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The Coptic Book

  • North Bay Letterpress Arts 925-D Gravenstein Hwy South Sebastopol, CA 95472 (map)


with Derek Bacchus

Beginners welcome, though this book structure requires more patience.

The Coptic book is a beautiful exposed-spine structure that has ancient historic beginnings. It is a non-adhesive book that features a chain-linked stitch, hard covers that allow it to open 360º like a carousel, lays flat when opened, and uses only paper, a single needle, thread and boards. This is the first book (codex) structure invented after the use of papyrus scrolls in Mediterranean antiquity. Created by the early Christians in Egypt during the 2nd Century CE, the Copts advanced bookmaking with the use of wooden covers and, progressively, papyrus, parchment, and paper as the writing surface. We will also use wooden covers, but they will have been custom-designed and laser-cut in a modern woodshop exclusively for this class (the envy of ancient scribes!). You will leave with your own illustrated step-by-step instructions so you can confidently maneuver your next book at home. Come and enjoy this unique workshop!

Workshop fee: $100; Materials fee: $20
Wine included.

Don't forget to read over our Registration Policies!

Derek Bacchus is a publishing consultant, creative director, designer, photographer, educator, and bookbinder. He has been a magazine art director for a number of titles, including the Wine Spectator, a book publishing design director at Allworth Press, and most recently Publisher and Chief Product Officer at the children’s edtech startup, Know Yourself, in downtown Oakland.

He taught for nearly twenty years, including design history at Parsons School of Design and The Cooper Union (New York); 2-D Design, Information Design and a Senior Seminar in Alphabets and Books at Cooper Union; and bookbinding at the Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art in Brittany, France. He has design degrees from Parsons School of Design, and The Yale School of Art.

Earlier Event: May 19
Poetry Reading: City Lights Poets
Later Event: May 26
Letterpress Fundamentals