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[BKARTS] Summary of replies in regards "How to become an artisan bookbinder, from soup to nuts."

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who replied to my inquiry. As one moral authority said, if you ask, you'll get an answer, and if you knock on some doors, at least one will open. It's so very good that there are lists like this for questions and door-knocking. Because I received so many responses, I thought I would summarize on-list; if you were expecting an individual reply, please feel free to write again.

The main piece of advice was to "just do it." Of course, this is great advice. Deciding to do something even when there are difficulties is a good way to move forward in any endeavor, even if there truly are many difficulties.

Many people assumed, based on my cellphone number, that I still live in the SF Bay area, but I have moved on. For the area where I now live (Illinois), respondents emphasized that Bea Nettles, Soybean Press, and Columbia College are good resources for learning new skills. The Midwest Book and Manuscript Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign was mentioned more than a few times. (For the record, no one mentioned "Normal Editions Workshop," a concern here at Illinois State University.

Several people mentioned www.briarpress.org as a resource for finding internships and workshops.

More generally, Oregon School of Arts and Craft, North Bennett Street School, Penland, Otis Institute, San Francisco Center for the Book Arts, and the American Academy of Bookbinding were institutions mentioned with good programs or workshops. MFA programs at several institutions received attention from those who wrote. I had not considered book conservation programs through library schools before the library school at UT Austin came up. Someone else mentioned the Canadian Bookbinders home study course. One woman explained that some jobs as a library book conservation technician do not require much skill for the starting wage, and may help one gain experience. One author explained that his training in bookarts took place in Germany, and was supported by public funds, something that I do not see coming to be in the US where I live.

Others emphasized the use of books for instructions.

I received three or four specific invitations to come volunteer or intern at different organizations. Two of these opportunities involved a small stipend. Another person has spoken with me about his interest in training someone to turn his business over to. I am pursuing some of these possibilities, and trying to be patient. I think this is what one former bellicose White House official would call "a long hard slog," with the difference being that this effort is much more enjoyable.

Finally, I would encourage everyone to look at my website, http://www.illimitable.us, to find out about some of the freelance services I already provide.

Thanks again for all the advice!

Dan Kappus

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