Sunday, December 2, 2018

Preparing and teaching

I had another full day of exploring coptic binding with the folk at Buderim Craft Cottage Calligraphy and Paper Arts group on Saturday.  It was hot and we worked hard, but got some great results.

Part of what I taught was around paper grain - especially important when making books.  When taking paper into contact with glue; or when folding it to make pages to turn, grain matters and we spent time looking at different ways to test and discover the grain.

For one of the examples, I was able to use our new paper guillotine to take the spine off a small book; and then set the book up in a press and re-bind it in the opposite direction.

May I say the guillotine was amazingly effective - simple and so smooth to use and wow it just chopped it off no worries at all!

I had bought two copies of this tech girls are superheroes at an opp shop and also enjoyed flicking thru it and reading some very good stories about smart women, but that aside... here I am rebinding one copy.

And this is a comparison - how the book is bound (to save money on sheet sizes of paper)

And how I rebound it...see how much more easily the book opens and the pages lie flat? Grain matters in books.

and some samples of hand made paper where there isn't a grain so much because the fibres aren't jiggle into lines; they are just jiggled.

My test book - just checking that sizes and stitching will work.

 And some of the results from Saturday. We also made a paper slipcase to protect the book.

Some folk finished everything; some folk didn't finish their slip case but most folk finished their book and left with a sense of accomplishment.

Janine stencilled her cover; Greg wrote on his and Irene V covered heres with hand-coloured paper.  I was very much taken with how these three played so beautifully together colour-wise!

Irene got the idea and stitched beautiful.

I encouraged folk to maybe do a cut out on their cover - to remind themselves they can do the on their next book... This one will be completed at home.

Here Janine knotted two colours of thread together to see how the plait worked - how elegant is that?

And Greg put his book's title in the cut out, and managed to save all his deckles to use on the foredge.

I bombarded them with information and they did well to retain it!  We got some great results and folk left with a book in a box in their hands!


  1. What a great post, and not for the first time did I wish I could be in one of your classes. Greg's serendipitous lettering is beguiling and I especially like how Janine's bi-colored threads really show off her beautiful spine stitching.

    Thanks to for the object lesson on grain direction ... I've always sort of shrugged it off as "how much difference could it make?" ... but now I see clearly how much it does.

    1. Thanks Liz - "grain" I know!! My poor class got quite the lecture but it seemed to make sense and everybody was checking the grain on everything! And yes, how good were those results?!?!?!

  2. F- what great outcomes achieved by the students and the teacher. B

  3. it must be nice to have such good pupils !


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