Blue driftwood album

I made this beautiful coptic album for a client’s daughter for her 16th birthday. But there’s a twist: she is just one year old. Each year he plans to fill two pages of the album with photographs of her during that year and he will present it to her on her 16th birthday. What a lovely idea.

The coptic binding is one of the oldest known book bindings – the earliest versions date from 2AD. The spine of the album is exposed to reveal stitching that creates a striking pattern, as it climbs up from one signature to the next. I dyed the linen thread to complement the colours of the album.

When binding albums, extra room along the spine needs to be created in order to prevent the album from over-swelling as photographs are added. I added extra ‘guards’ into each signature of the album, creating the space needed. For the cover, my client chose a rich Japanese paper, which I then treated using a traditional Japanese technique called Konnyaku to make the paper waterproof and more resilient.

The text block paper is a heavyweight Italian paper that is 100% cotton. Being wood-pulp free, this high-quality paper will last a very long time with little or no degradation. This handmade album measures 32 x 44 x 4 cms.