Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nag Hammadi Book Swap

Over at the Book Arts Forum, a group of us have swapped handmade books and all the books were to be based upon the structure of the Nag Hammadi codicies. I have written about the Nag Hammadi codicies here before. I was fascinated by these books the first time I heard about them so the opportunity to participate in this swap was exciting.

Of course, the most exciting part of a book swap, is that I get a new book that somebody else has made! Yesterday I received a package from Hilke - with two books! The main book is this truly up-to-date modern iterpretation of the Nag Hammadi codices.

The cover is, obvioulsy, made using a combination of computer parts and leather. And Hilke was also interested in exploring the content of the Nag Hammadi books. The original texts contained religious writings and a small excerpt has been included in this book here. But to juxtapose the old and new again, Hilke created a cuneiform-type alphabet using small wedges, and printed the passage using this invented alphabet! Holy macaroni, Batman.

And the cherry on top, was this second Nag Hammadi style book. This contains a description of the main book, the materials, the process, etc as well as an explanation of the alphabet that was created and how it was stamped, etc.

Fabulous work, thank you so much, Hilke.

When I made my book for the swap, I stuck with the conventions and did more of a replica than a modern interpretation... but I wanted to stick with what I knew best. So I sent this book to Astrid and she has documented it quite nicely on her blog if you want to see better photos.


machinewithnoname said...

these are great! I'm teaching this book form in March!

lori vliegen said...

wow, rhonda! your new book is an absolute treasure! i can't quite decide which aspect i like best about it, so i'll just keep it simple and say that i love it ALL! and the book that you made is exquisite! i always admire your beautiful craftsmanship! :)

Rhonda said...

thanks :)