Tag Archives: coptic binding

A little birdie told me


I have been working at trying to bring together lots of elements of a LONG over due special project the last few weeks.  It’s a unique handmade coptic bound book that brings together old, new, plain & printed.  Both disgarded scraps & treasures.

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  I have made lots of add ins & pocket fillings, that make it intriguing to look through.  The slide show is just a snippet of how many shots I have taken – there are 10 signatures (group of pages) each with 10 pages so there is a lot to see.  If you’d like to see some more – check out the flickr album for this project.


the rest of the book


IMG_0064_resizeAs promised, I have added a slide show at the end of this post of the rest of the fabric covered mixed media journal.  It has a combination of watercolour paper in various weights, pastel paper, decorative papers & acetate, as I said.  The thing that I am most glad about is to finally have coptic stitch down pat, so that I can call on it when I need to.  I am looking forward to creating all kinds of ‘book forms’ using this skill.

In the process of prepping for classes for this week – I cleaned out my old watercolour palette from all of my watercolours & faces I did last year & organised the colours according to hue & value so that I can use it for sea, landscape AND people painting.  I created a reference chart for myself notating the position of each of the colours, blotting my brush on the paper towel as I changed colour.  I usually keep the ‘almost end’ of paper towel rolls to use to blot brushes, glues & mess on & look what I accidentally created!  Some of my very own ‘impressionist’ flowers paper!   I never did to well at that whole ‘intuitive watercolours’ idea – so I am not sure what they will ‘grow’ into, but for now, I have cut it up & fixed it onto blank atcs – so stay tuned for that one! (like I have time to be making atc’s right now!)….urgghhhh – DID I SAY how much I hate working with oil paint!  THAT’S IT!  I can NOT be bothered with it! I will NEVER be a REAL artist! IMG_0059_resize   It takes so darn long to dry!  I am working on a 3 canvas ‘‘triptych’ – 2 canvases 18 x 24in & the centre on is 20 in.  Did I say that it was slow?  During my half year review, the panel said that I needed to work in a larger scale, so that’s what I have done with this project – but seriously; all it means is canvas costs more, paint costs more, it takes longer both to paint & dry and it’s more difficult to get around.  I don’t get their logic!  LOL!!!

Am also working on my ‘foot gestures’ for my folio – they don’t seem as difficult as hands – not so many of those pesty knuckles & folds!  LOL!!  They’re coming along – I’ll let you see some of them soon.

Still booking


I have spent half of this weekend in school, one of the courses I am doing requires some Saturdays, and fairy clock yesterday was one of them.  It seemed like such a waste of time sitting in a lecture room, with sparkling sunlight twinkling in at us through the windows & the delicious feel of spring in the air. Today I wanted to make up for it.  Impending assessment dead lines are forcing me to commit to decisions (which may NOT be entirely a bad thing) and follow through instead of procrastenating about challenges, design ideas and possibilities with this book in a box I am making.  SO today I 'blocked' in the base of my 'Fed Square' book form, in order to make it open out better, stuck the 'top' on and am working on the pages.  I made the original of origami folded squares & triangles that mimiced the mosaic on the outside of the building, however they are separate pieces, glued together & I am working on trying to make it without glued sections to avoid the 'bulk' from double thicknesses in sections.  Still resolving that one.  fed sq book form A new challenge has presented itself.  Now that the base is blocked out, it seems to have 'pushed' out the walls of the box ever so slightly which has made the lid quite firm.  Consequently, I will definitely need some sort of 'opener' on the top – that DOESN'T wreck the asthetics of my 'mosaic' & will tie in appropriately.  I have the standard kind of things: 7 gypsies (which I LOVE, but doesn't work on this) – old door handles, (but this is an ULTRA modern new building, so that doesn't quite suit)………..hmmmmm………..thinking music…………. mmmm…… thinking cap on – but it's rotating round & round of it's own accord!  Yep…. nothing yet – don't know what I'm quite going to do yet…. but HERE'S THE NEW EDITION – this book was made for a very dear friend that I have known for about 15 years…. she travels from time to time, & although is deep in business usually when she does, she is very creative & enjoys to paint & draw.  I have made her a hand stitched book that has a combination of high end cartridge for notes & drawings, watercolour paper, decorative pages to stick things on to & some other special bits.  These include mylar pockets, archival envelopes and pages of thick acetate (to use as a watercolour palette).  The out side is silk, the inside is cotton & there are pockets on the inside of both the front & back.  You don't get any sense of it at all from the slide show, but it is all shades of pink, from burgandy to soft baby pink.   I will post some more pics of this one finished in a few days.

Life in Focus


IMG_0025_resize It took a while, but FINALLY we have done something at art college I feel competent at! LOL!!! The last half of last term was spent creating hand made, coptic bound books. It seemed like an incredibly upside down way to create them,however, I guess there's another difference between 'art' & 'craft'. PURPOSE.   With no project, purpose or design in mind, we were to 'tear' or 'cut' pages (depending on paper being used) into book pages, to be coptic bound. 

I had SOME trouble getting my head around 'creating' a book (that was not an art journal/notebook with plain pages) that had no definition – it created significant indecision within me as I struggled to 'design' with no 'purpose', particularly when we were expected to use high end materials.  I felt concern for the potential 'waste', not having cash to splash for art materials.  It's not a method I'd recommend, or you just end up with a whole lot of books that are beautiful, but useless.  I always, make my pages first, THEN make them into a book – unless I am creating a blank art journal to work in.

I have struggled with following 'book instructions' of coptic stitching in the past, and leaning on my 'embroidery' skills, I sort of made up my own version, which looked, ok, but a little less than elegant or even!  In the end I made up 4 books, this is the only one that I actually photographed in process, because I did alot of the work on this one at home, due to the complex (& messy) way I created the finish on the pages & cover.

It was incredibly frustrating to put all ofthe time and effor tinto creating this treasure, not to actually have any 'purpose' or 'subject' for it.  But the result IS beautiful, despite it being 'plain' pages.  My initial thought was some style of doodled drawings, but not being so confident of my drawing skills & unable to settle on a topic, it is just sitting in my shelf, a bit lonely at the moment.   I am sure that some creative use will come to me eventually….oh, and I forgot to mention – the holes wasn't in the cover, my very special DH cut those in for me!

It may take a while to download the slide show, so here's the direct link, incase you have trouble viewing it.  http://tinyurl.com/ybbthvc