Coptic and Accordion

First Coptic book

Made as an exercise at a weekend workshop. Cover is coloured paper with textured translucent paper overlay. I struggled with the cover design for this one, the back cover was originally the front cover.

The white paper squares were hard to place as they disappeared when wet with paste.

My second Coptic book

A birthday present for my Mum. I had trouble finding paper for this. The discount store up the road had packs of mixed papers. I particularly like the contrasting textures.

For G's birthday. When we lived overseas we sent a series of emails under the title Northern Exposure. I bound these, along with photos, to make a book of memories. The cover paper reminded me somehow of Canada, the swirling white and grey made me think of snow.

I wanted to experiment with two things - adding text to the cover and making the coptic stitching more decorative. I'm very happy with the way the stitching looks in the finished book.

My first lesson with this book was - if there is no answer, you are asking the wrong question. I was trying to paste a transparent paper over the decorative cover paper, which was too busy for printing to show up on. Transparent, pasteable, printable - pick two. I realised I was ignoring the inherent properties of the binding, and that the stitching would hold on the trace.

I used a template to cut each page of the text to size after printing. I wasn't as time consuming as I thought, and I don't mind the slight irregularity of the pages, as it makes it more personal.

A Christmas present for D. A diary, a week to an opening, with a family photo below Sunday. I laid out the pages using tables in Word. As it is a week per opening, I only needed two tables which I copied and filled in.

K. taught a slam poet chemistry, the slam poet wrote him a poem. I never thought I would make an accordion book, but a poem only needs a few pages so it's the right solution.

I improvised the structure because normally the first page is the endsheet, and I wanted something more decorative. Also, I wanted a strong attachment between the text and the cover. I only turned in the spine edge of the cover cloth, then I pasted the first sheet to the front cover and the last sheet to the back, keeping them a titch away from the edge.

In order the get the most sheets with the least joins, the first and last sheet were only half widths, so I filled the rest of the inside covers with cartridge to get a level surface. Then I glued down the rest of the turn ins, filled the gap in the middle and pasted on decorative end sheets.

The circles were the first I cut with a fiskars circle cutter. Some tricks I learnt about it - to centre the text in a circle first put your cutter on a plain sheet of paper and draw around its outline. Without moving it, cut a circle of the size you want. Use the hole that results as a window to position your text. Make sure your bookcloth is taped down so it can't move. Tape down your template. Now place the cutter in the outline you drew and cut away.

The circles cut best if done in as few fluid movements as possible. I put a thread around the shank of the blade to make it bite further into the cloth, that gave me a cleaner cut. Next time I would tape the area to be cut as well, as cutting through tape seems to give a cleaner edge.

This is the first book I signed with my seal from Will's Quills. I love the way it looks.

All in all, I did the cover several times before I was happy with it, but now I think it looks good.