About the :
Daniel Essig is a studio artist and teacher living in Asheville, North Caro- lina. Daniel teaches book arts workshops at book centers, craft schools and colleges. He exhibits his work nationally and is in numerous collec- tions including the Mint Museum and The Clarence Ward Art Library at Oberlin College. Many of Daniel’s sculptural pieces are featured in The Penland Book of Handmade Books.
Daniel is interested in traces of the past, ancient binding styles, reliquar- ies, distressed finishes, and found objects. Since he was six or seven years old, he has been collecting small objects - seashells and interesting rocks that he collected at the beach on childhood vacations. He has stored up seedpods, rocks, bones, shells, bits of rusty metal, nails, animal teeth and fossils. They represent periods in his life, even just days or moments. He keeps his collection of relics in drawers, bottles and boxes within a single small room in his house. The space has the feel of a German Wunderkammern, a "cabinet of curiosities." He often sits in the room and scans his collection, seeking just the right object to inspire a new book or sculpture.
EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION
2011 Guild of Book Workers, Presenter, Boston, MA
1999-Present Grovewood Gallery Studio Artist, Asheville, NC
2003-2008 Ariel Gallery, Contemporary Craft Cooperative, Asheville, NC
1996-1999 University of Iowa Center for the Book, Iowa City, IA
Graduate Certificate Student--Book Studies
1996-1999 Cosgrove School House, Studio Artist, Iowa City, IA
1992-1993 Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC
1990-1991 Southern Illinois Unciversity, Carbondale, IL
Graduate Student Photography
1987-1989 Southern Illinois Unciversity, Carbondale, IL
Bachelor of Arts in Photography
2012 Uniiversity Georgia, Cortona Italy
2008,09,11 Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass Village CO
2010,08,04-99 Arrowmont Craft School, Gatlinburg, TN
2009, 04,03,00,99 Penland School of crafts, Penland NC
Lecture & Workshop Venues
Oregon college of art and craft OR, Appalachain center for craft TN, Iowa center for book arts IA,
Macalaster art center MN, Minnesota center for book arts MN, pyramid Atlantic MD, John C
Campbell Folk School TN, Webster University st louis MO, Art Unraveled AZ, ArtFest WA,
JournalFest WA, san Deigo Book Arts Club CA, Art and Soul VA, CA, OR, Sievers School of fiber
Arts WI, Santa Fe Book arts club NM, Book Arts Roundtable NJ, Hollanders MI, BookWorks NC
SELECTED SHOWS AND EXHIBITIONS
2012 Reliquaries, Imagine Gallery, UK
2012 Penland School of Crafts: Evolution and Imagination, Cameron Art Museum, NC
2011 Codex & Art of the Book, Donna Seager Gallery, CA
2011 A Wood Collectors Home, Grovewood Gallery, NC
2010 Curiosities, Blue Spiral, NC
2010 The Book as Sculpture, Peninsula School of Art WI
2010 Dolph Smith & Friends, Penland School, NC
2009 By the Book, Blue spiral, NC
2009 BookMarks, Gallery Walk at Terminus, GA
2007 Contemporary Reliquaries, Brigham Young University, UT
2006 Bound Visions: Artist’s Books,,Crafts Alliance,MO
Vamp and Tramp Book Sellers
Penland School of Crafts, Penland NC
Grovewood Gallery, Asheville NC
COLLECTIONS AND AWARDS
North Carolina Visual Artist Grant Recipient
Renwick Museum, Smithsinian Institute, Washington, D.C.
Mint Museum, Charlotte NC
Some people use my books as journals and fill them up with words. I don't write in my books. For me, the books themselves are journals, visual records of my life and work.
I am interested in traces of the past, ancient binding styles, reliquaries, distressed finishes, and found objects. Since I was six or seven years old, I've been collecting small objects. I have
seashells and interesting rocks that I collected at the beach on childhood vacations I've stored up seedpods, rocks, bones, shells, bits of rusty metal, nails, animal teeth, fossils. They represent periods in my life, even just days or moments. I keep my collection of relics in drawers, bottles, and boxes within a single
small room in my house. The space has the feel of a German Wunderkammern, a "cabinet of curiosities."
I often sit in the room and scan my collection, seeking just the right object to inspire a new book or sculpture.
A symphony conductor who collects my work once told me that he hides my books in a basket every evening before going to bed so they won't be stolen during the night. Until fairly recently all books were
prized possessions -- medieval libraries chained books to the shelves to prevent theft. In those days each volume was crafted with precision, elaborately decorated and embellished with precious stones
and metals. I aim to make my books just as precious as those medieval manuscripts.
Most of my work has a Coptic book at its heart. The binding was first used in the fourth century, in Ethiopia. I became interested in the healing aspects that the books played within this culture which led in turn to a fascination with the magical and healing properties employed in both Reliquaries and N’Kisi N’konde figures.