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Ethiopian Binding – A Wood Journal NEW! In-Store Class March 4

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Medieval Leather Journal NEW! In-Store Class
Saturday, March 4, noon-4pm
Instructor: Jeff Becker
Limit: 6 students

Class Details:

This ancient, hardcover binding emerged from the monasteries of Ethiopia perhaps as long ago as the 4th century. It’s the inspiration for many contemporary Coptic journals and looks like the well-known Coptic binding. A closer inspection of the exposed spine, however, reveals a more complex stitch that’s the result of pairing two needles at a sewing station and sewing across the spine instead of lengthwise. Threading each of the paired needles with a different color of thread creates an even more interesting pattern. In addition to the unique stitch, wood covers are also characteristic of the Ethiopian journal. 

Join local book artist Jeff Becker and learn to make your own. Jeff prepares and drills the covers for you ahead of time as well as provides the rest of the materials. (A small aside: some Ethiopian journals have niches carved in the cover to hold a little object. Jeff likes this variation because it reminds him of ancient ruins with their empty niches. He’ll bring in a book with a niche and then explain how he did it.) Because the Ethiopian journal lies completely flat when open, it’s ideal for sketching, writing, capturing ideas, pasting up collages, and creating art. 

Spend an afternoon with Jeff to learn the fine points of binding with two needles and how to work with wooden covers. He’s a master! 

Masks are optional and encouraged for all students and instructors.
Students will be provided their own set of tools, which are sanitized between every class session. Due to the size of our class space we are unable to practice social distancing in the classroom. The requirements for store staff and customers will follow Boulder County mask and safety mandates. Please contact ahead of time if you have specific questions regarding class covid safety.

Class Materials

Please bring the following materials:

  • Optional: apron

    Class Materials Include:

    • Prepared wooden covers
    • Page paper
    • Waxed linen thread & bookbinding needles
    • Bookbinding tools to use in class

    Jeff will bring additional covers to buy if you’d like to make more journals at home. The covers are $5 each, cash or check directly to him.

    Class Refund/Cancellation Policy

    Cancellations made up to 14 days prior to the first class meeting will be refunded or, at the participant's option, used to pay for another class. Two Hands Paperie will retain a $10 processing fee for EACH class cancelled by a participant. After 14 days, there is no refund or credit. In addition, the fee for a class cancelled within this 14-day timeframe by a participant cannot be transferred to pay for another class. These policies are to ensure that teachers are compensated for their investment in materials and in time spent preparing for the class. We reserve the right to cancel a class if fewer than 3 students enroll 48 hours prior to the scheduled class time. If for any reason Two Hands Paperie cancels a class, students will be called at the phone number on file and refunded the FULL class fee.

    Instructor Bio

    Jeff Becker experimented with different media for years before discovering the book. He was immediately drawn to the possibilities of the form: how binding serves as an introduction to the content; the effect of structure on movement; the delightful anticipation one experiences when turning a page; the subsequent surprise or resolution; and how all the senses are involved when one handles a book. Jeff has been making journals ever since, and currently teaches workshops for Two Hands Paperie, The Book Arts League, and pARTiculars gallery in Lafayette. His education includes classes at the American Academy of Bookbinding, workshops with local and nationally known binders, and trial and error. See his work on Facebook.


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