Posts Tagged ‘book’


I found this image via one of my new favorite websites: bookshelfporn.  I believe I’ve mentioned how much I love books?  This site is exactly what it promises to be – lots of photos of bookshelves in all their booky glory.  I would love to know who did this particular image though. Internet? Help me out?

[via bookshelfporn]


Book excavations

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of books and book art.

This is the work of Brian Dettmer.  I’ve seen his work around without actually knowing who was doing it.  I love the idea of taking old books and finding something new in them.

From the artist statement on his website:

When an object’s intended function is fleeting the necessity for a new approach to its form and content arises. By altering preexisting materials and shifting functions, new and unexpected roles of old materials emerge. This is the area I currently operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect a communicative object or system such as books, maps, tapes and other media. The medium’s role expands. Its content becomes recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge.

Explanation of Book Dissections

In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and other surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each page while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory. The completed pieces expose new relationships of a book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.

I’ve done some work with altered books, but I can only imagine the amount of time and patience it must have taken to work on these.

This last one I found on his flickr stream which I highly recommend you all go check out right now.  He seems to have done an excellent job posting a lot of his most recent work there.  What caught me first about this piece was the title: Do it, Complete Yourself Man (2010)

and here is a detail from same work:

For more on Brian and his work, you can check out his wikipedia page.

Ikea Cookbook

I found this a while ago and just forgot to post about it.  I love love love how the ingredients in this Swedish Ikea Cookbook Hembakat är Bäst (Homemade is Best) are laid out.

These are the ingredients for Gingerbread people!

Here are a few more.

This becomes Vanilla Horns:

This becomes Almond Tarts:

Here are a few more of just ingredients (they just look so cool!!):

Photos by Carl Kleiner (who you should really go check out! I didn’t know his work before these images, but he has done some really cool things!)

Styled by Evelina Bratell.

[via craft]

Secret Stash Objects

For Father’s Day this year, my dad announced he wanted a Kindle.  Now, this is actually a bit unusual for him.  Usually he asks for things like “more time with you kids” or “my car needs vacuuming.”  So to have him actually want something specific was remarkable.  Which also meant, of course he was going to get it.  We all chipped in for it, but we still felt like he should have a few more things to unwrap.  My brother got him a really nice leather case for it.  And I got him a book.

Stash book closed

It may seem an odd choice. But my dad has worked for insurance companies all of his professional life. He was a little surprised to see this after he’d asked for a Kindle (even made a half hearted “Wow, this is, really, uh, nice”), but then he opened the book past the first few pages and realized what it was:

Stash book open

And then he just laughed. Mostly with relief that we hadn’t bought him some clunky insurance book for Father’s Day.  It’s a Kindle disguise!  This way he can take the Kindle with him to work and make it look like he is reading something official and important while devouring the latest mystery or thriller of his choice.  I’d meant to take more in production shots of it while I was working on it, but I forgot until I was nearly done.  The process is remarkably simple.  To find some directions, I just googled “hollow book” and got lots and lots of choices.  I mostly followed these directions with a few modifications:

1.  I used PVA instead of Elmers glue.  It is acid free and intended for use with paper and books.  I still mixed it 50/50 with water.  And a small amount was plenty.

2. After gluing all the edges, insert a piece of waxed paper between the glued pages and the rest of the book.  This will keep the whole thing from sticking together while it dries and avoids the use of spacers.  Also, because the book is pressed truly flat as it dries, there is little to no warping of the pages.  I left mine glued for about an hour before I went back to it.

3. I also used a big blade and not a little exacto knife for the cutting. However, I used a proper box cutter (you can see part of it in the photo above) and not one of  those with the break away blades.  Those just aren’t sturdy enough in my opinion.  Also, I didn’t glue another page onto the top of my stack.  I just erased the marks I’d left and it looked fine.

As a further present, I’d tucked an giftcard inside so he could buy some actual ebooks to go on his Kindle.  He seemed quite pleased with the whole thing.  And the Kindle fit!  Well, mostly. I’d gotten the specs for it off the website and left a little room to be generous.  And it was just right as far as length and width.  I did have to make it a little deeper (the Kindle is fatter in person), but that was an easy fix.

I knew today was the day to blog about this when I was reading my boingboing feed this morning.  They posted about  Yiting Cheng’s “Secret Stash” project.  As they said, it’s “a series of everyday objects modified to include clever little hiding places”:

Brilliant!  This takes the idea of hiding in plain sight to a whole new level.  There is an awesome little video about the work here.

[via boingboing]