Paired Station Coptics – Spring 2023

Image of a book cover made of one-fourth of a vinyl record, with an open spine stitched with red thread.
An image of a book with a green cover, yellow detail near the spine, and an open spine stitched with orange thread.
A one-of-a-kind book of Willyum Rowe’s collaged postcards of world class golf courses.

Event Info

This virtual workshop takes place on Zoom on Thursdays, March 16 and 23, from 6pm–8pm:

  • Thursday, March 16, 6:00pm–8:00pm
  • Thursday, March 23, 6:00pm–8:00pm

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on Thursday, March 9 at 11:59pm

About the Workshop:

This two-session virtual workshop taught by CBA instructor Scott McCarney is an introduction to the paired-station coptic sewing (dating from the 5th century CE and still in use today!) which is suitable for binding single sheets, folios and/or gathered sections in a single book structure. It is an exposed spine, unsupported sewing that is sturdy and allows the book to lie flat.

We will be making two books: a single sheet sample with card pages and one of folded and gathered sections. Once these have been mastered, the techniques can be combined to make books of an infinite variety of sections and materials.

Required Materials:

Students will need the following materials:

  • 10 pieces of light cardboard (cereal boxes or post cards work well) cut to 3 inches square
  • 2 pieces of heavy cardboard (book board or corrugated cardboard or equivalent) cut to 3 inches square for covers
  • 6 sheets of text weight paper measuring 3 x 6 inches (20 or 24 lb. copy paper or equivalent)
  • 16 sheets of text weight paper measuring 8.5 x 11 inches (20 or 24 lb. copy paper or equivalent)
  • (optional) 2 sheets of contrasting color text weight paper measuring 8.5 x 11 inches (20 or 24 lb. copy paper or equivalent)
  • 2 sheets of heavy cardboard (book board or corrugated cardboard or equivalent) measuring 5.5 x 4.25 inches for covers
  • Bone folder
  • Paper awl
  • Paper knife (a table knife or butter knife will suffice)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Needles
  • Thread (two colors of thread would be good but not a deal breaker)

About the Instructor

Scott McCarney is an artist, designer, and educator based in Rochester, New York.

His primary art practice has been in book form since 1980 and spans many media, from offset and digital printing to sculptural and site-specific installation.

His bookworks can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. His work is shown internationally (Sao Paulo, Brazil; Melbourne, Australia; Baku, Azerbaijan) as well as closer to home (Hallwalls, Buffalo NY; Everson Museum, Syracuse NY; Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY).

His teaching and lecturing itinerary is varied and eclectic, carrying the banner of artist’s books to Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Mexico, and South America. He recently concluded 16 years of teaching in the College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology.


All images courtesy of the instructor. 

In order to best serve our community, many of our online classes are pay-what-you-can. The amount you choose to pay goes directly toward our instructors and toward creating scholarship opportunities for the future. Virtual workshops at Center for Book Arts will be recorded and the recording will be provided for all registered participants after the class.

Registration is closed. Return to all Classes.

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