Seattle-based artist Isobelle Ouzman carves intricate 3D illustrations into discarded books found in dumpsters, recycling bins, and local thrift shops. According to Ouzman, it was her love of reading that inspired her to embark on her project, adding that it’s her way of making them “mean something once more.”
“Every book that I alter was found by a dumpster in Seattle, a recycling bin, a thrift store, or was given to me by someone who no longer wants it. Rather than have these discarded books sit out in the rain or in some store to gather dust, I’m striving to make good use of them. I love books very much and would never carve into one that was valuable. I just want to give them a new life and a second chance to mean something again.”
Isabel Ouzman actually transforms discarded books into handheld dreamscapes, using an x-acto knife, plenty of glue, pens, and watercolors. Opening and peering into these altered books feels like a wonderful visual reminder that reading a really good book is like entering another world.
And, by the way, each book can take between two and three months to complete.
To purchase one of her book sculptures or request a personal commission, visit Isobelle Ouzman’s Etsy shop.