Online Workshop: Nag Hammadi Binding – Historic Model

Dates TBA | 3 weeks
2 pre-recorded video tutorials and PDF instructions posted each Thursday at 8:00 am ET. Access to a private chat area for questions and comments, additional videos posted when needed. One zoom office hours will be available during the class for students to meet, discuss, and ask questions.

$95 ($180 with curated materials kit)

Instructor: Andrew Huot

Nag Hammadi Binding – Historic Model

In this workshop we will create a sketchbook or journal based on historic examples of the earliest book structures. The Nag Hammadi bindings carried the Gnostic Gospels, discovered in a cave in Egypt in 1945 and scattered across the world before most returned to Egypt. This example of one of the books contains a folded set of pages covered by a stiff leather cover. Ties at the top and bottom and a flap over the fore-edge will protect your notes and sketches on the pages.

In this course you will learn:

How to use the bookbinding tools.
Knowledge of bookmaking materials and their qualities.
A hands-on exploration of the history of bookbinding.
The skills to make more books for journals, sketchbooks, or artwork.

Level of Experience / Skills Required

All levels; no prior book-making experience required.

You will need the following supplies:


Text weight paper – 65# to 80#
Cover weight paper – 65# to 80#
Dyed Split Goat Leather
Suede leather

Kits of curated materials are available for purchase. Materials will be from a variety of sources and cut to size. There will be enough to allow you to make one each book.


Bone Folder
Craft Knife / Olfa / Xacto
Metal Ruler
Self-healing cutting mat
Bookbinder’s Awl
Bookbinding Needle
Glue Brush
PVA Adhesive

Assembled tool kits for this class can be found at Colophon Book Arts, link here. You can purchase the basic kit at the link and add on any additional tools for this workshop. You can also purchase tools from any bookbinding supplier on the resource page or at your local art supply store.

Please leave your contact information so we can alert you when dates have been set and registration is open.

How this online workshop works


Video tutorials and accompanying pdfs will be posted on Wednesday mornings. You can access these materials any time once they are released, and work at your own pace. You’ll have time to complete the lesson at your convenience before moving on to the next lesson on the following Wednesday. During the week, I’ll be checking messages in the chat area to answer any questions you may have along the way.


Tutorials post at 8 am ET

Week 1, Overview of tools and materials, Folding & Sewing the text block

Week 2, Assembly of the cover, attaching the pages to the cover

Week 3 (Live & Recorded) , Reviewing the finished books, discussion of other book versions. December 15, 8 pm Eastern Time