Books reborn

Hello, friends. A post on book art is long overdue, wouldn’t you say? Like you, I love to read, and I love books, so perhaps that is why art made from books moves me so.

In researching book art creators, I recently discovered some new names. First, let me introduce Thomas Wightman. If you are familiar with Malena Valcarcel‘s work, you should check out this artist’s work as well; you will be glad you did. Here is one of my favorites, but there are many others that are just as impressive on Mr. Wightman’s website. What I find so interesting about this site, is that the artist walks us through the creative process, and shows us (more or less) how each piece was made. Enjoy!

Drowning from Obsession – Thomas Wightman

Jodi Harvey is another book artist whose site is fun to stroll through. When I look at these sculptures, I am absolutely amazed at the patience the artists exhibit with each creation. Having done a tiny bit of book art myself, I know I truly do not have what it takes to produce something like this. Here is a collection of images from her home page, to give you a taste:

Jodi Harvey

Quite some time ago, I mentioned Brian Dettmer in a similar post about book art, and Kelly Campbell Berry‘s work falls into a similar category. They both work with illustrated texts, cutting away most of the words and letting the pictures tell their own version of the story.

Kelly Campbell Berry

I mean, really. How do they do it?! I remain in awe of this amazing skill and talent. I don’t own any real book art yet, but I look forward to that day when I acquire my first piece. I know it will be worth the wait!

Book Art: Malena Valcarcel

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a post on Book Art (almost exactly a year, oh my!), but I realized that although I have admired the gorgeous creations of this artist for some time, I somehow failed to do a post about them.

Malena Valcarcel is a book artist from Spain, and has a wonderful shop on Etsy. For the exceptional quality of work, her items are very reasonably priced. She even makes jewelry! Click on the pictures to go to the items on Malena’s website.

This is one of my favorites:
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And look at this one. Amazing!
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Malena’s work is incredible and ships anywhere in the world. I hope you have enjoyed looking at these treasures, and I also hope you head over to Etsy and treat yourself to some bookish art! 😉

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That’s a Book?!

In February I posted a TED Talk about Brian Dettmer’s work, but I thought I would make a post that draws my readers’ attention to more of his art. Check out his amazing art featured on his website. Dettmer’s altered books are absolutely fascinating. Pictures and illustrations always make a book better, and by changing the books so that their story is the pictures, Dettmer re-creates every one of the books he works on.
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*20th Century Medica (detail), 2012. Image courtesy of the Artist and Toomey Turrell Fine Art. Retrieved from http://briandettmer.com/art/2012/#p945

Another book artist who deserves some attention is Alexander Korzer-Robinson. It’s clear that his work is reminiscent of the collage style, and the books he alters are all older, so the illustrations that he exposes are often from the Victorian era or early 20th-century (though not all are). As a result, he transforms antique books into visual trips into the past. Click here to view his stunning portfolio.
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*Nouveau Larousse Illustre Vol VII, 1908 by Alexander Korzer-Robinson. Image retrieved from http://www.alexanderkorzerrobinson.co.uk/portfolio/402366_nouveau-larousse-illustre-vol-vii-1908.html

More Amazing Book Art

This post is brief because I simply want to direct you to a TED video where Brian Dettmer shows his audience the wonders he creates from old books. For me, this art is fascinating. I love books, and to see them changed so completely from stacks of rectangular papers to these intricately detailed art objects is thrilling. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

The Creative Genius of Book Art

It’s been too long since I’ve done a post relating to Book Art. And to rectify that situation, I am posting links to some incredible feats of bookish artistry.

To start, Gretha Scholtz did a post in her blog on April 10, 2012 featuring some lovely book art creations, which can be seen here. Included in her post are many works by Su Blackwell and other book artists, and it’s well worth checking out.  Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 9.30.29 AM

*image retrieved from http://www.sublackwell.co.uk/portfolio-book-cut-sculpture/

Next, one of my personal favorites, Book and Paper Art UK by Andrea Hudspith. You can find her work on Facebook and on Twitter @BookPaperArtUK. Here’s a sneak peek at some of her work:                                                                         Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.18.43 PM   Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.19.38 PM     Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.21.22 PM

*images retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Book-and-Paper-Art-UK-Andrea-Hudspith/267825323381496

Au pli des pages is out of France, and has some really neat designs, all folded into the pages of books! Go to their website auplidespages.fr or visit them @Auplidespages for more. (and here’s another sneak peek):                                                      Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.31.00 PM     Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.31.41 PM

*images retrieved from http://www.auplidespages.fr

An artist who is new to me, is Thurle Wright. She her website is thurle.com, and she can also be found on Twitter @thurlew. Her website is a delightful gallery of images, her installations, and exhibitions. Check it out!                                          Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.51.58 PM

*image retrieved from thurle.com – gallery.

