No. Two

This week I tried a new book binding technique, and I’m very proud of the results. 

My latest book, No. Two, is a larger tome, measuring in at 8″x8″x1.25″, and I bound it by employing the Double-Needle, or Paired Needle, binding.  The Paired Needle binding is one version of a Coptic stitch.  (A book that is bound with a Coptic stitch is a book with an unsupported spine that can open completely flat.)  This was a more difficult binding than I am used to, but it allowed me to use two different colored threads, and the end result looks pretty good.

Paired Needle binding in progress
Paired Needle binding in progress

The content of this book has been in the works for months, but I was only recently motivated to finish the art.  Many of the images in this piece were taken from an old, withdrawn library book titled, Child Life In Colonial Days.  (Much thanks to my mom, who works in a library and often brings me the craziest old books.)  Exploration 1, a book I finished a few months ago, also contains images from the Child Life book, and I consider it a companion piece to N0. Two.  


No. Two, 8"x8"x1.5", Acrylic paint, ink, graphite, decorative paper, waxed paper, Mixed media book with Paired Needle binding, 2015
No. Two, 8″x8″x1.5″, Acrylic paint, ink, graphite, decorative paper, waxed paper, Mixed media book with Paired Needle binding, 2015

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  1. That binding looks really complicated but is really effective. I’ve seen it on books but never understood how it was done. I like the art you have included and the layout of the overall project. I think the spread withthe sheet stamped ‘withdrawn’ sums up the intention of the project. The sepia images of colonial children and their restrictive clothes do have a withdrawn, inhibited quality.

    • Hi Suzanne! Thanks for checking out my blog! This binding was tricky at first, but I quickly got the hang of it. I found the instructions for this stitch at Alisa Golden’s blog, Making Handmade Books.

      And yes, the children do seem withdrawn and restricted. One thing I find creepy about these portraits is how the children are painted with adult features. It’s especially apparent in the portrait on the second page of my book. I had to laugh when I read the caption. It says the child is one year old, but the face looks like it belongs to a 40 year old.

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