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Jody Alexander
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Marla Brill
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Squeak Carnwath
Julie Chen
Will Cloughley
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Marie Dern
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Claudia Smelser
Helen Stanley
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The Art of the Book
Sixth Annual Exhibition of Handmade Books,
Altered Books and Book Related Works

Daniel Essig

more work by Daniel Essig

Daniel Essig is a studio artist and instructor living in Asheville, North Carolina. Daniel has taught book arts workshops at Penland, Anderson Ranch, Iowa City Center for Books, Columbia College, and Oregon College of Art and Craft, among others. He has received the North Carolina Visual Arts Fellowship Grant. Dan exhibits his work nationally and his work is in numerous private and public collections; recently his work has been purchased by the Renwick Museum of the Smithsonian and the Charlotte M. Smith Collection of Miniature Books at the University of Iowa Libraries. Many of Daniel’s sculptural pieces are featured in The Penland Book of Handmade Books. He 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. What first appealed to him about Coptic books was that, unlike most hand-bound books, they open completely flat. When he put images on the pages, you could see the whole image without struggling with the binding.

Totem, Daniel Essig, The Art of the Book at Donna Seager Gallery


It was through the influence of Dolph Smith that Daniel Essig began to reach beyond the simple Ethiopian book. He was making sculptural books by hanging paper from wooden structures, and Essig tracked him down and ultimately studied with him. Under his influence he developed his bridge books, which use the same Coptic binding but exaggerate each of the elements: the covers become elongated into two-foot-long towers that stand on a tabletop, and rather than 10 or 12 signatures in the text block, He uses 100 to 200, well over 1000 pages. He couldn't afford that much new paper, so to make the bridges he returned to the idea of the altered book. He found books that have mangled spines and covers but good quality paper, and he used that paper in his work. Often, as in this work, he uses old Bibles with exceptionally thin paper, which has a nice drape and flow. This work is a single structure that can be hung on the wall.
15.5" x 10.5" x 7.5"



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