Dezeen Magazine

Book Vases by Laura Cahill

New Designers 08: graduate designer Laura Cahill presented vases and furniture made from unwanted books at New Designers in London earlier this year.

Cahill cuts profiles from the books using a band saw, then wraps the spines around test tubes to form waterproof vases.

She sources the books from local second hand shops. "I discovered that the glue in old books make them extremely difficult to recycle," she explains.

Cahill has also developed a lamp using the technique and a stool made by bolting books together.

Here's some text from the designer:


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.

I first made a stool called ‘Heavy Read’ by fixing a lot of old books together. Continuing with the book theme I developed a way of creating 3D forms by profiling the edge of the whole thickness of a book, so when opened, the shape follows around into a cylinder shape. I designed a range of ‘book vases’, using test tubes as the central water container, and then stretched the concept to form the upright of this floor standing lamp. In the ‘Reading Light’ I have used traditional elegant curvaceous shapes on the base of the light creating a soft and ghostly effect, which is relatively durable.