Taking up bookbinding need not be an expensive hobby. Costs include:
- Membership fees. This is necessary to become a member of our Group
- Costs of basic bookbinding kit. This is a minimal expense.
- Any materials and additional equipment you may choose for your own projects. Such outlay is not essential, but you may have special requirements that cannot be met by materials and equipment we supply in the Group.
- Costs of access to more specialist bookbinding equipment. Bookbinding equipment can be extremely expensive, but our course fees are used to ensure the most important equipment is provided.
Fees are set at the lowest rate that we can to ensure good value for students while maintaining a high standard of tuition & equipment.
The fee for the Autumn term, 2023, is £85 for the full-term and £50 for a half-term.
If you are a new applicant....
YOUR FIRST CLASS IS FREE !!!!
Whilst every effort is made to ensure costs are set at a minimum level, we have to cover all costs ourselves -- we are not underwritten in any way.
The cost that must be covered include:
- Room rental
- Tutor fee
- Purchase of equipment and materials
- Maintenance of equipment.
- NOTE: We have acquired substantial equipment over the years, often paid for from fees of previous members, but which is now available for use by all class members.
These are all fixed costs for each term and cannot be varied if people are unable to attend some weeks. Therefore, we do not offer fee reductions to members who are unable to make all sessions. To make such a reduction would require that the additional cost be spread between the other members.
There are simple items of equipment which everybody must own, simply because they are used to nearly all the time. This equipment can be acquired at small cost from craft shops. These include:
- a steel rule
- cutting knives
- a bone folder — a very useful piece of equipment used for applying sheet materials, scoring board and folding materials
- some needles and thread.
In all, this expenditure amounts to about £20.
The Group maintains a stock of common tools and materials, including board for making covers, book cloth for covering, cutting boards, pastes and glues, headbands, thread.
The cost of maintaining these stocks comes from fees.
For some projects members have special requirements. For example, when binding in leather it is generally necessary to make your own purchase, although there are savings to be made by collaborating with colleagues. Equally, if a member wished to make several volumes and, therefore, use a lot of materials, it is most appropriate that they supply these themselves.
We can advise where such things might be obtained. A common source of such materials and bookbinding equipment is eBay.
You will soon discover there is some essential but expensive equipment that has to be used routinely in bookbinding. This includes:
- nipping presses for flattening materials and ensuring adhesion between surfaces
- finishing presses for completing decorative work
- electric blockers for adding gold foil titles in book decoration
The group is well equipped with these items of equipment. The course fees are used to add to our collection and to maintain this equipment.
Some people set up their own small bookbindaries at home and choose to purchase these items themselves. This is their choice. Even this can be affordable by shopping around for items of second-hand equipment, especially through eBay.
Please Note: This a membership fee, NOT an attendance fee. That means when you have paid your fees you are then entitled to participate in the group and take advantages of its facilities for the period for which you have paid. It means that if you are unable to attend every session during a membership period you will not be entitled to a reduction or a reimbursement. This arrangement is necessary so that we can mach a new term's fees to just that which is necessary to balance the books. This keeps fees as low as possible and, therefore, fees are non-negotiable. Otherwise we would not be able to cover our upcoming costs for a term.