Back to All Events

The Soft Cover Coptic Book

The Soft Cover Coptic Book
Add To Cart

with Derek Bacchus
Cost: $100
Materials Fee: $15 — please bring to class!

The Coptic book is a beautiful exposed-spine structure that has ancient historic beginnings. It is a non-adhesive book that features a chain (loop-link) stitch, separately attached covers that allow it to open 360º like a carousel, lays flat when opened, and uses only paper, a single needle, and thread. 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.

If you’re a beginning bookbinder, this workshop is a “soft” introduction to the Coptic book, which doesn’t need to address the more challenging parts of traditional hardcover board attachments. We will sew directly into the paper covers as if they were just another set of folded pages (voila!) and you will have a beautifully sewn Coptic book to take home. Once you’ve mastered these basic sewing techniques, you will be more than ready-and-eager to tackle the traditional cover board attachments in your next Coptic workshop. 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!

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: November 3
Linoleum BlockCarving
Later Event: November 10
Haiku Poetry & Chapbooks