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Re: Repair <- vs -> conserve
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Repair <- vs -> conserve
- From: "Peter D. Verheyen" <pdverhey@DREAMSCAPE.COM>
- Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 08:41:18 -0400
- Message-Id: <199704291244.FAA17174@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
LET' KEEP THIS CIVIL and avoid personal denigrating attacks. I personally
find this discussion perfectly valid and something the profession needs to
think about, if we do think of ourselves as a profession.
First off, @ 1.95 you wouldn't even break even, unless perhaps you don't
need the money and don't figure overhead into your estimates. It will cover
supplies but that's about it.
There is nothing wrong with "book repair," and their is a difference
between conservation and repair. Both are equally appropriate for certain
materials. We do it in libraries all the time. Different items justify
To answer Denis Gouey's questions.
The function of the list is not to set prices, but I think we can all help
each other by discussing the issue. This is something the Guild of Book
Workers could be helping it's membership with, but last time I checked it
did not want to consider itself a professional organization, because that
might assume serving some "regulating" (used very loosely) role.
A agree there are a lot of hacks out there doing book repair and calling it
conservation, but since there is no agreement on what constitutes repair,
conservation, restoration, repair and to whom, let's just stay away from
symantics, for now.
I firmly you believe, "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR." A also believe in pricing
we should be uniform among client groups. Just because they're Bibles, or
churches doesn't mean we should charge less. People need to be aware of the
costs. We all complain about living wages, the cost of living... Well,
sometimes we do it to ourselves. Some people just want cheap, but then they
need to be aware of what that means. It "quality" of the work doesn't
necessarily have to do with cost though. We can do very effective, elegant,
repairs for about the same as a hack job. It depends on your experience,
and we should always do the best work we can, regardless. We should also
ALWAYS be working on improving our skills and pushing ourselves to excel.
My hourly, regardless is currently $50/hr. Of course I can do 10 simple
cloth rebacks (repairs) in an hour, though not for days on end so it might
cost $10 ea.
Since I'm employed in an institution of higher learning to conserve,
restore, preserve and yes, on occasion, repair, my private work is
considered moonlighting. I treat it as a business of course and deduct
whatever there is to deduct and charge the true cost of the materials. Even
though my overhead is less than yours might be, assuming you rent your
studio separately from home, I won't charge less than those who do this
full time. I consider it unethical, and why should I cheat myself. My
training has cost me as well, so might as well try to recoup part of the
investment at least.
As to your hypothetical full chieftain with raised bands... Are we sewing
from scratch, how many sections, laced on boards, or case construction,
what kind of tooling/titling?
For argument. I'll assume 20 sections with 5 raised.
Prepare endsheets (paper leather joint) .5 hours
Sew, .5 hours
Forward (round, back, endband, line) 1.5 hours
1/2 skin (ca 3 sq. ft) @ $15/ft sq = $45 ( I always charge for 1/2 skin,
for a full binding unless of course it's bigger. Small rebacks, fudge it...
Pare .5 hours
Cover / turn-in .5 hours
Trim out / fill in .5 hours
Put down ends... .5 hours
Finish (very simple blind tooling / STAMPED label in gold) 1.5 hours
Hourly 6 hours @ $50/hr = $300base.
Total Probably $350.
(Might has missed something here. Also wasn't assuming any mending. Coffee
/ lunch breaks not included. Also assume that I have other jobs in the shop
so that I can get efficiency savings and not putter around for a day
waiting for the book to dry.)
Bucheinbandkunst ist Architektur in kleinstem Massstab
Peter Verheyen, Conservation Librarian
Syracuse University Library
Syracuse, NY 13244