In the drop-down colour selector above, Natural refers to more muted colours such as browns, blacks, greys and off-whites; Vibrant refers to the very bright and colourful pink, yellow, turquoise, purple . . . just about anything bright — think rainbow; and Primary refers not just to strictly primary colours, but to more muted versions of the brighter colours such as blue and red and combination colours such as green and purple. If you want a particular colour for your book(s), you can request it in the “Order Notes” section on the checkout page . . . but be aware this could significantly increase the shipping time for your order, particularly if we happen to be on the road doing shows, as it means we will have to make your book from scratch if we don’t have your colour in stock. A better option may be to suggest colours (if any) you don’t want, e.g. purple or green or pink or black or whatever, in the “Order Notes” section on the checkout page.
We generally do our books in three sizes: Large is about 21.5 cm x 14 cm (8.5 in x 5.5 in) or about the size of a letter sized sheet of paper folded in half; for Regular fold that sheet in half again so it is about 14 cm x 10.75 cm (5.5 in x 4.25 in) or about a quarter letter size; and for Small, fold it in half one more time to one- eighth letter or about 10.75 cm x 7 cm (4.25 in x 2.75 in). We do a few books, such as Sketches in Extra Large which is a about a full size letter sheet, 21.75 cm x 28 cm (8.5 in x 11 in). You will notice that not all sizes are available in all books — this will be clear from the drop-down menu; if a size is not there or is greyed out, it is not available
These books are hand-bound using the ancient Coptic style of binding. Coptic Binding is believed to have been invented by Egyptian Coptic Priests nearly 2000 years ago as a better way to bind their manuscripts. Recognized by scholars as the world’s first Codex, or multi-signature, binding, it became the distant forerunner to modern mechanical book-binding. By the middle ages, Coptic Binding was the most common form of bookbinding throughout Europe. Coptic books must each be individually and meticulously made by hand, so when the need for mass-produced books arose it heralded the end of the widespread use of Coptic Binding. It is kept alive today by a handful of artists and artisans around the world. Coptic Binding is readily identifiable by its ease of opening and the painstakingly beautiful stitching woven across an open spine. It should be noted that this binding pre-dates the invention of paper. The first Coptic books were usually made with wooden covers and papyrus pages. Parchment (sheep or goat skin) and vellum (a finer material made from calf skin) soon replaced the papyrus, but it wasn’t until probably the 8th or 9th century A. D. that paper made its way from China to the Western World and became the material of choice.
Our Rustic books have a simple but charming binding evocative of a straight-forward style which would have been used in a less sophisticated time. We developed this variation on a classic stab binding, itself one of the oldest bookbinding methods in the world, pre-dating the Coptic Binding by centuries, specifically for these books. Their handmade paper covers have a rough-hewn look, emphasized by torn edges on the decorative trim and rough hemp cord for the binding. Rustic books are available at a much lower price purely because they are simpler and much quicker to create, but you can rest assured that the same craftsmanship and attention to detail that the Coptic books receive is given to the Rustic books as well. The content of the Rustic books is the same as the equivalent titles in the Coptic binding. These are like the “paperback” version of our titles.