13 September, 2008

Book Vases

I am a used book-fiend. I have personally visited 90% of the used-bookstores in Chicago and most of my collection is previously owned. While the rest of the nation focuses on getting people to actually read, I'm tilting at the windmills, trying to get people who buy books to find used ones first. Why print more when there is ample supply? I'm not going to get into my whole huge list of reasons why used books are cooler than corporate-sellout-newbooks, but I did stumble on some things to do with books that can't be sold or recycled (heavy glue in the bindings).

Designer Laura Cahill re-purposes used books using a bandsaw and test tubes. One minute it's a 1988 reprint of How to Use Microsoft Windows 95 and the next it's a beautiful (and waterproof!) flower vase.


"My idea of using second hand books came around after doing research into common unwanted objects. One of the most common unwanted objects that can be found at either charity shops, car boot sales and sometimes on the streets are books. I discovered that the glue in old books make them extremely difficult to recycle. Aware of this I challenged myself to turn the second hand books that I had been collecting, into desirable objects such as furniture, lighting and ornaments."


"I took a hands-on approach and started experimenting with the possibilities in which books can be used in other ways; I developed a number of delicate yet practical designs. Using traditional methods of book binding I transformed them into valued objects. My designs transform local waste, not only adding value but also creating art forms which are aesthetically pleasing."

In my effort to showcase the creative re-use of unwanted objects, I hope I've piqued your imagination. Hat Tip to boingboing and Chris Brooks.

Q: What is your most common unwanted item?


how_should_I_presume said...

You are right about winter. I know there are beautiful things about it, but I just can never quite handle the perpetual Greyness. But Robb loves winter so maybe some of his enthusiasm will rub off on me. And maybe I will stick it to the man and sneak some mulled wine anyhow.
Also, those book vases are incredible.

livethelifetoday said...

1988 reprint of How to use Microsoft Windows 95? Time warp anyone?

Oh, and I really dislike fliers. What am I supposed to do with a piece of paper telling me about an event that will pass in a week? It is like someone decided to say, "Here, could you please throw this out for me?" The same thing applies to bulletins in church. We need to figure out how to create reusable bulletins.