The Society of Bookbinders 21st Education and Training Conference

The Society of Bookbinders will be holding its Twenty-first Education and Training Conference from August 3rd – 6th 2017 at Keele University, Staffordshire, UK. Keele is a modern university set in parkland with the historic Keele Hall at its centre, and is easily accessible by road (M6), rail (Stoke-on-Trent or Crewe) and air (Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool).

The Conference is a biennial event which is well-known in the bookbinding field, and delegates come from all over the world: from Europe, Israel, Singapore, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand, and elsewhere. Delegates who have not been before and may be feeling shy and alone find that it is very easy to talk to fellow binders and to make friends, and they enjoy the event greatly.

The full Conference begins on the Thursday evening (August 3rd) with the Society’s Annual General Meeting. After dinner the presentation of the International SoB Competition awards will take place (see below). The following two days are filled with lectures and demonstrations, with three taking place at any one time. On Friday evening there is also a lecture of general interest, this time from paper historian Peter Bower on the forensic aspects of paper. The Conference finishes on the Saturday evening with a formal served dinner, which is always an enjoyable occasion, and this is followed by an auction of items to benefit the educational work of the Society. Delegates depart on the Sunday morning.

For those coming from overseas who may wish to arrive a day or two early bed and breakfast accommodation can be arranged at the university before the full Conference begins. On the Thursday afternoon there will be number of informal demonstrations and talks taking place which delegates can attend if they so wish.

The speakers will cover a wide range of subjects and include: Paul Johnson, an internationally known book artist; John Mumford on Islamic bindings; Chela Metzger and Renate Mesmer from the USA on stationery bindings and girdle bindings respectively, Pamela Smith, also from the USA, on marbled papers, Roy Haward on forwarding, and Kathy Abbott on limp vellum bindings. Book arts, restoration and traditional binding are all covered, and delegates can select their own programme from a balanced timetable. There is a full list of speakers in the Conference brochure and more details about their work on the Society’s website.

The Suppliers’ Fair is a major attraction at the Conference, with leather, paper, tools all available for purchase, often with attractive discounts. There is plenty of opportunity for shopping and talking to the suppliers who are always ready to help with advice.

The biennial SoB International Bookbinding Competition takes place in the same year as the Conference, and entries will be on display. This is a major international competition with a large number of prizes. If you would like to enter the Competition please see the details on the Society’s website or write to the Conference Organiser (address below) for contact details.

Fees are: £380 for members and £400 for non-members. This covers all meals and accommodation at the university from the Thursday evening until the Sunday morning, including the Conference Dinner on Saturday evening. Spouses or partners who do not wish to attend the Conference but would like to come to Keele may stay at the University on a bed and breakfast basis.

For more information and an application form please see the Society of Bookbinders website: www.societyofbookbinders.com/events or contact the Conference Organiser, Angela Sutton: [email protected]

This text was provided by the Society of Bookbinders. I’d be glad to visit the Conference. However, it is not an option for me this August. Hope to see some nice reports from the Conference in my Facebook and blog feed =)

You can find the Conference brochure here.

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