Book Art for Christmas

To some of us, books are sacred objects, and should be left in their natural state. To others, however, re-inventing or up-cycling a book can bring new life to one that would otherwise have sat unused and unread, gathering dust and providing no new joys or insights to its owner. With that in mind, I found some delightful tutorials on how to make festive holiday decorations using old books. May your books be merry and bright!

1. How to Make a Holiday Tree Using a Paperback Book by Jeannie Nadja

2. Recycled Book Wreath Tutorial by MadeByMarzipan

3. Christmas Crafts: Hand Made Christmas Tree Ornaments by Heather Minnow (2 out of the 3 ornaments use books)

More Book Art!

Hello! It’s been a while since my last post, and I do apologize for keeping all of my loyal fans perched on the edge of their seats in eager anticipation for so long. Seriously, though. It’s been a busy few weeks, but I thought I would get back into the swing of things by doing a post on everyone’s favorite genre of visual art: Book Art. If you love the art of the folded page, here is a very handy guide from Instructables.com on how to produce such masterpieces.

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(image retrieved from http://twentytwowords.com/turning-old-books-into-art-by-folding-the-pages-into-words-5-pictures/)

Inspiration Green also has some neat ideas and pictures of book art on their Art From Old Books page. Here’s an example:

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Jonathan Callan of London – “The Defrauder” joseebienvenugallery.com (image retrieved from http://www.inspirationgreen.com/art-from-old-books.html)

And last, but not least, is FlavorWire‘s post, “10 Visual Artists Who Use Books as Their Medium.” It’s got some really neat photos of work by Thomas Allen, Su Blackwell, Jeremy May, Mike Stilkey, and others. Check it out! Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 4.59.30 PM

“The Message” by Robert The  (image retrieved from http://flavorwire.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/the_message.jpg)

Book Art: Altered Books

The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

Having newly discovered the art of people like Su Blackwell, I thought I would give it a try myself to see if common folk can really create something new and interesting out of an old book. I found The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini in a used book store just up the road, and then I went to an art supplies store and bought an Exact-o knife and a cutting board, and once I got home, I set to work.

Before I even got started, however, I realized that this book was perfect for several reasons. First, all the illustrations were on the right-hand side of the book. Also, the illustrations weren’t so intricate that a novice cutter couldn’t follow the lines. Also, there were just the right number of illustrations spaced throughout the story so that the outline of each picture went deep enough for the desired effect.

1. I opened the book, and placed my cutting mat above the second illustration. I cut around the parts of the first image that I wanted to highlight, down through each page all the way to the mat.

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This shows the cutting around the first two illustrations.

2. I then followed step one until I reached the end of the book. It was very simple, and very rewarding!

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I hope you can find a similarly suitable book to make your own altered books. Even though a lot of the text is now missing, the text that does remain, in the forms of an image, tells a much different story. Good luck!

Romance for book-lovers

Here’s another great idea for giving a dusty, old book a new lease on life.

Step One: Find someone you want to marry.

Step Two: Find a hard-cover book that is rarely used and largely considered “boring” or uninteresting (a soft-cover book might work, but it’s not really recommended).

Step Three: Carve a big square out of the centre of each page of most of the book.

Step Four: Buy a beautiful engagement ring that will cause your favorite person in the whole world to swoon and wear a perma-smile for days.

Step Five: Cut a slit in the pages above the square you cut in Step Three.

Step Six: Thread a lovely satin ribbon through the slit from Step Five, put the ring from Step Four on the ribbon, and tie it so that the ring hangs in the square cut in Step Three.

Step Seven: Write the words, “Will you marry me?” under the ring.

Step Eight: Step back, enjoy your handiwork and pat yourself on the back. You are a book-lover’s Casanova. In other words, Irresistible! A “yes” is guaranteed.

The Ring

Book Art

A book’s story can be told through the words on its pages. But the story can change when a book is altered. Here are just a few examples of what artists can do with a traditional book to make something extraordinary:

The Folded Page

Recycled Reads on Etsy

Madame Memento on Etsy

I hope these links have inspired you, but if they haven’t yet, here are some books on the subject that might help create inspiration:

Art Made From Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed

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Book Art: Creative Ideas to Transform Your Books...

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Playing With Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book

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