Education

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While working in accordance with up-to-date professional conservation standards and ethics, at Dragon Press Bindery we have a passion for preserving and maintaining traditional craft techniques and specialist skills. Thorough understanding of historic structures, materials and processes is the foundation of good practice in both the repair of old and creation of new work. It also becomes the springboard for innovation and experimentation.

In keeping with our desire to pass on knowledge and expertise for the future,
we offer workshops across a range of aspects of bookbinding, conservation, letterpress printing and related fields. While furthering their practical abilities, participants will learn how and why particular methods have developed as well as gain insight into the appropriate application of specific procedures. To help us deliver relevant content, we welcome your suggestions for class topics.

For intermediate level classes in the bindery, residential accommodation (including meals) is available in our home on a first-come/first-served basis for non local students. Please contact us early if you are interested, otherwise there are several nearby B&Bs.

To enquire about booking a workshop, please use our contact form here.

Online opportunities are also in development. We are pleased to have begun creating short videos focused on particular techniques; future plans include hosting live demonstrations and participatory classes.

Tailored one-to-one training sessions are available on request. These can take place either in our bindery or online.



Dragon Press Bindery hosts the Book Camp annual summer residential intensive. Full information can be found at www.bookcamp.org.uk.

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Introduction to bookbinding
 
This is a recurring Saturday class offered according to demand. 10:00-16:00
 
You will learn the first principles of hand bookbinding and put them into practice, making hard-cover notebooks with cloth and decorative paper covers.
 
An ideal workshop for anyone interested in a taster session before deciding whether to commit to a longer course of instruction.
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No experience necessary
All tools and materials provided
£70 per person

Traditional bookbinding for beginners 1
 
Weekly Thursday evening class: 29 September – 30 November 2023, 18:00-20:00
 
A progressive course that will lead you from folding a piece of paper to producing multi-section, hard cover, cloth case bindings. This can be stand-alone learning for personal enjoyment or provide the beginnings of a solid foundation in traditional craft skills should you wish to take your training further.

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No experience necessary
All tools and materials provided
£300 plus £25 materials fee
 
Relevant to the City & Guilds Level I Award in bookbinding

Leather long stitch pocketbook
 
Saturday 4 November 2023, 10:00-16:00
 
This style was common throughout Europe between the 15
th and 17th centuries. While it has many variations, in its simplest form it is ideal for beginners wishing to produce an aesthetically pleasing historic binding, with a soft and tactile leather cover. It can be made without the use of any adhesive.
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No experience necessary
All tools and materials provided
£70 plus £10 materials fee
 
Relevant to the City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in bookbinding

Screwpost binding album/scrapbook
 
Saturday 18 November 2023, 10:00-16:00
 
Learn to make a stylish binding to display and protect treasured items, with a decorative cloth and paper cover and interchangeable pages. You will be able to adapt this to your custom requirements.

 
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No experience necessary
All tools and materials provided
£70 plus £10 materials fee
 
Relevant to the City & Guilds Level I Award in bookbinding

Hand-made Christmas crackers workshop
 
Saturday 2 December 2023, 10:00-13:00
 
Using beautiful materials, create unique and personalised crackers to your own design. These will be the star of your celebration dinner table or make fantastic presents.
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No experience necessary
Tools and materials to make the crackers are provided but you will need to bring your own gift items for inclusion
£35 plus £10 materials fee


Book Camp is 3rd June 2023 until 10th June 2023

For more information visit

www.bookcamp.org.uk

Cloth and leather rebacking
 
Monday 18 September – Friday 22 September 2023
 
Although each book requiring rebacking presents unique challenges, the fundamental processes involved are similar and can be systematically broken down to improve skills. The difference between a workaday repair and a fine conservation-restoration treatment lies in close attention to detail, which is where this workshop will focus. It will include exploration of leather dyeing and other techniques to match new material to original.
 
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£475 plus £20 materials fee
 
Relevant to the City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in bookbinding
 
Residential accommodation is available for non-local students on a first-come/first-served basis

Edelpappband
 
Monday 16 October – Wednesday 18 October 2023
 
Edelpappband bindings are known as “butterflies on the shelf”, with their colourful patterned paper and leather accented covers. Despite having some details in common, this style is not to be confused with Bradel or Millimetre bindings and the technical differences will be discussed during the workshop. It is adaptable to many circumstances and you will find it a staple method for small to medium-size case bindings.
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£285 plus £25 materials fee
 
Residential accommodation is available for non-local students on a first-come/first-served basis

Victorian-style letter folder
 
Monday 13 November – Wednesday 15 November 2023
 
In a construction unique to the Royal Archives in Windsor Castle, contemporary letter books containing personal correspondence to Queen Victoria from her prime ministers were dismantled and repurposed into distinctive three-flap folders to house their contents as loose leaves. This facilitated retrieval of individual documents while retaining the look of “proper” books on the shelf. Learn how to recreate one of these surprisingly elegant and functional folders in half leather, using period techniques that will inform your bookbinding practice.

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£475 plus £20 materials fee
 
Residential accommodation is available for non-local students on a first-come/first-served basis


Coming soon.

Grants and awards for training are available from various bodies, including the following:

Worshipful Company of Stationers
Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust
Heritage Crafts Association
Anna Plowden Trust
Dragon Press Bindery Ltd
Ynyswen, Nantgaredig,
Carmarthen, SA32 7PG
Company Number
10772518
Registered in England & Wales
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@ 2023 Dragon Press Bindery