“in its artistic beauty, has the feel of a sacred text.”
When someone picks up On All My Holy Mountain: A Modern Fraktur to read the inspiring words of Duke Divinity graduates, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Isaac Villegas, at first they may think they are reading from a one-of-a-kind handmade text.
The cover, made from Italian fiocardi stock, is bound together with a coarse linen cord fashioned into a bow. Inside the book, brilliant color panels, each printed on beautiful sheets of textured paper, appear to be hand drawn. The book, in its artistic beauty, has the feel of a sacred text. Instantly, the reader embarks on a multi-sensual journey, and that’s just the way publisher, Diane Katz at Rosenberry Books likes it.
Katz, who met Wilson-Hartgrove and Villegas when all of them were worshipping together at the Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, asked the two young preachers to help her create, “On All My Holy Mountain,” a 58-page handcrafted book that offers the pair’s personal reflections on numerous scripture passages that Wilson-Hartgrove calls, “the heart of the peace church tradition.”
Katz approached Wilson-Hartgrove and Villegas, who in 2003, along with Jonathan’s wife, Leah Wilson-Hartgrove, founded the Rutba House, an intentional Christian community located in Durham’s Walltown neighborhood, and asked them if they would write reflections on the scripture texts, which were also used during the community’s morning prayer time.
The reflections were turned over to Katz who then used them as the basis for her original fraktur art creations that accompany each reflection used in “On All My Holy Mountain.” Fraktur is an early American spiritual folk art that includes the kind of elaborate calligraphy seen in the text of Holy Mountain.
At the Heart of the Peace Church Tradition, part 1, by Patrick O’Neill
Divinity Magazine, winter 2007, volume 6, number 2