Friday, October 18, 2013

Occlith 0: Omniform



The Viatorium Press, after two years of toil and tumult, emerges from the hermetic isolation of the forge with the flagship volume (Zero) of its projected seven volume florilegium of the Arcane Sciences, Occlith: Labyrinthus Archidoxae. Entitled Omniform, it encapsulates the golden lore of the Renaissance Magus, helmed by key texts of the great Theophrastus von Hohenheim, known across the ages as Paracelsus the Great, and his brilliant disciple, a venerated alchemist and healer in his own right, Oswald Croll.




At 272 pages, offset printed on 80# cream paper, sewn and bound in blind stamped gun-metal grey cloth, Occlith 0: Omniform is a microcosmic gothic cathedral, a place of exploration, designed so that the reader is impelled to make a kind of pilgrimage through its pages. Like the pan-mythic unicursal labyrinth itself, Omniform possesses the strange dual nature of challenge and revelation. Typographically, it shuns modern convention, instead reaching back to the ur-texts of the Incunabula era (1450-1500) to wrest primal insight into the contemporary age. Designer Joseph Uccello did not make his decisions lightly: after years of deep study into typography, both in an academic setting and solo, and an intimate grasp of the sentience of type itself gained from countless hours of letterpress printing on a Vandercook 4, he came armed with a vision of what the Occult book could be in this era of lukewarm received wisdom filtered through decades of mediocrity masking as the status quo.





Incepted with a weird brand of Gnosticism, the presence of the Omniform, (Divine Craftsman, or Demiourgos) can be detected in the involuting and wondrously complex language of the Early Modern English writing. Protected behind multiple gates of gloriously strident, Orthodox piety, the pearl of knowledge is revealed to the patient and passionate reader. Paracelsus' hermetic account of the creation of the universe in Philosphy to the Athenians is one of the richest and most daemonically visionary in any language or era.





Pervasive throughout the Paracelsus and Croll texts is woven the lore of multifarious spirits, strange beings, and elementals, whose presence, both as entities that share this world with mankind, and as vehicles to carry the symbolism of deeper alchemical principles. Many of the illustrations in the book were directly inspired by this survival of ancient folk tradition that found its apotheosis and sadly, perhaps its final serious and esoteric consideration before the European mind was swept through by conflicting currents of thought in the coming centuries.





Appended to the body of the work is a separate book containing a lexicon addressing the alchemical terms and mystical lore in Paracelsus' alchemical universe.




Occlith 0: Omniform can be purchased from our collaborating publisher, www.threehandspress.com


Monday, June 6, 2011

Abraxas 3



Typographic and illustrative work of Joseph Uccello, published by the venerable UK house Fulgur Limited, in the third issue of the prestigious journal of occult art and writing Abraxas, at the Vernal Equinox of 2013.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blackletter Infographic


Work in progress on a giant infographic poster on Blackletter type.
Occlith is being finalized, and I hope to release it to the public some time between late March and mid April.
Work at the press is hectic, am creating some Ex Libris for a special art book being issued by a British publisher. One Ex Libris is complete, another in development. I hope to share these images here as well.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Al-Azif of the Mad Poet Abdul Alhazred

Back cover, Azif fragment.

Front inside cover, with illustration of the Vermiform Sorcerers as guardians.

Front cover of the letterpressed dust jacket, on glorious Zerkall Nideggen rag paper.

Title page.

10x17in Folding plate of correspondences, including Jinn Kings.


Close up of text, high quality laser printing on Neenah Classic Crest.

Two column spread, generous margins.


Back cover, letterpressed Adobe Arabic.

The halo effect of the letterpress "bite" into the dampened Rives BFK.





Back cover of the dust jacket.

Colophon watched over by masked being with third eye emerging.

The primal beauty of Zerkall Paper's watermark, preserved in some of the dust jackets.


Spine of interior cover, showing binder's cord. Each book was hand sewn, the cord treated with beeswax to prevent fraying. Subtle essence of honey can still be detected.

Azif Kufic glyph, inside dust jacket.

