Coptic Book Art
October 25, 2007 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Daniel Essig creates wooden-covered art books and book-based sculptures. "Using a fourth-century binding style known as Ethiopian style Coptic, he creates mixed-media book structures that incorporate unusual woods, handmade paper, found objects, fossils, and mica. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he has a studio at the Grovewood Gallery." [Via MonkeyFilter, which has links to other book artists.]
posted by homunculus (8 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Very nice work, but his website is terrible - the pictures are far too small.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:18 PM on October 25, 2007

This isn't even remotely cool.

Wait, I meant the opposite of that.
posted by shmegegge at 3:29 PM on October 25, 2007

In a region that was dominated by crafts, and is now home to a burgeoning art community, it's really great to see artists who push a traditional medium past the point where art/craft categorizations are relevant. I really admire his work, and on the occasions that I have talked to him, he has been very approachable, humble, and enthusiastic--nice qualities for a young master.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 3:34 PM on October 25, 2007

Nice link, and because of it i found this great how-to for Coptic bookbinding. One of the benefits of working at a printing company is I have access to a lot paper that would otherwise go to waste, and I've been meaning to whip out a bunch of blank notebooks.

So now I have the know-how and the inspiration!
posted by lekvar at 4:22 PM on October 25, 2007

I'm intimidated by book projects like these... what the hell do you put in them that warrants such beauty and lavishment? It had better be Faulkner strapped to the back of Tolkien, who fuses with the genetic chimera of Tolstoy, Gaiman and Shelly to form Mecha-Shakespeare who writes simultaneously in ancient greek, arabic and esperanto with crystal pens dipped in ink made by monks from the ashes of their cremated abbot.

Leaving the pages blank seems even more obscene, tho. Like a beautiful new concert hall you know an orchestra will never play in.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:31 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Well, honestly, I was just going to use mine to hold toilet paper, but, you know, that whole Mecha-Shakespeare thing would be pretty cool too...
posted by lekvar at 5:09 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

He isn't Ethiopian, nor Coptic, how dare he talk about Ethiopian Coptic bookbinding? [/end of flippant comment]

It is an amazingly beatiful blog, that Ekthesis one, nice play on words too, as ekthesis means essay but also presentation/display. Hm. As I was growing up (and I am not all that old) I would be able to buy books with non-standard bookbinding (some could have been Eth-Cop) but now it is all reverted to mass-produced. Sometimes the pages of the books were connected and you had to use letter opener or your impatient fingers to separate them. Way to get involved with literature, I guess. Haven't seen such books for quite a while, though. [/end of non-flippant, yet rambly comment].
posted by carmina at 7:31 AM on October 26, 2007

The Wooden Library in Alnarp
posted by homunculus at 10:22 AM on November 13, 2007

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