We’ve posted about this before, but I was reminded of it today, and it’s such an astonishing hand-made work of art in an age of mass production that I truly don’t think anyone will mind seeing it again.
Several years ago, German art student Benjaminn Harff set himself the task of hand-illuminating and binding a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. More than six months later he was still at it. He explained the process to Tolkien Library’s Pieter Collier:
All the initials, the calligraphic pages and illumination was drawn and painted by hand. I used a steel-pen and indian ink as well as brushes and water colours.
For the metal colours silver, gold and copper I took acrylics, because they are easier to handle than really laid gold and you can also work with water colour on acrylics.
After this all the work had to be digitalized by scanning and fotography, followed by the fitting into the text.
After printing the text at home on a Canon inkjet printer, and then illuminating the pages, he worked with a binder to assemble the individual leaves into a leather-bound book.
Go read the full interview here, because it really is incredible stuff.