A German art student, Benjamin Harff, decided, for his exam at the Academy of Arts, to do something only slightly ambitious — to hand-illuminate and bind a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion. It took him six months of work. In very 21st century elvish-monk style, he hand-illuminated the text which had been printed on his home Canon inkjet printer. He worked with a binder to assemble the resulting book.

I spent a year of my life, in my youth, fancying myself some sort of modern-day monastic scribe and doing this sort of Celtic knotwork-inspired illumination and calligraphy, so I am in awe of his talent. I know firsthand how hard this is to do well.

Interview with Benjamin Harff, upcoming Tolkien illustrator and creator of the Edel-Silmarillion