Thursday, 1 May 2014

Coptic Binding

Something I have wanted to try for quite some time was to make a book using the coptic binding stitch technique. I have wanted to learn this technique since I saw it at the Tasmanian Art Fair in 2010. The Third Door had some beautiful examples of coptic binding and I was entranced by how they lent themselves to draping and that the opened flat which is perfect for a sketch book.

Coptic binding

Coptic binding was used by early Christians in Egypt and examples can be dated back to the 2nd century AD. It is a method of joining sections of parchment, papyrus or paper using chain stitch linking across the spine.

I had some spare time recently so I decided to teach myself the technique. Using some fabric scraps, I created a cover that alluded to what the content of the book will be (this will come at a later stage).

Fabric embroidered cover
 For those who have been following my blog you will recognise Kochira the Cat Kelly (in the style of  Australian artist Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly, the famous Australian bush ranger) who features in my animation, The Drive.

The decorative binding

I really enjoyed making the book, and plan to make a few more when I have some more spare time.

If you would also like to give this a try I found the following sites very helpful:
- Coptic binding directions illustrated by pictures 
- Coptic binding tutorial on Youtube. 11 mins long.

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