- I've been to two of the meetings at Jill's and expect to make as many as I can in coming months. I look forward to seeing the ideas of the other members as they come along. My craft - bookbinding - as in repair, restoration, case-binding, etc. - is relatively unglamorous, excepting as the finished work pleases the customer who brought me a book in wretched condition.
I have offered to put on a demo some Saturday, using several books in various stages of reconstruction and the tools and equipment I use in doing the work. Because it is a relatively close-up sort of activity, the most I can do before a group of fifteen or so, probably, is describe what I am doing and hope they understand.
As an old clock-man here in Lompoc told me about his difficulty in finding a trainee, "It's difficult to make a living at this, y'know." True in binding, as well, unless one works from morning to dark and has a steady stream of work coming in. But I find it a rewarding outlet for my "engineering" curiosities - every job presents a fresh set of problems and approaches - and solving those time after time is satisfying.
There are no others in this area who do what I do - all the others who are doing "binding" are doing it from a different direction, or point of reference.
As I said at the last meeting at Jill's, my own experience in having other binders share their knowledge has helped me get where I am, and I am anxious to share what I know with anyone who asks. I have maybe another ten years of work left in me, so there's no sense in hoarding what I learn.
After seeing the San Francisco Hand Bookbinders of California group, and some of the Southern California Guild people who met at Kater-Craft in years past, I am glad that this group is under way, and hope that a lot of really constructive and valuable things will come out of it.
The New Leaf Book Bindery
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