Art Made from Books - Review

Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed is a weighty, paper-covered hardback with more than two hundred beautiful photographs that depict the work of nearly thirty altered book artists around the world, primarily in the U.S. and UK.

 Cara Barer
cover image, Explorer, 2011

Admittedly, I spend more time than the average bear scouting the internet for the newest paper-themed content to share here. Thus, quite a few of the images and names were as familiar as old friends, but then again, many were new to me. There is much to see between the stitched covers.

Guy Laramée 
The Web, 2012

Yes, stitched... a unique feature is the book's exposed spine. If I were to spy this title on a coffee table, the binding alone would make me curious enough to thumb through the pages.

Mike Stilkey
Reminiscent, 2010

The tactile stitching can serve as a reminder that all books were originally crafted by hand, as well as a nod to the strength of the printed book which will allow it to coexist with that young upstart, the e-book. As this collection of art pieces proves, tattered books, worn and past their prime, can be reshaped into extraordinary objects.

Arián Dylan
Semillas de libro (Seed Book), 2012 (detail)

Art Made from Books was edited by Laura Heyenga and begins with an interesting preface by artist Brian Dettmer, followed by Alyson Kuhn's introduction of the artists and a history of the altered book, a relatively recent phenomenon dating back just to the 1960s. A description of each person's work precedes the images; bios of the artists are located at the end of the book. Su Blackwell, Jeremy May, Kylie Stillman, Robert The, and many more are represented here, including the mysterious Edinburgh artist who placed intriguing sculptures in libraries and cultural institutions around the city.

James Allen
Skulduggery, 2012

I suggest not rushing through Art Made from Books, but instead set aside time to savor each artist's thoughtful work. Perhaps you'll be inspired to create your own altered book.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. i find book art appealing and amazing!!!

  2. This kind of art always fascinated me, I love the work of Arian Dylan.

  3. You always find the most amazing stuff! This book and the work is shows is just stunning. Thank you for being on top of things - it must take an inordinate amount of time!

  4. Thanks everyone! Bev, it takes time, but not a huge amount - plus I enjoy doing it. :)

  5. Thanks for the great post Ann. The last one which looks like a comic book page looks absolutely brilliant.

  6. My first gut instinct is a gasp of "how could they do that to a book?" until the next second when I realize I am appreciating the book in a whole new way and loving it. Thanks for a great review Ann.

  7. Uff Da - that James Allen is AMAZING! I only wish my brain worked like that!!!

  8. I hadn't heard about this book yet - it looks amazing! Thanks for the recommend. xoxo


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