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>In response to Peter's comments concerning bookbinding training, his
>concept of a year or two apprenticeship is an excellent one, I think, but
>then there are those like me who can't afford such luxury. I have never
>figured out how I could finance such an education.
I completed a 3 year apprenticeship in hand bookbinding in Germany (1985-87)
getting off in two with good behaviour. Apprenticeships are tightly
regulated by the state/guild/chamber of commerce. The salary is fixed
including ins. and vacation and bonuses. Trade school is obligatory.
Essentially what the apprentice does is work as an employee in the business
starting from the ground up. Yes that means on day one you clean brushes and
sweep, but you gotta start somewhere. Your progress is tracked and
expectations set according to a fixed schedule. What you don't learn in the
shop you learn in trade school. There are two exams, one after the 2nd year
and then the final. The examination standards are set on a national level
and are high. Just about any hand bookbinder passing there could run a shop
here. Sure there is still much to learn, but they know how to work
effectively, efficiently and very neatly, hopefully. The standards here
would be tougher to set and anyone can open a shop, so you'd have to be
careful about whom you would pick. Again it can be done though.
We don't have that here, but essentially any working situation could be just
that. What you would need to do is find someone who would take you and work
out something with a commitment made on both sides. For the (master)
employeer you would be an investment of time, energy and yes money, you
wouldn't earn much for the shop at first. But that would change as you
progress. You would essentially be asking for a job, and that's the tough
part, as far as I know work is tight all around, even in the book arts. It
could be done if you wanted though. A good person to talk to would be Bill
Minter who apprenticed with Bill Anthony in Chicago and also trained many
others. I worked with him for over two years after I returned from my
apprenticeship. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.
He is also a subscriber, lurker, but here non the less. :> Other people to
contact would be fine edition binders, where you would get the batch work,
quantity and quality needed... New England and BookLab are the best places
for that that I know of.
Peter D. Verheyen <wk> 315.443.9937
Conservation Librarian <fax>315.443.9510
Syracuse University Library <email>firstname.lastname@example.org
Syracuse University <www>http://web.syr.edu/~pdverhey/
Syracuse, NY 13244 <Listowner>Book_Arts-L@listserv.syr.edu