My work at Q Art Conservation http://www.qframing.com.sg/ in
Singapore is mainly paper conservation, which I'm grateful to have.
It is such a privilege to look at beautiful works of art on paper
up close. On the other hand, I do miss book conservation and
bookbinding. I've had only a handful of book conservation projects
in the past two and a half years. Sadly in Singapore, there are not
many people who own and care about old books. As far as I know,
there is no antiquarian book fair, and there is only one second
hand book shop which sells antiquarian books in this country. Such
a situation naturally means opportunities to handle antiquarian
books are rare.
I am very fortunate to be friends with a special person in
Singapore. Since I first met Ian Tan a few years ago, he has been
passionate about promoting bookbinding in his country. He took
personal lessons in bookbinding while he was a student in
Edinburgh. Since 2013, he has been running The
Thistle Bindery in Singapore and teaches some bookbinding
workshops each month. He is also a West Dean graduate-but in
In June 2014, Ian invited me as a "master bookbinder" (!!!) to
teach limp binding to twelve enthusiastic participants. As it was
my first teaching experience, yes, I was pretty nervous. I wasn't
sure if I had prepared all the materials and tools, if all the
binding steps were in my mind in the right order, if I could
explain things well enough for everyone, and so on.
Indeed, the class went well. Everyone completed a book to bring
back home. And can you see their smiles in the photo?