CLOSE

British Artist Transforms Vintage Books Into Jewelry

There are a few things you can do with books, besides read them. For instance, an older text can make an excellent art medium. British artist Jeremy May takes full advantage of this concept by creating unique pieces of jewelry from laminated pages of vintage books, as Colossal reports.

May was first inspired to create the unusual designs while planning for his first anniversary (also known as the "paper anniversary") with his wife. For her gift, he crafted a ring from paper from one of his wife's favorite books.

"My motivation I think is to create beautiful things," May told German broadcaster DW. "I think that's my driving passion—that I want to create a new object every time. I'm not interested in making 10 pieces that all look exactly the same."

May's process is as intricate as his creations are. After picking up books in thrift stores and flea markets, May reads each one and chooses a story that resonates with him, he explained to DW. Then, the artist creates a stencil and begins to manually cut out pages with a scalpel. Once the pieces are cut out (it takes about 90 minutes to get through 50 pages), he adds colored paper to complement the book paper. The pieces are glued together before getting several coats of high gloss finish. The finished product, which resembles a wood-like material, is then put back into the book it came from as a protective box. May makes about 100 pieces a year, and they run for about 400 euros each.

May's jewelry will be on display until April 24 as part of “Read and Worn: Jewelry From Books,” an exhibit at the RR Gallery in New York City.

[h/t Colossal]

All images courtesy of Jeremy May.

Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books
arrow
Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books
Original image
Ikea
arrow
Design
How IKEA Turned the Poäng Chair Into a Classic
Original image
Ikea

IKEA's Poäng chair looks as modern today as it did when it debuted in 1976. The U-shaped lounger has clean lines and a simple structure, and often evokes comparisons to Finnish designer Aalto’s famous “armchair 406.” Its design, however, is ultimately a true fusion of East and West, according to Co.Design.

In 2016, the Poäng celebrated its 40th birthday, and IKEA USA commemorated the occasion (and the 30 million-plus Poäng chairs they’ve sold over the years) by releasing two short videos about the armchair’s history and underlying design philosophy. Together, they tell the story of a fateful collaboration between Lars Engman, a young IKEA designer, and his co-worker, Noboru Nakamura.

Nakamura had initially come to IKEA to learn more about Scandinavian furniture. But the Japanese designer ended up imbuing the Poäng—which was initially called Poem—with his own distinct philosophy. He wanted to create a chair that swung “in an elegant way, which triggered me to imagine Poäng,” Nakamura recalled in a video interview. “That’s how I came up with a rocking chair.”

“A chair shouldn’t be a tool that binds and holds the sitter,” Nakamura explained. “It should rather be a tool that provides us with an emotional richness and creates an image where we let go of stress or frustration by swinging. Such movement in itself has meaning and value.”

Save for upholstery swaps, a 1992 name change, and a new-ish all-wooden frame that's easily flat-packed, the modern-day Poäng is still essentially the same product that customers have purchased and enjoyed for decades. Devotees of the chair can hear the full story by watching IKEA’s videos below—ideally, while swinging away at their desks.

[h/t Co. Design]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios