Victorian Bookbinders Guild

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

I thank you all for your support this year. Your personal words of encouragement have been much appreciated, however there is a need to remain somewhat humble, so your kind words and advice on how I can do better will also help me to be balanced.

To Kirsty and Peter, both retiring from committee this year, we thank you for your work and commitment to your tasks. To our new Committee members David and Wendi, we look forward to your input to the Guild. To all our new Guild members, welcome.


It has been a challenging time for the Guild in the past few years, with changes in demographics, the retirement of more of our mature binders, and our search for premises. On the other hand, our activities have started to ramp up, and the responses to our programs is increasing. This year we had a variety of meetings, including reports on various member travels, book projects, mini workshops on leather, gold tooling, marbling, how to critique a binding, as well as our Challenge for 2017, “On the Beach”. This year we have another binding challenge, Nolan, Legends and Landscapes, with a few copies still available if you want to bind it in time for the November meeting. Last year the Guild acquired the Dobbyn’s Bindery, on delayed payment terms, and the Maurice Betteridge bindery.  A special thanks to Maurice, a Bible specialist and longtime member of the Guild, for his generous donation. Both collections are in storage pending new premises. The consumables, paper and tissue, are available at meetings and will continue to be listed on the web as I get to it.

Another highlight was our participation in Clunes Book Town. We have for some years had a presence there, but we refined the presentation and demonstrations this year and as a result had a number of applicants for the basic case binding workshops, and also acquired new members.

I have been opening my bindery to provide an extra option for those with limited bindery resources. Unfortunately, it’s a long travel time in the evenings to get here and, at present, family commitments limit my ability to open on weekends.

We are working to develop the workshop program.   We hope to offer graduated difficulty classes, designed to ensure that all participants in each class are at the same level, and allowing better skill development, and so better value for money.

Our new editor is commencing this month – Wendi Bradshaw, who is returning to the Committee after several years’ absence; meanwhile please continue to look out for anything of interest, and send any articles you’d like to share to her at  See last page for extra detail.

Our biggest long-term concern is for a permanent space where we can have our bindery permanently set up, so as to offer consistent training opportunities with both local and visiting tutors.   So, remember to keep looking out for those illusive spaces.

We are again involved in the RASV bookbinding competition, sponsoring classes and recommending judges. I encourage the members to support the show and I hope some members may win the generous prizes.

Again, I thank you for your confidence in me as I represent the Guild whenever I get an opportunity, and if you see an opportunity for me to do so that I may have missed, please let me know.   Jim

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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