maria G. Pisano
Workshop Dates: September 24 to 28, 2018

Using collagraph plates in the service of creating an artist's book. Collagraph plates are affordable and easy plates to make in order to create content for an artist book. Participants will design and prepare a variety of plates to begin to learn the many possibilities inherent in collagraphs. Incorporate materials to create tonalities and textures, use cutting tools for lines and shapes - integrating all in the service of making a plate(s) that will be used for making prints. A good reason for choosing this medium is the versatility of the plates, which can be printed both intaglio and relief simultaneously – additionally we will explore the use of inks, brayers, colors, papers, etc. and the many variations of prints one plate can yield. The class will cover the history and background of collagraphs with examples of prints and artists' books where collagraph plates were used to create the works. After working many years with etchings and the many chemicals associated with printmaking, I found that collagraphs gave me the desired richness I was looking for in a print, and the ability to continue my work in a safe, non-toxic environment.

Instructor Bio:  Maria G. Pisano is a book artist, curator and educator. Her oeuvre, encompassing prints, works on paper and artists' books, are published under the Memory Press imprint. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, in museums and galleries. Ms. Pisano, an adjunct professor, teaches papermaking, printing, book arts and conservation. Additionally, he continuously gives workshops nationally and internationally, such as The Center for Book Arts in New York, Morgan Conservatory, Cleveland, OH, Professione Libro in Italy, at Bridwell Library, TX in 2018, other libraries and at her studio.

The Girdle Book

Instructor: Nicholas Yeager
Workshop Date: February 17 - 19, 2018
Workshop Location: Dependable Letterpress, 1192 Illinois St, San Francisco, CA 94107

The Girdle Book is a fascinating structure that held sway for a fairly short time from the 14th through the 16th centuries. Portable books for travelers became popular with the rise of literacy and wealth. Taking a prayer book, or for professionals, a legal or medical text for easy reference became common enough that there are numerous depictions of these structures in the paintings of the period. The girdle book fascinates us today, and is a bit of a mystery as to how it was constructed.

This book structure gives the student a set of experiences that they can use in their more contemporary work. The basic clasp is also an introduction to the lost art of clasps and furniture making for books. This class requires the student be skilled enough to accomplish the work in 3 days. Students will buy paper to class specifications, fold and prepare the signatures and punch them prior to class. Sewing will be done in class.

A complete list of tools will be provided upon registration.  Students will pay a $25.00 materials fee directly to the teacher on the first day of class.

INSTRUCTOR BIO - Nicholas Yeager studied bookbinding with Bill Minter in Chicago. As a conservation technician, then page at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas he wrote his BA thesis on medieval vellum making. He received his MLS degree from Columbia University in 1991 in rare books. His first professional job was as a rare book librarian at New York Public Library after being a conservation technician there.

Throughout his career he has focused on materials and techniques of book making, noticing binding structure and materials, as well the book's use, misuse and repairs. His study of medieval and renaissance binding structures have given Yeager insight into the mechanics and craft techniques used to make a book.


Decorations & Design



INSTRUCTOR: Tracey Rowledge
CLASS DATES: Feb. 1 - Feb, 3rd, 2017  (Wed. Thu. Fri).
LOCATION: San Francisco Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island Street, CA 94110

Gold tooling on paper bindings is particularly exciting as it allows you to explore ideas without the financial pressure or time constraints you might feel when binding leather-bound books. Techniques of gold tooling on paper learned in this workshop will be useful in paper decorations as well.

Tracey Rowledge studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London, and Fine Bookbinding and Conservation at Guildford College of Further and Higher Education, Surrey, UK. She is a member of the independent artists group 60|40, which she founded in 2008 with Clare Twomey and David Clarke. The aim of 60|40 is to expand the environment and opportunities for the applied arts. Tracey is also a founding member of Tomorrow’s Past: an international bookbinding collective whose aim is to encourage an alternative and modern approach to rebinding antiquarian books.


Tools: Maintenance & Making

We are currently negotiating with 2 well known instructors for a tool making class and tool maintenance in 2018. Please stay tuned and let us know if you have suggestions.

PROPOSED WORKSHOP OfferingS for 2018 and Beyond

From Collagraph to Book, Maria Pisano Instructor
Manipulating and Altering Leather, Coleen Curry Instructor
Restoration and Repairs, Anne Combe Dachs Instructor
Inno­va­tions in Fine Edi­tion Case Bind­ing, Craig Jensen of BookLab II