British Artist Transforms Vintage Books Into Jewelry

Jeremy May
Jeremy May / Jeremy May

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.