Sunday, September 28, 2008

Practicing Coptic Endbands

I've only tried this a few times so recently I decided to practice. I didn't photograph the first practice attempts! But I got a few books done with decent results. Although I'm not sure that I do it correctly, this is how it looks:




And since I was in chain stitch mode, I made some itty bitty books too, but without the endbands:


There are a few more photos of these books on Flickr and in my Etsy shop.

6 comments:

Kiley said...

I love those little books! While you are in chain stitch mode I'm in miniature mode over here! I'll actually be teaching my book arts group to do double needle coptic this month and that's about the size I figured we could make in a quick evening meeting.

Ali said...

The coptic endbands look really great - and I love the pink, so pretty!

Carol said...

These are delightful. I love doing the coptic endbands but I find I'm sometimes very good at it and at other times just awful. I guess practice makes perfect. Not making any books at the moment as I'm packing up to move and also I've got shingles so not in the best frame of mind. Getting better though and next year when I've moved and unpacked I'm going to make books like crazy.

jai and Lauren Soloy said...

Hello! I have been scouring all my bookbinding books, as well as the internet, and i can't find instructions for these endbands anywhere! They are so beautiful, and I'd really like to try them. You did such a nice job of these, I thought you might not mind if I asked how you learned to do them? Also, do you find that they make the coptic books less likely to skew diagonally? (Or am I just sewing my coptic books really poorly, and that's why they do that?) Hmmmm...that's a lot of questions! I really appreciate it! Thanks ~Lauren

Rhonda said...

kiley, ali, and carol, thanks for all the kind words!

lauren, i've seen instructions for these endbands in just one book: Making & Keeping Creative Journals by Tourtillott. There must be something better, but it is the only resource i've ever seen for these endbands.

and yes, they will make the book less likely to skew along the spine. there are other things that might help with that problem. Make sure your paper is folded along the grain, use good paper, strong thread, and don't try to make it too thick. This type of chain stitch binding was not use as an exposed sewing way back when it was devised by the Copts in the 8th century (or whenever it was, i just pulled that number out of the air). The spines would have been covered with leather - not left exposed the way most people do it now. So covering the spine would also make your book stronger.

And although I don't typically do it, I've seen other books where the first and last sheets are pasted to the covers, like endsheets often are in casebound books. that must stabilize the book a bit too.

after writing all this, i might just copy it into a whole new post... just a sec...

Anonymous said...

They look great to me. I'm practicing the end bands and they still look like a work in progress. Hopefully practicing will do.