By Laura West

Historic books
Handmade books of
Oak bark tanned cowhide, linen
hand made paper, deerskin

Dune: £150.00  
width 8.25" (210mm)
spine height 7" (180mm)
depth 1.75" (45mm)

Kashgar: £135.00  
width 5.5" (140mm)
spine height 7.25" (185mm)
depth 1.5" (40mm)

Nomad: £70.00  
width 4.5" (110mm)
spine height 5.5" (140mm)
depth 1.5" (40mm)

Skye: £75.00  
width 4.5" (110mm)
spine height 5.5" (140mm)
depth 1.5" (40mm)

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Hand-sewn historic books
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Originally 'books' were written either on scrolls of papyrus (The Dead Sea Scrolls) or carved into cuneiform tablets (such as The Code of Hammerabi).

The first books to be bound in the 'Codex' style date from third century Egypt. The Codex style is familiar as the western book form wherein folded sheets are gathered together and sewn at the spine. Named after the Coptic monasteries in North Africa where Codex style books have been discovered, the original monastic volumes contained the text of early Christian gospels painstakingly hand copied onto sheets of either papyrus or parchment. The folded sheets were connected at the spine with exposed stitching which looks much like a chain stitch. This same stitching connected the gathered sheets to wooden boards above and below which offered protection to the precious texts.

Laura's Coptic-style Kashgar, Dune, Nomad and Skye journals all have the intangible charm of an historic artefact that would be recognizable to St. Columba himself. While the originals had pages of vellum, these are wrought of handmade paper of a surface and thickness suitable for pen, pencil and watercolour alike, the covers are made from oak bark tanned cow hide and cut to take advantage of the lustre and character provided by natural rough edges and surface markings. The books are made without use of any adhesives - painstakingly sewn together with pure linen thread, opening flat to every page due to the stable sewing structure and finished with soft deerskin leather ties at the side. Each book will be unique and a treasure in and of itself, photographs are for representational purposes only.

Your purchase serves to benefit the Thistle & Broom Scholarship to help ensure Scottish cultural heritage sees a next generation of talented craftspeople and artisans.


Coptic Dune
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