If there’s one thing you’ll find in our libraries it’s paper, tonnes of the stuff. But take a look at the beautiful paper sculptures below and you’ll realise there’s more to this versatile medium than you think.
Edinburgh’s mysterious paper artist
On 2 March 2011 a paper sculpture of a tree (how ironic!) was left on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library. That was the first of 11 sculptures anonymously left at museums, libraries and bookshops in Edinburgh. Most had a note attached and included the words, ‘A gift in support of libraries, books, works, ideas…’ The sculptures captured imaginations across the world, and even went on tour in libraries across Scotland last year. The artist remains unknown to this day!
Brian Dettmer’s carved books
One day Brian decided to cut into a book with a craft knife…please don’t do this to our library books! But please do enjoy the stunning designs he has created by carving into the pages of old books to reveal new relationships between illustrations and text.
A book sculpture by Brian Dettmer
Eric Standley’s multi-layered paper sculptures
Eric Standley uses a laser to cut intricate designs into pieces of card which he then layers to create stunning works of art. The piece below is from his ‘Either/Or Decreed’ collection and measures 18 inches square. We think this one looks like a stained glass window, overgrown with a mass of spindly roots.
Close up detail of sculpture
Laser cut sculpture by Eric Standley
Michael Hansmeyer’s paper columns
Zurich-based artist Michael Hansmeyer is a ‘computational architect’ who produces incredibly complex columns from 1mm thick card cut to precision by lasers. He builds up the detailed columns in layers – the example below has around 15 million facets on its surface. Incredible.
Paper column by Michael Hansmeyer
Ingrid Siliakus’ pop-up cityscapes
Dutch artist Ingrid Siliakus makes 3D cities from single sheets of paper. Her designs are so detailed that they include balconies, windows and even people. They’re based around a 90 degree fold, just like traditional pop-up books.
Night and day pop-up cityscape
Take a look in the art and crafts books at your local library for ideas. For starters, try our books on origami!
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