Viatorium's Sortilege series of monographs combines arcane letterpress with modern printing techniques, on the best papers, to produce exquisite works for bibliophilic, scholarly, and imaginative enjoyment. Our inaugural publication, Near Eastern Studies 1, by independent scholar Ryan Parker, is a fascinating linguistic deconstruction of the the name of the imaginal 8th century Yemeni "mad poet" Abdul Alhazred and his daemonic tome the Al-Azif, creations of famed writer of the Weird, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). With over seventy textual notes of supporting evidence, Parker has extensively documented his exploration of the life and social function of a poet and mystic in 8th century Arab culture, and the fascinating parallels between Lovecraft's fictional creations and historical reality. The study encompasses and addresses original Arab language terminology, with Arabic script accompanied by transliteration throughout. Forty pages high quality laser printed interior on Neenah Classic Crest, 10x17 folding plate of correspondences, letterpress printed dust jacket on Zerkall Nideggen paper, letterpress printed inside cover on Rives BFK. Single gathering of signatures, hand sewn spine in beeswaxed cord. Limited edition of 150.

At a young age Ryan Parker encountered the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, and was immediately enthralled with the artificial mythology of the Cthulhu cycle of tales. Around this same time, he began researching Sufism; traditional Arab magic known as Ruhaniyah; and other Arab mystical and mythological traditions. He was profoundly struck by what he perceived as deep parallels between these Arab traditions and the mythology attributed by Lovecraft to his legendary creation, the mad poet Abdul Alhazred. Over the last 25 years he has accumulated a wealth of material which illustrates these many parallels, and how the mythology associated with the Al-Azif resonates deeply with the genuine but nearly forgotten legends and sorceries of the early Islamic period.  By exploring these Arabic traditions and their parallels with the Cthulhu Mythos, the author hopes to provide insight into why Lovecraft's mythology has had such a strange and compelling impact, and why so many individuals have been persuaded that there is a deeper level of truth lying just beneath the surface of this body of fiction.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Esoteric Book Conference September 18, 19

www.esotericbookconference.com

It's almost here, the second annual Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle, Washington. Many great artists and publishers from around the world will be in attendance. Music, a play, guest speakers, and of course books, art, and prints. A bibliophile's dream. Viatorium Press will have art on display, prints for sale, and a new book to announce as well. If you are in Seattle you are especially encouraged to drop by.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Audio Centaur 2: The Forest that Hears and the Field that Sees






Letterpress packaging for Paracelsian drone project Clarified Birds. Title and imagery inspired by the Hieronymus Bosch drawing of the same name. Art and printing by Viatorium Press. Double folded six panel, printed one side on Somerset Velvet natural white cotton paper. Unprinted Taiyo Yuden cdr. Price is $10 postpaid. To purchase contact onikubi [at] gmail [dot] com.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Memory



H. P. Lovecraft turns 120 years old today. Looking out over gray the rooftops of a murky Seattle summer morning confirms my inspiration to read as much Lovecraft as possible today (though most days involve dipping into his writings at least once). Shadow Over Innsmouth? Thanks for the years of reading pleasure and life inspiration, Mr Lovecraft, your influence lives and gains strength with each passing year.
This anniversary of the beloved master of the Weird inspired me to post this illustration of the 1919 prose poem Memory. I am entertaining the idea of making letterpress chapbooks of H. P.'s prose poems, for which I have a strong fondness.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tabula Smaragdina Hermetis



Tabula Smaragdina Hermetis, the foundational word on Hermeticism, Alchemy, and the world. The Emerald Tablet of Hermes has taken on many forms and translations. Presented here is Titus Burckhardt's rendering, written in German from an Arabic language original, and translated into English. Particularly appealing are the nuances found in this text, in relation to those brought out from the Latin. The helix glyph at the head of the broadside was hand illuminated after printing, using weasel hair Chinese brushes and ink. Each highly detailed miniature constitues an emblem of the elemental forces of ancient thought, and is a cosmos of information unto itself. This is an edition of 22, letterpress printed on Revere Felt 100% cotton paper, each with a unique hand illuminated emblem, and numbered. This piece was printed at the Fall Equinox, 2009, and was originally presented at the first annual Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle, Washington. To purchase please inquire at: onikubi [at] gmail.com.