Back to Back Wooden Book: Ethiopian Style Bindings

Introduced during the Middle Ages to save on materials, two volumes yet only 3 covers, this playful structure enables us to explore and compare various Ethiopian style bindings. Participants will learn both the Ethiopian and Greek bindings as well as ample time to perfect the Coptic endband. Returning students will have the opportunity and encouragement to learn variations of these stitches to hone their skills.

Developed as early as the fourth century, this binding style has withstood the test of time. There are several distinct sewings known as chain stitch. I teach a method that uses two needles for each length of thread, one on either end. You will learn a technique of tunneling through the edge of the wooden cover to attach the text block. The combination of historic sewing, wood covers and board attachment are what distinguish this Ethiopian style binding.

In order to gain a better understanding of the basics of woodworking, you will only use hand powered tools to drill, shape and smooth your wooden covers. Surface decoration will also be emphasized with the opportunity to learn the leathery textured appearance many of my pieces employ.