Georgia Bowen Bechert is a bookmaker and co-owner of Tryst Press, a letterpress publishing studio in Provo, Utah. With her husband, Rob Buchert, she creates art-quality books. According to the Bucherts, bookmaking “has more in common with architecture and symphonic composition than it does with painting or printmaking.”
As students at Brigham Young University Rob and Georgia discovered the work of William Morris, a nineteenth-century artist, author, and designer who set up a press and printed beautiful editions of texts. Georgia earned her bachelor’s degree from BYU in 1987. She also directs theater in Utah.
They are the creators of The Allegory of the Olive Tree, which won the 2008 J. Carl Herzog Award for excellence in book design. The Bucherts designed a limited number of books that included an olive branch watermark on handmade paper, handset type, hand-painted illustrations done with paints made from precious stones, and the first letter of type gilded with 24-karat gold. Eight of the fifty copies are bound in olive wood; the rest are bound in leather and gold silk. Versification has been removed to give the allegory a storybook quality. The artisanship used in the book is reminiscent of techniques used by illuminators of the Bible and the Qur’an.
The Bucherts used Royal Skousen’s critical text of The Allegory of the Olive Tree found in Jacob 5 of the Book of Mormon. Skousen’s work provides as near as possible to the original translation of the Book of Mormon text. Georgia is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Most of their work is collectable, found in academic, public, and private collections in North America and Europe.