Monthly Archives: August 2018

Philip Smith – A Meditation by Timothy C. Ely

In 2016 I was asked to write an introduction to the catalog for an auction of Philip Smith’s work. Given the interest in my prior post about Philip, I’m re-posting what I wrote here. I am a romantic but not prone to great exaggeration. As I have studied deeply the history of books and their […]

Evolution, Creativity, and Metaphysics

“Creativity involves not only years of conscious preparation and training but unconscious preparation as well,” wrote Oliver Sacks in outlining the three essential elements of creativity, adding: “This incubation period is essential to allow the subconscious assimilation and incorporation of one’s influences and sources, to reorganize and synthesize them into something of one’s own.” In […]

OF SCRIPTS AND STARS The Cipheric Aesthetics of Timothy C. Ely’s Cribriform Script by Ian Boyden

It is possible to interpret this confrontation of script and stars.  Just as now and then a star emerges from the host—as a moving planet, as a comet—so also does a cipher, whose ideogram becomes intelligible to us, rise up now and then from the heap of incomprehensibility.  One could draw the conclusion that the […]

My Artists Journey, Part 4: Philip Smith

While in England on my NEA grant, I met Philip Smith – an encounter that spun into a lifelong friendship. Most bookbinding texts focus on journeyman work – the skills needed to begin the process and to contemplate mends, repairs and the conservation of rare works. During my self-propelled apprenticeship I found many books covering […]