The Nation’s Story [2010]


Publication [handmade Coptic book with handcrafted case]


Periodically, I am called upon to consult or offer guidance on projects. With this Exxon/Mobil sponsored project The Nation’s Story, I was brought onboard to help create a publication as part of a collaborative venture between VCUQ, Northwestern University in Qatar, Qatar University, and the Qatar Photographic Society. Because of my experience in bookbinding, my role in this was simple, but did require some interesting problem solving. Our students were responsible for the concept, design and construct of the publication, with the other participating institutions offering their expertise in the production of this book, as needed. Needless to say, my main obligation was to help the student’s in this endeavor, but especially problem-solve a binding issue they were faced with.

This one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted album was to be a gift for His Excellency, Sheikh Hamid Bin Khalif Al Thani, the then reigning Emir of the State of Qatar, to commemorate the inaugural opening of the second natural gas fields just off the coast of Qatar. The amply proposed size and chosen binding method for the projected book (a variation on Coptic binding) offered some interesting complications. I devised a unique method for binding individual pages that would, with time and use, withstand a great deal of stress and strain. Guiding the students, I taught them how to reinforce the spine-edges of the pages for sewing into a flexible spine.

Project Acknowledgements

• Matt Woolman, teacher

• Pornprapha Phatanateacha, teacher

• Mariam Gasan, principal student assistant

• Aisha Malalla, student

• Aldana Al-Malki, student

• Angela Guy, student

• Hadeer Omar, student

• Rouda Al Thani, student

• Zane Bevan, student