Biblio-Maker Spaces: Books as Objects of, and Inspiration for, Art | Wyatt’s World

Green screens and deluxe printers seem to get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to libraries and creativity, which is a pity as those tools are a bit late to the game. Books, as both objects and resources, have been offering inspiration for some time now. Here are five titles that make that point.


  • Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed ed. by Laura Heyenga with Brian Dettmer & Alyson Kuhn (Chronicle).
    The printed page offers more than stories and information; it also offers the material of art, as the 27 artists featured here prove. From installations to wearable objects, the range of works is as impressive as the techniques used to create them.
  • The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide by Laura Damon-Moore & Erinn Batykefer (Coffee House).
    Forget 3-D printers, what about listening to the Dewey “frequencies” of books? That idea is just one of the many highlighted in this groundbreaking investigation of the intersection of libraries and creativity. While you wait for the book to be published in May, visit the Library as Incubator Project website behind it all. [Pssst. It’s a secret, but the authors have been chosen LJ 2014 Movers & Shakers for their work with LaIP.]
  • The Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life by Lisa Occhipinti (Stewart, Tabori & Chang).
    Enjoy being wowed? Curious of what to try yourself? Then turn to Occhipinti’s workbook of 33 projects suitable for many skill levels, from book-bookshelves to ornaments to vases to mobiles.
  • BiblioCraft by Jessica Pigza (Melanie Falick: STC Craft).
    A treasure trove of information and designs, Pigza’s book guides readers through the resources of libraries and then suggests 20 projects (some shared by other makers) to try for themselves. While not only focused on printed volumes, Pigza makes the point that collections inspire and can lead to such creations as antiquarian animal votive holders. The author is also the New York Public Library (NYPL) reference librarian guide in the very wonderful online-only miniseries Design by the Book. Check out episodes one, two, three, and four here.
  • Adventures in Bookbinding: Handcrafting Mixed-Media Books by Jeannine Stein (Quarry: Quayside).
    Making a codex from hand is an abiding pleasure, and there is no need to keep the stitches hidden behind the spine. Stein shows how to sew a book and create fabulous objects. She offers projects suitable to those starting out as well as a gallery of examples to encourage further explorations.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at