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9th Century Islamic Box Binding


  • Maiwa East 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC Canada (map)
Box Binding.jpg

With Johan Solberg

$495 [Includes $110 lab fee] class limit 14. May 2, 3, 4, 2020 (Sat, Sun, Mon 10am-4pm).

In the 9th century, a very unique binding structure developed in the Middle East. Greatly influenced by Coptic and Ethiopian binding methods of the time, it incorporated the unique feature of a walled protective enclosure. Dubbed the box binding, this structure was used to house and protect a portable copy of the Quran. It is the precursor to the more common bindings of Islamicate manuscripts.

In this intensive three-day workshop, students will be introduced to the history of early Islamicate bookbinding by making their own leatherbound box binding. Starting with handmade paper from Sanganer, India, students will prepare sections and wooden cover boards for sewing. As the class progresses, students will be introduced to sewn headbands, simple leather work and clasp making. On the third day students will make and attach the leather wall, along with simple tooling and decoration.

Johan joins us from Norway.

Supply List


About Johan Solberg

Johan Solberg is a bookbinder whose work explores the intersection of artistic research and craft, combining both historical and contemporary techniques and materials. Solberg’s current work consists of historical research on early bookbinding and paper making in Asia. After earning his MFA in book arts at the University of Iowa’s Centre for the book (2018), along with his partner Radha Pandey he is currently developing a small centre for letterpress printing, bookbinding and paper making in Norway.

Earlier Event: April 30
Creative Studio
Later Event: May 6
Couture Hand-Sewing