By Joe McFarlane
A clever bookworm has transformed her favourite reads into works of art – by illustrating the pages.
Marie Andrews, from Oxford, spend hours snipping and folding the pages of her favourite reads so they are transformed into beautiful illustrations of their content.
From the Wizard of Oz, which features a stunning silhouette of Dorothy and her friends, to a copy of the front page of To Kill A Mockingbird – the results are simply stunning.
Marie said: “I first came across folded book art about five years ago when I was looking for gifts for my English teacher as a thank you present.
“At the time, I made a very simple one with just her name on, which just involved folding, after watching a tutorial on how to do make one on Youtube.
“I really like reading, so I found that I was accumulating lots of books quite quickly, including being sent advanced copies by publishers, so it also became a way to make art using the books that would have been thrown away – essentially giving them a new lease of life and recycling them!
“As time has gone on, I’ve managed to progress to more difficult ideas which includes making small cuts into the books to make pictures with finer details.
“I am now able to turn any picture and fold it onto a book, which I’m really pleased with.”
“The process first involves taking a picture and converting it solely into black and white – no grey scale – with the black parts, or shadows of the photo being what will be folded in, and the white parts, or highlights, remaining folded out.
“When I first started, it would involve dividing the picture vertically into how many pages of the book there was manually online, but thankfully there’s now lots of software you can buy which does this for you and makes my job a little easier.
“This will generate measurements based on where the shadow and highlight are. It’s then just a process of marking these measurements onto each page of the book, cutting along these lines, and folding in every other tab to create the picture, before sticking down any small or fiddly tabs that pop up, as well as adding any colours or decorations that you wish. I
“t’s definitely a lengthy process and requires a lot of patience! It hugely varies on how long the process takes – it depends on things like how complex the pattern is and how many pages the book has.
“The Hamilton book is fairly simple to do and I could finish the whole process in about 3 to 4 hours, as that only has one or two folds per page. The one that took the longest is definitely the To Kill A Mockingbird book as that sometimes had 50 measurements per page and took about 3 full days.
“On average though, they probably take me 10 hours per folded book – I don’t like to time myself too much as it can become a little off-putting!
“I find it a nerve-wracking process, as they don’t always come out as you imagine, although as you do more book folds, it becomes a lot easier to work out what does and doesn’t work.
“It’s always a sense of relief and I’m always amazed what a pencil and some scissors can make. My bookshelf is pretty full of ones I’ve made, so I like to give them as gifts, especially watching other people’s reactions if they haven’t seen anything like that before.”