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The Book Arts Workshop

The Book Arts Workshop is located in the basement of Baker-Berry Library, and its prime location on campus is perfect for students.

The workshop offers open studio hours throughout the week, where students can explore the process of bookmaking through "bookbinding, printing, and typography." Classes often take advantage of the studio, and my religion course, "The Jewish Jesus," recently had a mini field trip to the workshop!

My finished product!
My finished product!

In the class, we are learning about the life of Jesus from a Jewish perspective. We investigate his life through ancient sources such as the New Testament gospels. My professor wanted to show us how these ancient sources were made, so we spent a class period working in the workshop.

The workshop overseer was extremely helpful in explaining the different materials we were working with, as well as the history of penmanship itself. 

Each student received parchment, papyrus, a reed pen, and a quill pen. We had full access to a wide assortment of inks (including one made from a wasp's eggs!). 

For over an hour, we transcribed passages from the Biblical books of Isaiah and Matthew in ancient Hebrew and Greek with tools ancient authors would have used.

Although I could have learned about the laborious process of ancient penmanship, nothing compares to interacting with the exact materials ancient authors worked with. 

I'm so appreciative of this incredible hands-on experience in the workshop, and I will definitely be back for open studio hours!

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