Friday, March 9, 2012

Saint Cuthbert Hits the Road

"Coptic bindings, the first true codices, are characterized by one or more sections of parchment, papyrus, or paper sewn through their folds, and (if more than one section) attached to each other with chain stitch linkings across the spine. . . "  So says Wiki.

The Saint Cuthbert Gospel of Saint John, from 698 AD and newly acquired by the British Library, is believed to be the oldest intact codex-style book and the oldest European example of coptic binding.

I have decided to emulate Bertie's bookbinders and make a Coptic-sewn journal for my Road Trip 2012. To that end I have been practicing and perspiring and studying:
The section entitled 'Coptic Stitch / Curved Needle on page 174 of Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden is not as helpful as the tutorials above because she is working from the top down. Which seems to me to be upside down and surely less practical.

If anyone knows of additional clear and complete (and right side up) instructions for Coptic binding, please post a Comment below. I will be in your debt!

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