The aim of the Western Australian Craft Bookbinders Guild is to promote and exhibit the art of the hand-bound book, maintaining the traditional craft bookbinding skills. Based in Perth, the Guild has members in country Western Australia and also attends country events.
The Guild was formed by master bookbinders and enthusiastic amateurs in Perth in mid-1984. The Guild has grown over the past decades and has a core group of skilled people who not only make and restore books, but also display to the general public at annual events such as the Quilt and Craft Show and the RAS Perth Royal Show.
There are a number of Guilds within Australia. In some of these Guilds two streams operate; traditional bookbinding and book art. In some cases the Book Art societies have formed a separate organisation. In Western Australia our emphasis is on traditional bookbinding although support and encouragement is given to those wishing to explore book art.
Membership is from all over the metropolitan area with some members in country towns such as Toodyay and Collie, and all executive positions are filled by volunteers. The Guild meets monthly to show off new work, have presentations by guest speakers, undertake short workshops and ask questions on how to proceed with all aspects of bookbinding. The Guild also makes a range of materials available for sale to members.
A Short History
From 1996 the Guild collaborated with the Red Cross at Hollywood Repatriation Hospital in Perth and, in return for the use of the Red Cross’s facilities, repaired books used by patients. The Guild’s collaboration with the Red Cross ceased in 2007 when the hospital was privatised and new buildings were erected on the site that we had shared with the Red Cross. The Red Cross moved to smaller premises and the Guild was unable to join them.
In the latter part of 2007 the Guild relocated to McDougall Park Craft House in Como. The Craft House is suitable for meetings but has no capacity for holding book presses, guillotines and other equipment and materials necessary for bookbinding. As a consequence workshops for new members, or the general public, have been very limited and conducting advanced classes, such as in leather and gold tooling, require some planning. It is hoped that with new facilities that allow for the running of classes this deficit will be easily addressed.
The Guild is currently pursuing a number of avenues for locating more suitable premises, within the Perth region. The Guild is a Not-for-Profit organisation.