Sunday, 13 July 2008

My Coptic swap

There's been an enormous gap in my blog posts but I hope from today I'm back on track. Over the past few months I've gone back to work cataloguing rare books, I've spent a month in New Zealand and - well, that's enough for excuses. My last post was about the book sent to me by Astrid in the Book Arts Forum swap so I thought I'd show you the book I made and sent to Jackie at tjbookarts. The theme of the swap was My Town so I decided to produce a coptic bound book of my own photos of Sydney and Coogee - my city and my town. Each photograph had a description on the facing page and there were two or three pages of information about Sydney and Coogee.

I used my own paste paper for covering with the title inset into the front board, and did an eight needle coptic stitch using waxed linen thread. I love the challenge of using multiple needles but eight is probably enough. I've used twelve in the past and decided I didn't really need to put myself through that more than once. I had (foolishly, as I soon realised) printed the photographs on single sheets so had to do a complicated matching and pasting to join each two pages to make a single section.

I intend to make this book again but will give a lot more thought to the way I print it and will have sections with more pages, which will give the book extra strength. Not that I didn't give it a lot of thought to start with but I seem to need to learn from experience and I certainly learned a lot from this one. I hope Jackie liked it. I found it quite daunting sending my book out into the world in a swap - quite different from selling or giving a book as a gift or donation. Daunting but very enjoyable and I certainly hope to take part in more swaps.


  1. Your book is beautiful!

  2. Wow! You certainly hit the ground running on return from NZ!
    (Perhaps a good thing that Sydney was virtually locked-down for That Visit.)

  3. Carol I think your book is absolutely lovely! And your colophon so nicely written, too. I need to start doing this in my own books. And your paste paper is the perfect touch. It really compliments the design of the book, and may I say, I like the simple and elegant page layout! Bravo!

  4. Hi Carol,
    thanks for your email. It is really nice to be back in the studio after such a long break. I love this book and I'm glad you are going to make more copies. Your photos look great! Really nicely composed.
    Where did you do you bookbinding training in Sydney? I have been looking around for somewhere to get some skills next year, but I can only find the Qld Bookbinders Guild here. They run the occasional workshop.
    Good luck with the migraines - I'll keep my fingers crossed they stay away.

  5. thank you for your visit carol! what a gorgeous header; i find bookbinding so fascinating!

  6. Wow Carol, that book looks gorgeous, almost too good to send away xx Karen

  7. Carol, I was sure I left a comment here on Sunday - now it's gone?? I said how I liked your book, and that your pastepaper cover inspired me to finally do some of my own again. I wonder who or what has eaten the comment ... :) Astrid

  8. You are unbelievable!!! I am so proud to know you. I love each book that you make, better than the last...but then they are all so special.


  9. Eight needles! Mamma mia.

  10. Just had a look at your blog - you're just as addicted to coptics as I am! I love having lots of holes in the cover and lots of signatures to stitch - kind of getting into the zone. My mother adored to knit, so I guess this is my equivalent. Love your work and will read more! All the best, Susie Jefferson (


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