On Tuesday, at the March meeting of Marches Book Arts Group member Mike Clements showed us how to do Coptic binding using two needles. As a stitcher, I was enthusiastic but there is some glue involved so my first attempt has the usual tell-tale gummy fingermarks. Mike is a great teacher though: patient, genial and, of course, hugely knowledgeable.
I have had a collection of my grandson’s first two years of painting gathered for a while, kept with the intention of making them into a book. I had them folded and arranged as three sheet signatures, but I wasn’t sure which binding method to use and how to build the covers. This method was what I have been waiting to discover!
The papers making the pages are a little too thin, but I could have strengthened the spines by adding fabric or stronger paper, if I was not too brimming with enthusiasm and keen to create a finish. With this method, the covers can enclose a strengthening medium, so I was able to place some medium density card between the cartridge paper layers. I relished the chance to use some delicious stranded silks for the stitching – I am allowing myself ‘beginner’ status and whilst my knots do not lie perfectly evenly, I am still thrilled with the result. I am going to return the book to my grandson and hope that he uses it to draw into. Laura Kemshall uses painted, printed and sketched papers to create sketchbooks that can be further embellished, and that gave me the germ of this idea.