Victorian Bookbinders Guild

For all interested in the Art, Craft and Practice of Bookbinding                                             


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June Meeting Report.

It’s cold in Melbourne these evenings, but it was warm in the meeting room. We had setup for a mini workshop  of  titling using gold foil, hand letter tools, and  type. A small blocking press, with several fonts of type, and Cockerell stove  to  heat  the hand tools, enough to keep us all busy.The setup included practice book spines with leather, swatches with leather and cloth, and a range of small items which are part of the list of tools and materials that are regularly used when making titles.025A2087 x

After a brief introduction, we all set about learning something of the operation of the tools. From the blocking press, leather bookmarks received names. Terry, a new member who attended  the basic 101 case binding workshop bought along 4 books he had made since the workshop, to receive the names of his grandchildren, one member bought along a notebook to receive his wife’s name,  and another creative book received a  title. 

In the meantime, down the other end,  handle letters were being tried out on test swatches, and test book spines, and some pallets used to make borders. 9pm came around very quickly. And I think we all had a great time being introduced to this part of book binding. 

June  26  Meeting  at West Hawthorn Uniting Church.  Mini workshop Making Titles.  Visitors welcome

A hands on session on the basics of  making titles. A demonstration of gold foil titles 025A9710 zusing a blocking press and hand tools. Then time to experiment with the use of the blocking press, and the use of hand tools, with a few hints on how to be successful with titles.  We will have cloth covered boards as workpieces, gold foil, hand tools, training aids. Maybe yu have a book awaiting a title, bring it along. Bring a  black ink stamp pads  would be  if you have one.  Be ready for some serious work and a lot of enjoyment.

 Registration is essential to make sure we have enough materials. There is no charge for attending and participating.  REGISTER HERE TITLING MINI WORKSHOP


Meeting   July 24 2018-07-04

Our AGM, where you have the opportunity to elect your committee, and to make sure its fun we will have buy swap and sell. Bring along anything surplus and replace it with other peoples surplus plus all sorts of other bookbinding materials. If you have a lot to sell book a table.

VISITORS ARE WELCOME, but of course you can’t vote for the committee

We have on sale some lovely marbled papers, most new genuine vintage papers, plus end papers, board,  new teflon folders, awls, cloth offcuts, and much more.

Bring a plate to share, and we will have some goodies to add to it, plus the usual tea coffee, and some other herb stuff some people call tea, but we won’t hold that against them, or you!!

Do you have some posters you want laminated? Drop me a line, and if there is some demand, I will bring along a 700 wide laminator, and get some of those interesting posters protected. (its NOT archival so nothing precious).  But I will need a little convincing to pack it in the truck, because its heavy.

So call me also if you want your own table so we don’t get caught without enough tables etc,

And if you want to be extra helpful, why not log onto the website and register for the event, that will make it all the easier. Register Here

Regards Jim

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual General Meeting of VBG Inc.

Will be held will be held on Tuesday July 24th 2018

at the West Hawthorn Uniting Church, 10 Power St, Hawthorn West, meeting room commencing at 7pm.

Following the AGM we will have a member’s buy, swap sell evening – see enclosed notice

Annual General Meeting Agenda 2018

  1. Welcome
  2. Present
  3. Apologies
  4. Proxies
  5. Confirmation of minutes of the previous AGM
  6. Business arising from the previous minutes
  7. Treasurer’s Report:
  8. President’s Report:
  9. Election of Office Bearers and Committee for the following positions:


Vice President



Committee positions (newsletter editor)

  1. Member’s Subscription Rates for the financial year 2019 – 2020
  2. Any special business of which notice has been given in accordance with the Rules
  3. Items for next year’s AGM agenda
  4. Close and refreshments and guest speaker.

Only current financial members are permitted to participate and vote at the AGM


24 April our meeting was at the State Libray behind the scenes in the Conservation Department

A night at the State Library.

A good group of 12 members and friends enjoyed a night with the conservators at the State Library, and we are thankful for the opportunity to see behind the scenes.025A1999 x

The facilities make us amateur binders drool, having ample space, great equipment, excellent natural light during the day, and pretty impressive artificial light as well.


Tuesday 22th May 2018

Bring along your current projects and share your progress. Bring your questions, and book problems.

We will look at progress of some ideas for the Binding Challenge 2018.

Visitors welcome, 

Registrations and bookings

Previous articles of Interest from 2017

Marbling Papers  available from the Dobbins Collection.

October Meeting 2017

A Market test of a Childrens Book

Case Binding 101 is the first workshop for those considering making their own books.

Sidney Nolan Landscapes and Legends, a set text.  

  This  is the exhibiton catalogue of th retrospective exhibition 1937-1987, and consists of 176  A4 pages  in 11 sections with numerous colour and black and white pictures for inspiration.   10 copies of uncut sheets are available upon registration or you may purchase your own copy and rebind.

I will be opening my bindery as a trial on Thursday evenings  in May to allow Guild members another option for  their projects. The Bindery is small, allowing only 6 people plus myself if we want to do serious work.  However happy to have others drop in and see the facilities.

Guild Meeting May 2018 Discussions of ideas for the Binding Challege

Design Ideas   a presentation at the May Meeting by Jim Finger

Our Binding Challenge for the year is  the unbound sheets of Nolan  Landscapes and Legends,  A retrospective. This work looks at the art of Sydney Noland as displayed at an exhibition in theNational Gallery of Vctoria in 1987.025A2060 x

The idea of this presentation was to generate discussion and stimulate interaction and ideas as to how we design the book, and how we design books in general. Its very easy to learn a method of making a book and then just keep using the same method. Its harder to learn new methods, and then do enough work to be reasonably proficient in that method, before we move on to the next new thing.  But its again harder again to generate a fusion of the two, to marry the creative ideas  with the best techniques, so then end result is attractive, communicative and functional. At least it is for me  so I think maybe others have the same challenges.

Previous articles of Interest from 2017 also see menu  Articles

Marbling Papers  available from the Dobbins Collection.

October Meeting 2017

A Market test of a Childrens Book


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Recent News

Meetings & Events

Tue Aug 28 @19:00 - 09:00PM
August Meeting 2018
Tue Sep 25 @19:00 - 09:00PM
September Meeting 2018
Tue Oct 23 @19:00 - 09:00PM
October Meeting 2018
Tue Oct 23 @19:00 - 09:00PM
November Meeting 2018

Call for Contributions

Have you recently completed a project? Our members would love to hear about it!

Please send a short paragraph and a picture to the Editor, preferably by email to so that we can include your account in our next newsletter and on our website.

We also encourage members to share their achievements and experiences at club nights. Bring along photos, drawings or examples and feel welcome to talk about these as part of the meeting.

Victorian Bookbinders Guild Inc.  Incorporated 1981     Registration No A2896  ABN: 97 853 169 281     PO Box 355, Seddon West, Victoria 3011