The words on the page are no longer important. Tomoko Takeda carves them away for a new spin on classic books with her amazing book sculptures. 

My senior year of undergrad, I spent the final semester creating a book sculpture from the Harry Potter series. It was something I’d never done before, but a project I am immensely proud of. Ever since then, I have been in love with book art. Having worked with book pages myself, I know exactly how difficult it can be to attain the look you’re going for. Sometimes I look back at my own project and am astonished that I was successful. Somehow I managed to cut up seven books and not have it look like a child was let loose with safety scissors in a library; I’d call that a success. Carving paper is no easy task!

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Book Sculptures Tomoko Takeda Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland Playing Cards Mad Hatter White Rabbit Queen of Hearts Cheshire Cat Hearts Spades Diamonds Clubs

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

c/o Tomoko Takeda

There are many paper sculpture artists in the world. A quick Google search will give you names like Brian Dettmer and Guy Laramee. However, today I’m interested in an artist by the name of Tomoko Takeda.

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Tomoko Takeda is a Japanese artist who has accomplished far more than I’ve ever dreamed of… she has accurately and artistically cut into famous works of literature and created art. Takeda masterfully translates the books from words on a page to visual art with layers of intricately cut pages. You can see the stormy seas in her take on Two Years’ Vacation and the delicate petals of a flower for Flowers for Algernon.

Book Sculptures Tomoko Takeda Two Years’ Vacation by Jules Verne Ship Ocean Adventure 1888 Schoolboys Stranded

Two Years’ Vacation by Jules Verne

Book Sculptures Tomoko Takeda Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes Fiction Labratory Mouse Charlie Gordon

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

c/o Tomoko Takeda

I have a few pieces of my own project displayed on my bookshelf (next to other Harry Potter paraphernalia, of course). However, what I think I love the most about Takeda’s pieces is that many of them can be set up anywhere. For example, her Night on the Galactic Railroad (featured) and I Am a Cat (below) could easily be left out on a coffee table or end table so that all sides of the work could be viewed. As long as your home doesn't have children or pets, they would make fantastic pieces of art to show off.

Book Sculptures Tomoko Takeda I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki Comic Satire Japanese Society

I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki

c/o Tomoko Takeda

Other pieces of her artwork, like Flowers for Algernon and Two Years’ Vacation, would make great display pieces for a bookshelf or china cabinet, that way the back of the piece is not shown. But really, no matter how or where you choose to display them, book sculptures make great pieces of art!

Takeda’s work is truly stunning. Have you seen or do you own any book sculptures? I’d love to see them! Share in the comments below!

**For more of Tomoko Takeda’s art look here. The featured image is Night on the Galactic Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa. All images c/o Tomoko Takeda