iBB Podcast #13.1 – Peter Geraty – Bookbinder’s Apprentice in the 1970s / Studying Throughout Life

Peter has been making books since the 1970s. He’s a bookbinding teacher and owner of a bookbinding shop not far from Boston, Massachusetts. Meet Peter Geraty, head of Praxis Bindery and Director of Integrated Studies at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, Colorado.

This time we talk about his early career, teaching and sharing knowledge, and always looking for new techniques and bookbinding tricks. There will be a second part of this video posted later. And we also plan to record a follow-up episode where Peter will show more of his bindings and will take us for a workshop tour.



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Praxis Bindery: https://www.praxisbindery.com/

American Academy of Bookbinding: https://www.bookbindingacademy.org/

00:00 – Beginning
00:47 – Peter’s first steps as a bookbinder
08:03 – Apprentice’s path
09:58 – Why there is no place for apprentices in the modern US
11:40 – Consequences of having employees in your shop
14:02 – Looking for work in the before-the-internet era
16:13 – Bookbinding isn’t a craft that brings you a lot of income
17:31 – Working with collectors
19:20 – Artistic freedom and customers’ requests
21:39 – On fine binding and design binding
24:40 – Options for studying bookbinding in the 1970s and 1980s vs the modern time
28:07 – Sharing knowledge with peers and students
31:28 – French tradition of bookbinding vs British and American Jack-of-all-trades approach
35:32 – Is Peter working on all steps of the bookbinding process nowadays or he passes some work to his employees?
38:07 – Constantly learning new techniques and tricks
41:12 – Improving efficiency while doing large batches of similar books and boxes
45:26 – Errors and learning from them
50:24 – Using new materials
53:43 – Are there any national bookbinding traditions remaining in our global world?
58:15 – Learning new and different techniques with every available opportunity

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