Cara Barer says in her website’s artist statement:

A random encounter on Drew Street with the Houston Yellow Pages was the primary inspiration for this project. After that chance meeting, I began the search for more books, and more methods to change their appearance.
I realized I owned many books that were no longer of use to me, or for that matter, anyone else. Would I ever need “Windows 95?” After soaking it in the bathtub for a few hours, it had a new shape and purpose. Half Price Books became a regular haunt, and an abandoned house gave me a set of outdated reference books, complete with mold and neglect.

Each book tells me how to begin according to its size, type of paper, and sometimes contents.  I arrive at some of my images by chance. Others, through experimentation. Without these two elements, my work would not flow easily from one idea to the next.

British artist Su Blackwell painstakingly cuts her delicate 3D paper sculptures from vintage books.   Her magical and incredibly intricate sculptures literally free the characters and settings from the printed page, while also reflecting on “the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams, and ambitions,” as the artist says.


Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed.

Thanks to Mel from Scotland for getting me started on book-art with Brian Dettmer via Karan Arora at posterous

And to Amusing Planet for info on Cara Barer

And to MoreWaystoWasteTime for info on Su Blackwell.

And to Trine for the video of the bookstore.

4 thoughts on “Books as Art–NOT Artbooks

  1. Beautiful! I’ve also seen small shelves made from books. One of these days I might give recycled book art a whirl….when I retire??
    These sure do inspire. Thanks Dusky!

  2. I loved these magical pieces that remind us that books are works of art that can’t be replaced by e-readers! I wish one of these artists would transform Sisters into something just as special…
    thanks, Dusky!

  3. As I looked through these pics I kept exclaiming “wow”. Just wonderful; I can’t believe it. Amazing.
    Thanks so much for all of these a beautiful wonders.

  4. I love us human beings….. just look at what we can do. If we could give everyone a chance to make art there would be no need to war each other!!!! Hats off to every artist that contributed their work. Bravo!

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