Ethiopian Binding
Instructor Karen Hanmer

Virtual Workshop
Saturday April 8, 2023
10 AM to 1 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From wherever you are, via Zoom.
(This workshop will be recorded, and video will be available to registered students for at least 30 days after the workshop.)

The Ethiopian binding structure may have emerged as early as the fourth century and has been in use unchanged for centuries. This humble, elegant binding opens flat and is the inspiration for many contemporary “Coptic” book arts structures. Characteristics include wood boards trimmed flush with the text block, paired sewing stations, and chain stitch-sewing that enters the board edge to incorporate board attachment. Historically the text blocks were made of parchment. Any covering would be done with goatskin. If the boards were to be left uncovered, no endband was added. If the boards were partially or fully covered in leather, braided leather endbands were sewn on after covering.


Advance registration is required for all JCBA workshops. For more details or to register, please email JCBA Director John Cutrone (


This workshop has a set tuition fee of $100.


Tablet or computer with Internet connection, plus the supplies and materials listed here in this PDF document.


Karen Hanmer's artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays intertwining history, culture, politics, science, and technology. She utilizes both traditional and contemporary book structures, and the work is often playful in content or format. Hanmer's work is included in collections ranging from The British Library and the Library of Congress to Stanford University and Graceland, and of course the Jaffe Collection. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in traditional binding skills.