Victorian Bookbinders Guild

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


  • 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.

  • Being a Visionary.

    It is my task, (with the help of the committee), to look at the future of the Guild, to understand the role and place of the Guild, set some action priorities as a result, and to find ways of planning to achieve those goals. The analysis has been difficult, as the complexity of the modern world and the bulldozer of technology crushes everything in its path. It has become hard to find the time and capacity to think, let alone to act.

  • 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.


    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

  • 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. 

  • The August 2018 Guild gathering was an interactive presentation on book structure critique, facilitated by Julian Renard.  Julian has been professionally involved with books most of his life, and has particular interests in rare books and fine bindings. 


    Meetings held on 4th Tuesday of the month, except November:

     September 25: History and Uses of Velum,     Presented by Beryl Black

    October 23:      Peter Lewis   Endpapers, designing, making, installing.

    November 24 (Saturday): Viewing and discussion of the Binding Challenge 2018:

    Landscapes and Legends     A retrospective of the work of Sydney Nolan.

    This date is also our end of year get together, most probably BBQ or picnic, venue and full details to be confirmed. With the election this day, we may revert to meeting on the regular evening Tuesday 27th.

    Let us know if you have a strong preference one way or the other.

    February 26, 2019: Marbling            details to be advised

  • The Guild has been invited to the Mountains of Books Fair  Fernty Creek reserve Cup weekend.

    We will join the book dealers  and present a display of bookbinding materials and techniques, with a few small tools and items for sale. We will demonstrate some basic techniques during the two days, open 10am to 4 pm.  There is  usually a queue at the door for opening on saturday.

  • Presenter Jim Finger

    In this workshop we will explore the production methods of the oldest surviving complete codex books from the Nag Hammadi area of Egypt. These books show the migration of the scroll to the codex, and so have a significant place in the history of the book.

  • Galleries of pictures, some with captions, some with attached articles, some just to browse.

    From the archives

  • 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.

  • Have you received your newsletter either by regular mail  or by email?

    We have received a number of payments for membership by direct deposit with no reference. It may mean you have been moved to the in arrears list for the newsletter.

    Or it may mean we haven't registered properly your new membership. Th new online system has some difficulties of use and communication.  Send the treasurer an email if you think you may be in this category.

    Or it may mean no funds have ben received for membership renewal. I am sure the treasurer will be delighted to receive your emails and funds. Many thanks.

  • 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.

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

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