Saturday, May 27, 2006

Coptic-ing a Book

Today was Workshop Number Two in Damselfly’s marathon weekend. I went with several of my Spectrum Study Group members and one more acquaintance to our friend Gaye’s to make a book. I’ve wanted to learn the Coptic stitch binding technique for awhile now and, although I was tired after yesterday and various parts of my anatomy are in protest, I learned a lot. Bookbinding is picky work. You have to use glue but neatly. You have to fold and bend and pierce, but neatly and in the right places. You have to stitch and tug snugly, but not too tightly. The results are quite wonderful — even if I am absolutely incapable of writing or drawing in a blank book of any kind.

Gaye had everything cut out and prepared and organised for us ahead of time. We didn’t have to bring a thing! But she made up for that kindness by making us work very hard and quickly to make our books. We were still running an hour late and I finished stitching the last bit at home. I’ve got Oliphants on my covers! And I’m pretty sure the stitching is ok. The neat thing about Coptic binding is the book lies perfectly flat no matter where you open it to. Right now the book is reposing under a heavy weight to finish drying since we were so pressed for time.

Our instructor used to be a weaver, but she got well and truly bitten by the paper bug. She even sold her loom which I take to mean she’s Really Serious about bookbinding! However, I don’t think her paper stuff takes up any less space in her home. We’ve given her an invitation to come and make paste paper with us sometime. It makes fabulous covers and one session would probably make enough decorated papers to use for many books. Hope she takes us up on it. We love our paste papers sessions but I think we need a good excuse like this one to do it again anytime soon. All of us have pretty extensive stashes left still.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

The fun I had before I got to your blog!
It started on Aus_NZartquilters group with a message from Johoanna(so into Fabrications)then your comment about blogging(I have for 17 months)and here I am!
Every blog I visit these days features SOX.......was glad to read of your Coptic binding workshop which is more relevent to my aspirations