What is the course about?
This is one of three short courses which teach conservation methods for paper (VD245), cloth (VD246) and leather bound books (VD247). These courses are aimed at learners with some basic experience in bookbinding or book conservation and will comprise instruction on a range of conservation techniques including archival housing for bindings. The courses cover both the theory and practice of book conservation and students will, through practical exercise, gain the skills and experience to be able to conserve and repair their own items. Students are expected to provide their own books on which to work.
What will we cover?
- Different leather binding styles
- Leather degradation characteristics
- In-situ repair of leather bindings using Japanese paper
- Different endpapers and ways of attaching boards
- Spine lining
- Repair of text-blocks and covers using various materials
- Sewing and re-casing/binding options
- Leather paring
- Leather re-backing
- Making a drop-back box.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Describe three principle styles of leather bindings
- Identify calf and goat skin
- Identify typical degradation characteristics of leather
- Name some characteristics of degraded leather bound books
- Explain a practical conservation approach appropriate for the type of damage to a book
- Use learned skills to restore leather covered boards and damaged pages.
- Conserve a leather-bound book with a variety of materials including animal skin, Japanese tissue and Western paper.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an intermediate course for individuals wishing to expand and develop their book conservation skills. Some previous bookbinding and book conservation experience is required. This means a basic knowledge of: book structures, binding styles, how book materials deteriorate; damage characteristics, and repair options. You should be familiar with the terminology used, and have a reasonable level of confidence and dexterity in handling materials and tools.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Weekly topics follow the linear aspects of book conservation, from damage assessment through various treatment options to completion of work. Each student will work on their own items. There will be demonstrations, and one-to-one practical teaching.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You should provide a book(s) to work on, and have this/these available at the beginning of the course. The bindery is equipped with most of the specialist tools, but you will be expected to use your own hand tools and come equipped with a range of tools including:
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• knives (scalpel, utility or craft and leather paring) and spare blades
• brushes in a range of sizes
• a steel rule or straight edge with measured increments
• pair of dividers
• pair of tweezers
• large and small bone folders.
• craft scissors or shears of reasonable quality
• paring knife
The class has some materials which may be bought and you will be given guidance for providing your own.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit runs a range of conservation courses each year such as VD204 Book conservation: vellum You may also be interested in VD3232 Knife sharpening workshop or wish to expand your experience with other City Lit bookbinding courses such as VD316 Wooden boarded binding, VD434 Bradel binding or VD285 Bookbinding: Longstitch, Coptic and secret Belgian binding. Your tutor will be able to advise you during this course.