Art carved out of books

Kylie Stillman carves beautiful art out of thick books and tall piles of same. I love this effect -- it would be insanely awesome to typeset a series of books to accommodate this kind of cutting, and then sell them one at a time, requiring the whole set to realize the effect.

Kylie Stillman (via Neatorama)


  1. So long as the books can still be read and enjoyed (unlike that bedside light project of a few days ago), then I’m all for it!

    1. Anon #3, there’s nothing bad or unusual about destroying a book. Millions of books are pulped every year as a natural part of the publishing process. (I myself brought about 600 pounds of books up from storage last week so they could be taken to the shredder.) Most books are mass-produced and easily replicable; destroying a few to create art or craft is a positive act, not a negative one.

  2. Re selling books with edge carvings so the whole set is required to see it; I seem to recall more than one encyclopedia set that did this with fore-edge painting; when the books were in order, from the fore-edge view, they would align to form a picture. I seem to recall one that was a 60s-ish abstract swirl, but the lining up between volumes was very clear.

    1. I’m pretty sure the encyclopedia you remember with the picture on the spine was either the World Book or the Encyclopedia Britanica but that it was from the ’70s or early ’80s. I remember them on the shelves at my school library.

  3. Seeing as 35-40% of books are turned into pulp without ever being opened (by the publishers themselves no less) this is not a loss or a crime.

    Corey’s “but one at a time” reminds me of various VHS sets in decades past. The Star Trek movies spring to mind. When you got them all (Well, up to V or whatever was out at the time) the spines made a big Enterprise on your movie shelf.

  4. Was gonna post “in b4 obligatory WAHHH BOOKS ARE SACRED URGH IT MAKES ME FEEL SICK TO SEE PEOPLE DESTROY THEM IN THE NAME OF “ART” ;_;” but of course I was too late.

  5. What the complainers (singular in this case) are at here is requiring everyone to adopt uniform metaphors for each class of objects. That is truly weird and what I was talking about when I said there is a sub-group of Boing Boing commenters who are a whack bunch of dudes.

    Destroying a book is a minor thing unless you are required to view it as a proxy for the entire class. Most of us realize the particular instantiation in front of us at the moment does not actually ‘represent’ anything but may be modified to elicit any variety of metaphor in the hands of the cooperative duo of artist and viewer.

    I want to come up with a name for this group of BB commenters. Haven’t yet. How about The Steel Trap Group? This would reflect both their own view of themselves as having superior brain power and my view that they are not so much smart as cruel, grasping and predictably over-reactive to stimulus.

    I will continue this diatribe along the way.

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