The Society of Bookbinders Education & Training Conference 2015 will be held at Keele University from Thursday August 20th to Sunday August 23rd 2015.
Keele University is in Staffordshire, in central England, just twenty minutes’ drive from junctions 15 & 16 of the M6 motorway. There are direct rail links to Stoke-on-Trent from London, Manchester and Birmingham with a direct bus link to the campus.
The heart of the campus is historic Keele Hall, home of the Sneyd family until financial difficulties forced its sale in the mid-twentieth century. We will hold our Conference Dinner here on the Saturday evening and delegates arriving on Thursday afternoon will have the chance to tour the Hall. The University has expanded, but there are plenty of green spaces and parkland for walks and recreation. We will be using the Chancellor’s Building at the centre of the campus for our lectures, and the suppliers’ fair, the competition exhibition and the catering facilities will all be nearby in the same building. There are shops and cash machines a short walk away, and there is plenty of car parking space (free with a permit).
Online booking is available via the Register tab above.
These will be sent out in June 2015, by email wherever possible. Last year this worked well, but one or two people did not receive theirs at the right time. If you have not received yours by the end of June please contact the Conference Organiser.
Meals will be taken in the Comus Restaurant in the Chancellor’s Building, near the lecture halls. Le Café, in the same building, provides teas, coffees and sandwiches during the day and becomes a bar after 5pm, serving local bottled beers and other drinks. Real ale aficionados can find interesting local brews at the Sneyd Arms in Keele Village which is about half a mile from the accommodation, just outside the campus.
Accommodation will be in one of the halls of residence a few minutes’ walk from the Chancellor’s Building. All rooms are single occupancy with en suite bathrooms, tea and coffee-making facilities, telephone and free internet access.
For the less mobile there are some rooms with full disabled access and suitable bathrooms; if you would like one of these please request it on the application form. For anyone who finds the walk to the Chancellor’s Building too far we hope to be able to run a shuttle bus from the accommodation to the Chancellor’s Building at busy times. However, there is car parking by the accommodation so it will be possible to drive there and back.
Please note that at this stage these are provisional and we cannot guarantee arrangements until nearer the time. However, we are planning to offer the following:
For those who would like to make their own arrangements, there is a regular bus service from the campus to the centre of Stoke-on-Trent. The Museum (free entry) holds interesting collections of costumes and textiles, jade and ivory, a good collection of fine art and prints, and the best collection of Staffordshire ceramics in the world. The Museum also holds part of the Staffordshire Hoard, a find of beautiful Anglo-Saxon gold inlaid artefacts whose workmanship disproves the common belief that pre-Norman times were the Dark Ages, and a Spitfire aircraft.
Many of the historic potteries – Wedgwood, Moorcroft, Spode – are in or near the city centre and are open to visitors; some allow hands-on experience of the manufacturing process for a small charge. Brochures will be available at reception. There is more information at www.visitstoke.co.uk
The Society’s Annual General Meeting will take place at 6.00 pm on the Thursday. This will be followed immediately by the International Competition awards at approximately 7.00 pm and drinks and dinner will be from 7.30 onwards.
Friday / Saturday
Lectures and demonstrations will take place on the Friday and Saturday, and will all last one and a quarter hours. Morning sessions will be from 9.15-10.30 am and from 11.15 am to 12.30 pm; the afternoon sessions 2.00-3.15 pm and 4.00-5.15 pm. There will be three lectures / demonstrations taking place at any one time except on the Friday evening when there will be one lecture at 8.30pm.
Since the end of the 1990s David has concentrated his teaching and designing work in his studio in West Yorkshire. Here he creates design bindings to commission, special designs for limited editions for small presses and publishers, one-off commissions for authors and special presentation bindings for publishers, as well as giving individual tuition at all levels. His work is represented in most major libraries in the world and many private collections.
David says: ‘Design techniques include the traditional such as inlaid and onlaid leathers but also can embrace current technology and contemporary structures.
I teach my personal approach to the assessment and appreciation of a given text. A book has such a multi-faceted presence many factors can influence the way in which the design for a binding is achieved visually…. Excitement, surprise and mystery are the most important aspects of binding design for me.’
Barbara finds the small electric rotary tool, with its different heads, extraordinarily useful. The obvious application is sanding, but besides this she uses it for routing, (making the channels to accommodate leather thongs in wooden boards), cleaning and polishing metal (useful for clasps), cutting wood, metal and plastics for various binding structures, and sharpening tools. It can also be used to create contemporary designs on wooden and acrylic boards as well as rounding and chamfering them.
Though seen not infrequently in mediaeval paintings and sculptures, only about twenty-three intact girdle bindings survive. Structurally, the girdle binding can be defined as a binding with a long extension, usually at the tail, that ends in a knot, a hook or extra material that would have been fastened to a girdle or belt. There are two covering styles: the material forming the extension may be the only covering material over the boards (called the Turned-In version) or there may be a complete binding underneath so that the outer cover is a kind of overcoat (the Full Flap with Pockets).
When held by the knot, the book appears to be upside down. When attached to the belt and opened, it is ready for reading.
This is now a well-established major event in the bookbinder’s calendar; in 2013 there were ninety-two entries from sixteen countries. All entries for 2015 will be on display at the Conference near the lecture halls. Prize-winners will be announced on the Thursday evening immediately following the AGM and their bindings will form a touring exhibition later in the year. For more details please see the competition section of the website or contact the Competition Organisers. The closing date for registration is 29th May 2015 and entries must be sent in by 26th June.
