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Some book lovers show their dedication to the written word by keeping their books in pristine condition, refusing to dog-ear their pages or even bend the spine. However, others, show their love by ‘upcycling’ their books. They cut, paint and sometimes even burn book pages to create new masterpieces. Here are a couple of our favourite artists and some book art ideas you can try at home.

Loui Jover is an artist living in Australia where he creates stunning paintings, often using book pages as his canvas. He paints with sumi ink, employed in East Asian calligraphy and sumi-e (ink wash painting). Below are some examples of his work from his Instagram account.

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As you can see the sumi ink complements the words printed on the book pages and creates a lovely effect when allowed to run down the page. The pops of colour he adds to his art make beautiful focal points.

 

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Many of Jover’s works feature women with fierce expressions, crying. According to an interview with Becki Burrows on her blog Oh Dear Me, Jover doesn’t assign any reasons for these tears, leaving it to the viewer to decide.

Sue Blackwell is a talented book sculptor who has held exhibitions around the world. She is famous for her work constructing scenes which burst forth from books. Blackwell enjoys working within the fairytale theme and has had a book published with co-author Wendy Jones titled, ‘The Fairytale Princess’, which includes photos of Blackwell’s sculptures. Her Instagram account showcases some of her work.

 

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This Instagram post was dedicated to Blackwell’s daughter when she lost her first tooth. The art was titled ‘The Tooth Fairy’ and was commissioned by the Pediatric Dental Surgery in Upper East Side, New York.

 

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Blackwell has also done some larger pieces for exhibitions. This particular one was showcased in the Museum Sinclair-Haus in February 2017.

There are many beautiful ways to upcycle books and create new art. Here are some ideas that require only a few materials.

Folded Book Art

Often all you need for folded book art is a book and a ruler. Below is an example from Cornerhouse 115 to demonstrate what you can make with careful folds.

 

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Pinterest is a great place to find templates for various patterns. There are two basic types shape patterns or number patterns. We suggest watching a video or two first to put it all in context.

Origami

You can also use origami to make beautiful book art. This piece adds simple accessories, such as fake pearls to accent the flowers.

 

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Pipe cleaners and green tape make good stems and a light coating of Mod Podge glue will make the origami a little more durable. There are plenty of websites which give easy instructions on how to fold various different types of flowers, animals and so much more.

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