Crafting Adventure Time’s Enchiridion as an Ode to Medieval Book Making

Art & Sculpture Craft & Design
Crafting Adventure Time’s Enchiridion as an Ode to Medieval Book Making

For quite some time, I found medieval books and the process of book making utterly fascinating. The amount of time, effort and skill required to make those amazingly beautiful objects left a huge impression on me. I was also always very interested in all the magic and occult books on movies and TV shows, the Necronomicon from Evil Dead being my favorite!

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Eventually I decided I wanted my own collection of medieval and mysterious books, but since the former probably cost many MANY times more than my house and the latter don’t quite exist, I turned to the Internet and the Replica Prop Forum to learn how to make my own. After a few weeks of tutorials and meeting fantastic people willing to share their knowledge, I started trying to make a book.

From sawing books to casting resin, I learned each step of the process. Everything became a mini-investigation which usually ended in many hours on YouTube watching documentaries from medieval life or fancy Japanese scrolls…it was pure joy!

About 6 months after the first experiments, I felt like I might be ready for an actual build project. So I chose the Enchiridion from the TV show Adventure Time. I love the show, and the book in it was the perfect challenge to test all of my new skills. Since the show is a cartoon, I had to design a “real” version, and that led to a lot of creative opportunities. The final product would also be FULL of decorations and details that would need sculpting, casting, woodworking, aging, and painting, so it would be the ultimate test.

The first version probably took a couple of weekends of full time work to complete, since I was totally unsure of what the heck I was doing. Nowadays, it takes a few hours if you don’t count time to dry. Each time I make a new book, I find many things to change and improve about the materials and the process. I guess your not supposed to stop finding errors, because that would mean there’s nothing else to learn, and that would be very, very sad.

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Frank Zhao

Frank is an electrical engineer and DIY hobbyist. He graduated from U of Waterloo in 2013. He currently works as a R&D hardware engineer for PlayStation (Sony Interactive Entertainment) peripherals in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was an electrical engineer for rLoop (a hyperloop pod team) and Adafruit Industries.

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