Ecoprints + Hand-stitched Books

Ecoprints + Hand-stitched Books


Beautiful results can be achieved with printing plant material (leaves, flowers, seeds, etc.) directly onto paper, and turning that paper into one-of-a-kind, artisanal books using simple, but highly decorative, hand-binding techniques. No artificial inks or dyes are used in this process, only those extracted from plants.

Time: 11 am to 4:30 pm (with 1 hour for lunch - not provided)

Location: Mamie’s Schoolhouse, 97 Rooster Hill Road, Goose Cove (10 minutes north of the Gaelic College)

Experience: beginner to intermediate

Supplies Fee: $25 (tax inclusive), payable directly to the instructor (for yarn, fabric, dyes, etc.).

Tax: this web platform collects Nova Scotia's 15% HST for those with a Canadian billing address; for others, HST is payable at the workshop (a receipt will be provided).

Age: 19+ due to the use of hot dye vats

Minimum Registrants To Proceed: 3

Promo Code: ’online10%’ for online registration only

Terms of Service: registration constitutes agreement with the Terms of Service.

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This is one of the more contemplative workshops offered by Mamie’s Schoolhouse, requiring the student to slow down at every step, while learning both modern techniques for surface design with plants, and an ancient method for securely hand-stitching books. Some of the oldest surviving books in the world (some almost 2,000 years old) were bound with the Coptic stitch method taught in this workshop.

There is something magical about starting with blank sheets of paper and a pile of plant material, and ending the workshop with a beautiful, hand-stitched book printed with the essence of Cape Breton’s glorious landscapes, and securely bound with your own hands.

Students Will Learn:

  • dye studio safety practices
  • how to properly choose and prepare paper for maximum dye uptake
  • about growing and/or ethically/sustainably foraging plants with natural dye properties
  • how to select, store and prepare plants for different results on paper
  • how to use over-dyeing and/or other natural substances (mordants, assists and modifiers) to shift the colour spectrum available from plants
  • how to finish your one-of-a-kind printed paper
  • how to make beautiful book covers using paper you have printed
  • how to prepare signatures (the groups of papers inside the book)
  • how to wax your own thread for stitching, using local organic beeswax
  • how to do Coptic hand-stiching to securely and beautifully bind your creation

Students Will Take Home:

  • a completed hand-bound book
  • a range of paper samples printed with plants in class for use in other projects and/or as a reference library of techniques
  • the skills to further explore the magic of local plant colour and book-binding