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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. 

Tomorrow’s Past: Modern Conservation Bindings <br/> February 10-11, 2017

Upcoming Workshop Registration

Workshops are offered several times a year, at various bay area locations, either at teachers' studios or at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Courses are held by nationally recognized instructors with hands-on instruction in fine binding, book structures, paper decorating, equipment maintenance and many other techniques. Open to all those who are interested, some course may have prerequisites. 

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.  


Tomorrow’s Past: Modern Conservation Bindings
February 10-11, 2017

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sold out

Tomorrow’s Past: Modern Conservation Bindings
February 10-11, 2017

from 300.00

Workshop Instructor: Kathy Abbott
Workshop Dates: February 10 - 11, 2017
Workshop Time: 9:30AM - 5:30PM
Workshop Location: 1890 Bryant Street, San Francisco, 94110

"Surely it is better to create tomorrow's past than to repeat today's"
Edgar Mansfield (1907-1996)

The starting point for this two-day course will be to look at the work of Tomorrow’s Past* and the innovative book structures that have been created by this group. 

After a short power-point lecture, you will learn how to make a ‘Clip-on-Cover Binding’ – one of the structures devised by Kathy Abbott – on a blank book.

This paper-covered binding is fully reversible, uses no adhesive, and is perfect for making at home with limited tools or equipment.  Variations in the basic technique and other materials such as vellum, textiles or leather could be used - the possibilities are endless!

*Tomorrow’s Past is the collective name for a group of bookbinders that make modern conservation bindings for antiquarian books. The group has exhibited at the Antiquarian Bookfair, Olympia, London, UK; the Paris Bookfair, at the SOB conferences in Warwick and at the Aram Gallery, London, UK.


Kathy Abbott served a four-year apprenticeship in bookbinding and then gained a Higher National Diploma from the London College of Printing, London followed by a BA (Hons) degree in Bookbinding from Roehampton University, Surrey. She teaches advanced level Fine Binding at the City Lit, London, short courses at West Dean College, Chichester and conducts many other workshops across the UK and overseas.  She is a founder member of the group: Tomorrow's Past and is the author of Bookbinding: A step-by-step guide, published by the Crowood Press in 2010.

Her work is held in both private and public collections, including The British Library, London, and her work is exhibited widely: most recently at Covered, a Designer Bookbinders selling exhibition at the St. Bride Foundation, London. You can see her work on her website:



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  • 30cm/12” Steel ruler
  • Pencil, mechanical (.5 or .7 are best as you keep a sharp point)
  • Clip-point/boot/Cobbler’s knife
  • Fine pointed bonefolder
  • Eraser
  • Scalpel and 10A blades/sharp craft knife
  • Small pair of sharp scissors
  • Spring-loaded dividers
  • A small set square
  • Fine pricker/bodkin/bradawl (for making small holes)
  • Cutting mat
  • Darning needles (size 5-9)
  • A pricking cradle (if you have one)
  • A small weight (approx. 1lb/400g)
  • Pair of tweezers
  • A Japanese screw punch (if you have one)
  • A 1cm/1/2” wide flat hog hair paintbrush
  • A5 or A4 size pressing board
  • Apron