Sunday, January 20, 2013

Liber Occultus

Vodouisant brings us this custom binding of the Liber Occultus. He's pulled off something that's extremely difficult- using brass findings as adornments on a grimoire. Most attempts at that come off looking cheesy.

The thing is that I can't quite figure out why I like this presentation, but generally dislike similar efforts. It may be a combination of the studs and the sheer amount of gingerbread. It's busy enough, but laid in such a clean geometric pattern, that the eye tends to rove instead of fixating on any particular piece. Findings tend to look like bits of brass just glued to a book. Which is what they are, after all. The dimensionality of this mounting helps break up that flat-on-flat effect.


CoastConFan said...

Two factors make this tome pleasing: The uniformity of motif and the layout which focuses attention. Unlike most groupings of found items in this genre, all the parts are harmonious and there are no jarring mismatches to drag the eye in an incongruous way. The layout is very traditional and the endguards gently direct the eye to the centerpiece, rather than having a major grotesque force you to look at it. It is a triumph of harmony and design.

In most monster films, grimoires are simply garish props to briefly hold your attention for the 20 seconds it is on screen and then lead you into the story. This book is organic and a stand-alone item that doesn’t need a lot of wild elaboration because you can look at it as long as you like. It could be an alchemists note book, a volume of medieval illuminations or a deluxe copy of The King in Yellow. This book doesn’t repulse, it becons the viewer to partake in gentle persuasion, but with gravis and dignity.

C. Haunton said...

I noticed that a couple months later he had a picture of the same tome with even more bits of brass glued on.
It seems like a case where less was more.

Phil said...

Yeah, knowing when to stop seems to be a big problem with a lot of us craftfolks. ;)

I'd just love to know where he found those brass fittings.