This is an excellent opportunity to talk to our knowledgeable and helpful suppliers who will often have special offers and discounts available. The Fair will be near the lecture halls and will be open from 10am on the Friday until the end of Saturday afternoon.
Keele University is situated in the centre of the UK with excellent transport links.
Keele campus is about twenty minutes’ drive from the M6 motorway (junctions 15 or 16), and is well signed. Parking is free on the campus (with a permit).
Stoke-on-Trent (five miles) and Crewe (twelve miles) are both served by main lines from London, Birmingham and Manchester. London is less than two hours’ journey away. There is a regular bus service (No. 25) from just outside the railway stations on to the campus. For train timetables see www.nationalrail.co.uk. Tel. 08457 484950; from overseas +44 (0) 207 278 5240.
National Express coaches run to Newcastle-under-Lyme where there is a connection for the regular bus service to Keele. See www.nationalexpress.com. Tel. 08717 818178
Manchester airport is thirty-five miles from Keele. Trains run frequently from the airport to Manchester Piccadilly station where there is a regular train service to Stoke-on-Trent railway station. National Express operates a direct service eight times a day from the airport to Stoke-on-Trent (Hanley bus station), where there is a connection for the No. 25 bus to Keele.
We have managed to keep the cost increase to a minimum; rates are as follows:
This price covers accommodation for the three nights and all meals from dinner on Thursday until breakfast on the Sunday, including the formal Conference Dinner on Saturday evening.
This includes tea, coffee and lunch, but not breakfast or dinner.
Day delegates, and suppliers or family members, are welcome to attend the Conference Dinner on the Saturday evening at a cost of £38.
Non-members registering as full delegates or day delegates on both days will become Society members from the date of their payment until the end of 2015. They will receive all SoB newsletters and the journal BOOKBINDER, and will be able to join in all their region’s activities.
Several bursaries are available:
THE GORDON HARTLEY MEMORIAL FUND
Gordon Hartley, Chairman of the Society of Bookbinders for several years until his death in November 2007, had been a teacher for most of his working life. When he died he had recently retired from teaching but was intending to make bookbinding his second career. With this in mind, the Society has decided that if there are two or more equally qualified applicants for the bursary more mature people making a similar career change to Gordon should have preference. However, this should not deter younger applicants, as the award will be made on merit. When applicants are considered some preference will also be given to Society members, but again merit will be the main criterion.
The Conference lasts two full days and consists of a series of lectures and demonstrations by internationally recognised practitioners of bookbinding. These are highly instructive, and the nature of the Conference means that it is possible to talk to the lecturers and to other bookbinders, which can be very encouraging to someone who is usually working alone. There is also a suppliers’ fair, with leather, paper, tools and books for sale.
There is no means test, as the purpose of this award is to encourage newcomers to bookbinding. The award does not cover the cost of travel to the Conference.
Applicants should be students of bookbinding (not necessarily on a formal course) who are seriously thinking about taking up bookbinding as a career, even if they are not yet very experienced.
Students who are on a course, or have been recently, should should give their tutor’s name as a reference.
Applications will be considered in the first instance by a sub-committee of the Birmingham and Central Region and a short list will be forwarded to the national Council of the Society for a final decision.
Applicants will be expected to produce a short report on the Conference and their activities there.
CONFERENCE 2015 BURSARY
The Conference would like to offer a bursary to a young binder, from the UK or overseas, who may still be a student or starting their career and who would benefit from further training. If they are, or hope to be, in a position to pass on their knowledge to others through courses and workshops this would be an advantage. The bursary will include a year’s membership of the Society.
The Conference lasts two full days and consists of lectures and demonstrations by internationally-recognised practitioners of bookbinding. It is possible to talk to the lecturers and to other binders, which can be very encouraging. There is a suppliers’ fair with leather, paper, tools and books for sale, often at reduced prices.
The bursary will cover board, lodging, and all Conference events, but not the costs of travel to the Conference venue. The Society will expect the successful applicant to write a report on their experience at the Conference. The organisers may ask the applicant to assist with the running of the Conference but in such a way that the applicant can attend all the lectures that they wish to.
Potential applicants should either download an application form from this website or request an application form from the Conference Organiser, by post at the address below or by email. Applications will be considered by the Conference committee and a short list forwarded to the Council for a final decision.
Applications should be sent in by March 1st to:
Angela Sutton, Conference Organiser
30 Grundys Lane
THE DON DUNBAR CONFERENCE BURSARY
Thanks to the generosity of the family of the late Don Dunbar, the Birmingham and Central Region of the Society of Bookbinders would like to offer a bursary to a suitable applicant, at any stage of their career, who is prevented by financial considerations from attending the Society’s Conference. The bursary will cover board, lodging, and all Conference events, but not the costs of travel to the Conference venue. The successful applicant will be expected to write a report on their experience at the Conference.
Full details can be found here.
REGISTER BY POST
If you prefer not to register online (see below) bookings may be made by post, using the form which can be downloaded here from the Society’s website, with payment by cheque or credit card. Postal bookings may be secured with a deposit of £100 if made before January 31st 2015, with the balance of £270 or £310 payable by April 30th. After January 31st the full amount will be payable on booking.
You can register for the Conference below. Payment is via PayPal but you do not need a PayPal account as all major credit cards are accepted.
Please ensure that you have read and understand all the information in the Pricing section (see tab above) before starting the registration process. SoB members will need to know their Membership Number.
When registration is complete, you will receive confirmation of your payment from PayPal. We will then contact you to get further information regarding your personal preferences and requirements.
If you have any questions about your registration, please email the Conference Treasurer.