The Nag Hammadi Codices from Claremont Colleges Digital Library
This weekend I attended a fascinating 2 day workshop held at the NSW Guild of Craft Bookbinders with English bookbinder & scholar Michael Burke who revealed the fascinating story of the Nag Hammadi codices. Thirteen secret books of Gnostic Gospels were found in a clay pot sealed with pitch in Egypt in 1945. 1800 years old, they are steeped in mystery and even though they have been unearthed & carefully documented every description conflicts with the next to this day!
Codex VI opened at the centre of the quire
Michael led us through the construction of a facsimile of this earliest known western binding
we learned how to cut and carefully fold the fragile papyrus into pages & line the covers
the original covers were lined with laminated layers of papyrus, we used cardboard with a papyrus facing as it is a very labour intensive hand made paper and quite expensive
one of the most charming features was making the knotted leather tackets that hold the book together
the turned in head and tail
the finished book
Lorraine Brown organized the workshop & Sandra Johnson documented it all beautifully for the Queensland Bookbinders Guild
the bindery is well equipped with great light drawers of metal type & a press
set in the peaceful grounds of the old Callan Park Hospital for the Insane which is now the home for Sydney College of the Arts
here we all are at the end of the day with our completed books!
NB I feel very brave posting this photo looking so totally tired & wired, late afternoon is truly not my best time of the day!
Nag Hammadi Codex with Michael BurkePosted: November 2, 2014 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: bookbinding, inspiration, works on paper