The Mind-Blowing Book Carvings of Alexander Korzer Robinson

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Bristol-based Alexander Korzer Robinson creates incredible works of art by carving discarded encyclopedias and literally exposing their inner beauty. Book carving is one of the fastest growing art forms of the moment, and artists like Alexander Korzer Robinson, Brian Dettmer and Guy Laramee are leading the movement.

Korzer Robinson carefully cuts into the pages of old encyclopedias, exposing a part of its illustrations, while removing others, to create narrative scenes that are truly unique. While the images seem like they’re somehow suspended in a series of layers inside the book sculptures, they are actually left in their original place. It’s the artist’s technique that makes it look like they were placed there by hand. As you can probably guess by looking at the artworks below, book carving is a delicate and time-consuming process, but the end results are absolutely mind-blowing.

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Incredible Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee

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Can’t find any use for those thick books lying around your house? Carve landscapes out of them! At least, that’s what Guy Laramee has been doing for some time now.

An interdisciplinary artist who has been practicing for 30 years now, Laramee has done several things in his lifetime, from stage writing to contemporary music, painting painting and literature. But the work he became most famous for is book sculpture. Rocky mountain ranges, bodies of water, islands and hidden caves, you name it,  he can bring it to life out of a book, in 3D. For instance, from a set of English and Chinese hardcover encyclopedias, he has created two series of stunning landscapes, named The Great Wall and Biblios.

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The Book Stack Sculptures of Kylie Stillman

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Although relatively new, book carving has become on of the most popular art forms of our time, with masterpieces of acclaimed artist like Brian Dettmer or Long Bin-Chen exhibited in galleries around the world. Kylie Stillman cuts new life into old, outdated books, by sculpting them as slabs of stone and turning them and giving them a second chance as veritable works of art.

Using a scalpel, Stillman cuts right into the stack of books, creating beautiful inverted reliefs of trees and the birds that once inhabited them. Her works remind us where the paper for the books came from, by turning the thousands of pages into versions of their original tree form.

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The Book Autopsies of Brian Dettmer

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Brian Dettmer, also known as “The Book Surgeon” uses knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve old dictionaries and encyclopedias into incredible works of art.

Born in 1974, in Chicago, Brian Dettmer studied art at Colombia College, where he focused mainly on painting. During his time working in a signage store, the artist started exploring the relationship between codes, text, language and art. He began producing paintings based on sign language, Braille and Morse Code, then moved on to layered works that involved pasting newspaper and book pages to a canvas, and it was just a matter of time before he would discover the talent he is now renowned for – expert book carving.

The Book Surgeon takes outdated books, dictionaries and encyclopedias that would otherwise end up at a landfill somewhere, and gives them new meaning and the chance at a second life, by carving them into intricate artworks. “Their intended role has decreased or deceased and they often exist simply as symbols of the ideas they represent rather than true conveyors of content. When an object’s intended function is fleeting, the necessity for a new approach to its form and content arises.” Dattmer says, explaining the philosophy behind his work.

Reference works are Brian’s favorite material, because of the rich illustrated content, but regardless of what he works with, he never inserts any new material or move the content of the book around just to make it more interesting. Using his trusty precision tools, he cuts out unwanted content stabilizing what’s left with layers of varnish. In the beginning, Brian Dettemer focused on carving one book at a time, but in recent years his art has become even more ambitious, as he began using sets of books to create the images he desires.

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The Mind-Blowing Book Carvings of Long Bin-Chen

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You’ve probably seen book carvings before, but Long Bin-Chen’s works are definitely in a league of their own.

Taiwanese artist Long Bin-Chen uses discarded old books to create incredibly detailed sculptures that look like they’re made of marble or wood. Although all his artworks are made out of several books, he carves them all in such a manner that they fit together in a seamless manner. While he could use any books he gets his hands on, Long Bin-Chen only uses those that are relevant to his sculptures. For example, for one of his Buddha heads, he used New York telephone books. This way, the head will represent a caring Buddha from the East who came to take care of the west.

Bought from trash collectors or collected directly from the streets, the books and magazines are first carved with a band or chain saw and then with a dental sander, for finer details.

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The Intricate Book Carvings of Julia Feld

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Using various carving tools, mixed media artist Julia Feld breathes new life into old, useless books by transforming them into beautiful artworks.

A scientist by trade, Julia Feld has always enjoyed the visual elements of science and started carving old books to draw attention to their beauty rather than their outdated content. While most people aren’t interested in the information these books contain, anymore, Julia tries to give them a second chance to be valuable. Making great use of exacto knives, rotary cutters, tweezers, rulers, pliers, files, custom cut panes of glass, and lots of glue, the artist creates incredible carvings that leave you wondering “how did she do it”?

While some people accuse her of ruining vintage books, Julia Feld insists she is actually a book lover, and would never dream of carving up a book that she believes still has valuable content. That’s why she prefers to work with reference books that are several editions out-of-date, and have been salvaged from garage sales or second-hand shops.

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