The Rare Book Room’s latest artist’s book acquisition is Timothy Freich’s creation Shale. Inspired by Agricola’s great geological work De Re Metallica (1556), Shale captures the look and feel of the Marcellus Shale that can be found in Western New York along the shores of Lake Erie.
The front and back covers of Shale are made of a flexible rock material. The pages are hand-made papers produced from black denim. A hand-sewn Coptic binding makes the structure of this codex. Between the leaves, which look like layers of shale, digital reproductions of De Re Metallica‘s woodcut illustrations are printed onto the pages. The graduated shape cuts into the text block engender a geologic structure like that of the Marcellus Shale strata formation providing interior texture and depth to the work.
Shale joins Mr. Frerich’s Linnaeus Gardens sketchbooks and folios in the Rare Book Room’s Book Arts Collection.