Alternator Studios: Coptic Stitch workshop with NY based artist Debra Eck
Venue: Alternator Studio & Project Space
Times: 13:30 - 16:00
Coptic Stitch workshop with NY based artist Debra Eck
Sunday 13th August 1.30 – 4pm. Alternator Studios, Balls Road East, Birkenhead.
£25 per person. Materials provided.
Coptic binding or Coptic sewing comprises methods of bookbinding employed by early Christians in Egypt and marks the transition from scroll texts to the book as we think of it today. The style was used from the 2nd century AD to the 11th century, and has experienced a revival as a practical non-adhesive style of binding for book artists.
Coptic bindings, the first true codices, are characterized by one or more sections of parchment, papyrus, or paper sewn through their folds, and attached to each other with chain stitch sewing across the spine, rather than to the thongs or cords running across the spine that characterise European bindings from the 8th century onwards.
Workshop participants will recycle discarded library books, using simple tools and readily available materials. The resulting journal/sketchbook opens completely flat, perhaps the most attractive feature of the Coptic style of binding. We will be leaving the spine uncovered although later European versions sometimes have leather covered spines.
Deb Eck is an internationally exhibited book and installation artist who works primarily with paper, text and thread. She is most well known in the book arts community for her translations of historic embroidery designs into functional binding designs. Originally from Essex in the UK, she has lived and worked in upstate New York for over 20 years. Eck received a BFA in painting from the University at Buffalo and an MA in Visual Culture from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle (UK). She teaches as an adjunct at Jamestown Community College and Fredonia State University, and for many other arts and cultural organizations.
She has been the recipient of many grants and awards; most recently she was named the Distinguished Artist for 2017 by Cattaraugus County Arts Council.