Rob Buchert is a bookmaker who has mastered the arts of letterpress, papermaking, typography, bookbinding, and wood engraving. He and his wife, Georgia founded Tryst Press, a letterpress publishing studio in Provo, Utah. They create distinctive books, broadsides, and ephemera, and specialize in illustration, book and typeface design, limited-edition books, handmade paper, and wood engraving.
Buchert teaches a Type as Image class at BYU. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and Georgia’s work was exhibited at BYU in 2014 (“The Awkward Intrusion of Light”).
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.
Using Royal Skousen’s critical text of the Allegory of the Olive Tree found in the Book of Mormon, 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. 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. Eight of the fifty copies are bound in olive wood; the rest are bound in leather and gold silk.
The Allegory of the Olive Tree won the 2008 J. Carl Herzog Award for excellence in book design. The award put the book into national exhibitions and opened doors to questions about the Book of Mormon. Buchert said “though the book is precious as an object, [people] may get an interest in its contents.” Skousen’s work provides as near as possible to the original translation of the Book of Mormon text.
Most of their work is collectable, found in academic, public, and private collections in North America and Europe.