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Bookbinding for Beginners

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by Jade Jackson (subscribe)
Author of Drunk Love Sober Death and Compass. I'm also a podcaster. Find all my work here >>
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Don't just read a book, make one
If you love the textured feel of bonded leather, it's musky fragrance telling a story of its own, why not learn the art of bookbinding. Whether it's a journal for yourself, a book of vows on your wedding day or a special gift for that book nerd in your life, there's something romantically perfect about lovingly crafting a book and filling it with a story, poetry or sketches.

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Learn to craft beautiful books at the Bookbindery. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.

The NSW Guild of Craft Bookbinders can be found at the NSW Writers Centre in Rozelle. Here you can learn the skills needed to make your own hard and soft cover books using a variety of materials including paper, fabric and leather. The guild is a non-profit organisation, entrusted with keeping the ancient skill of bookbinding alive for future generations.

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Make your book unique with a variety of materials. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.

Classes are run periodically and the next beginners bookbinding class is on:
Saturday 7th May - Sunday 8th May
Classes run from 9:30am - 4:00pm each day.
Cost is $230 per person including course materials & GST.
Bookings for this class can be made via the Sydney Community College website.

All equipment and materials are provided for beginners classes, allowing you to create a few projects as taught from the experts.

Once you can stiffen a buckram or let swing a guillotine (without someone losing their head), then you may wish to source your own materials to make your book uniquely yours.

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Make your own unique paper designs with the Bookbinders. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.

Once you have completed the beginners course, you can pursue more specialised classes such as leather wrap books and stitching.

There are also dedicated workshops about paper where you can learn about paper types and how to make marbled paper for cover sheets. This will help give your book it's own customised look and feel.

There is a memorabilia class to make a diary or scrapbook which would be ideal for anyone who loves scrapbooking. You could also create a memorable family history book that can be passed down to future generations.

If you have antique books that require re-binding, then the bookbinders can help fix them to make sure they last many more years.

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Tools of the trade in the Bookbinding business. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.

Once you've had a taste of bookbinding, you may wish to join the NSW Guild of Craft BookBinders. Membership is $55 per person, $70 per couple and $20 for under 18's. This fee covers access to the BookBindery and a subscription to their magazine 'Morocco Bound'.

Access to the BookBindery allows you to use their tools, workshop equipment and bench space without investing in an entire factory yourself. Bookbinding materials for projects outside of classes are at an additional cost or you can source you're own.

The only decision left is what precious words you will fill your hand-made books with!

How to get there
The NSW Writers centre is found in Callan Park, off Balmain Road in Lilyfield. There is parking onsite if driving or the light rail stops at Lilyfield station which is a short walk to the centre up Grove Street.

For more information:
phone: 02 9555 5730

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Some of the tools used to make your own books. Photo by Jade Jackson Photography.

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Why? To learn a unique new skill.
When: Various dates, check website for details. Next beginners bookbinding course 7-8 May 2016
Phone: 02 9555 5730
Where: NSW Writers Centre, Callan Park Balmain Road, Lilyfield,NSW 2038
Cost: From $230 per person for the beginners bookbinding course.
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