This week’s Hot Home Products column is about the role books play in décor, and includes a great interview with Lisa Occhipinti, who turns neglected old books into beautiful objets. Occhipinti manipulates pages and covers in a number of ways, including burning the edges of book pages.
“It makes brilliant black edge, an amorphous shape that you could not draw — it’s so elegant,” says Occhipinti, whose smaller works are available on Etsy.
If you’re nimble of hand, you can recreate some of her designs, because she’s also written The Repurposed Library ($30 list price, available from Chapters), which includes 33 projects designed by Occhipinti and other artists and crafters — with detailed instructions for making everything from a chandelier to a hanging book mobile.
Just don’t assume that Occhipinti’s work reflects a lack of respect for the text. She’s a life-long book lover who despairs over the declining role books play in many lives. “I feel like people don’t read entire books anymore – people read blogs and tweets. But when you get involved in a book you slow down time and create a quiet time to contemplate yourself and the world. My work is partly a motif for that. I get a lot of feedback from people who say my books give them a break from the cyber/virtual/digital noise.”
If you love old books, and old book stores, you MUST check out the website Biblio-Files. Going there if like a mini vacation for me. And if you’re looking for an old or obscure title, check out the wonderful ABE Books. Don’t leave the site without visiting the Weird Book room. Because in a way, weird books are what make the world go round.