When my brother Des asked me to make a wedding guest album, the first consideration was size and style.
It was for guests to write in and we chatted about the possibility of Des doing a photo of each guest or couple / family to stick into the pages, to make it personal and memorable. Des is a photographer so this was possible but still a lot to achieve in two weeks, especially when he did my “bright idea” of doing the photos in sepia to give the book a harmonious all-over feel. On the whole, my family don’t really buy into my “bright ideas” as they are usually very labour intensive, even if the results look great!
Des left the materials up to me and we had discussed a size of 16cm square, using half postcard-sized photos.
A couple of years ago I screenprinted a document where my family first got their surname – Vlietstra – in 1811 in Vriesland, The Netherlands, under Napoleon’s rule.
The photocopy of the document was enlarged and I cleaned it up in Photoshop, then printed it in gold on white silk (and some in silver on black silk). I played around on a couple of pieces doing diagonal criss-crossing on one that had smudged, thinking it was a cool design and nice for a cushion or a book cover.
The format of 16cm is a neat way of getting three folios out of a sheet of 76cm X 56cm (plus an extra folio if you are naughty and go against the grain. I couldn’t because of the laid texture) I used Zerkall Wavy cream 150gsm for the pages. The inside cover is a screenprinted paper, white on beige from Nepal (Paperchase; how did we ever manage without them?)
Coptic books open nicely and I love making them.
This series will be 3-4 posts, but I am sorry that I am unable to write a tutorial on how to do the actual Coptic Binding, as it will take too long to do the notes for the blog. However, I will be teaching it at Oxford Scribes in November, and maybe one day, when I have loads of time…