Making Fairytales from Books


Many of us find books magical, but artist Su Blackwell has discovered a way to bring that enchantment to life. Blackwell is a UK based artist who creates landscapes, scenes, and sculptures from second hand books. (Though she does promise that she always reads the books before using them to make her creations!) Many of the images here come from her series “Dwelling”, which is inspired by folk stories and includes illuminated aspects.

Su Blackwell Once Upon a Time.PNG

Blackwell describes her art by saying,

su-blackwell-the-toothfairy“I often work within the realm of fairy-tales and folk-lore. I began making a series of book-sculpture, cutting-out images from old books to create three-dimensional diorama’s, and displaying them inside wooden boxes”.

“For the cut-out illustrations, I tend to lean towards young-girl characters, placing them in haunting, fragile settings, expressing the vulnerability of childhood, while also conveying a sense of childhood anxiety and wonder. There is a quiet melancholy in the work, depicted in the material used, and choice of subtle colour.”

I think she succeeds in capturing that mixture of tension and beauty that fills books. If you find Blackwell’s art intriguing, I encourage you to visit her website at She has some lovely works, and exploring them is a treat! (They also vaguely remind me of making book dioramas as a child. Did anyone else have to do that? Mine never turned out quite right, but seeing Blackwell’s designs more than makes up for my artistic lacking.)

Su Blackwell The Raven.PNG

Su Blackwell The Last Unicorn.PNG

Su Blackwell The Snow Goose.PNG

Image Attribution: All images created by Su Blackwell and taken from


29 thoughts on “Making Fairytales from Books

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