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Re: starting off



You sent:

>From:   The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting on behalf of mari
>rhydwen Sent:   Tuesday, May 27, 1997 07:38 To:
>BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject:        starting off
>
>I am an academic but have a yearning to take up bookbinding
>...................., so how do I get started here in Western Australia?  Is
>it possible to do apprenticeships - I'm a little tired of formal study in
>institutions?  ................
>
>I'd welcome suggestions, advice, contacts. Best wishes, Mari
>
>Mari Rhydwen, Humanities, Murdoch University, Perth, WA 6150, Australia
>
>Telephone: 08 9360 2217  Fax: 08 9360 6367

>
>


There is no need to despair !!  I am a chartered engineer, who took up binding
and restoration as a hobby -  this arose from family history interests, but
that's another story.

I had to learn the basics at evening class at a local Technical College, but
read avidly various practical books on the subject.

I also attended courses by Mr John Mitchell, a top finisher and gilder here in
the UK.  I was lucky as he is located only a short distance from where I live.
I believe he has visited Australia and the US to give demonstrations.  Last
year we had an American academic on his course from an university in NJ.  Again
he was not a bookbinder by profession.

There is no trouble in finding 'tools of the trade'.  Unfortunately the cost is
relatively high as the market is small and many are handmade by expert
craftsmen (and women!) - a Miss Sally Martin in Suffolk has an excellent range
of laying and finishing presses, etc. I have one of her sewing frames and an
old sewing frame which she repaired in 1990.

Any pattern tools can be obtained from such suppliers as Fine Cut International
in Sussex, or Mr Field of ABS Supplies in Bristol.  He has made brass patterns
to my art work copied off old books.   The catalogues show a wide variety of
tools covering the styles of the last 300 years.  Similarly the letter fonts
are all available.  Other suppliers provide materials.  They all send the goods
overseas.  There will be suppliers in the US.  You will know about the
possibilities in Australia.

A Mr Derek Beck in London made me a plough in 1986.  His tools are designed
from an engineer's point of view (see his article in J. of Designer
Bookbinders, Vol. 2, 1982).

The difficulty is finding local suppliers in Australia to keep the postage
costs down and also to find short refresher courses.   If you have the chance
to visit the UK in the future then you might be able to arrange a course at the
same time.  They are normally a week or less.  If you would like more details
please contact me directly off the list.

Rodney Fry
Berkshire
England
< rod.fry@xxxxxxxx >


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