Meet Betty Pepper, saviour of discarded and damaged books.
Jill Ashton graduated in 2004 from The University of Central England with a First Class BA Hons in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Now, as Betty Pepper the artist based in the South East of England, she spends a lot of time making each unique piece of art and jewellery. Betty’s literary-inspired art is created from silver wire and fabric fragments, and any orphaned books she finds while out on a ‘rummage’. She gives life to old and ruined books once more by fashioning quirky and whimsical pieces from their pages.
Betty’s work is displayed and sold across Europe from Glasgow to Paris, with collections and commissions also available via MadeByHandOnline. The artwork can also be found at worldwide exhibitions- most recently in the UK (Suffolk, and Leeds) and Munich, Germany.
Here at Reading Addicts we have absolutely fallen in love with many of her pieces! They are so full of magic and humour that we covet one of our own, and we hope you do too. Check some of them below, but don’t forget to also visit Betty Pepper at her website, and give her a ‘Like’ on Facebook, and Instagram.
Living on the Edge V, Old Dog New Trick
Living on the Edge VII, The Christmas Circus
The Dowager’s Pearls
Madam Ravary and the Lost Rose
Ode to Roald (detail)
Living on the Edge II
Living on the Edge VI
Recommended by Betty Pepper:
Surrounded by art and science museums and galleries, Seuss’s garden is a fun, exciting, but surprisingly peaceful, place to visit Lark captured his and his character’s spirits perfectly in bronze.
Watch a tour around the gardens below!
When a book contains a map it is almost a guarantee that the story will be a great adventure! Harry Potter, Treasure Island, The Hobbit, and so many others include a map of the fictional lands involved in the plot to help the reader feel closer to the action.
In Huw Lewis-Jones’s An Atlas of Imaginary Lands includes the very map that kicked off Treasure Island, a detailed map of Moomin Valley, and The Marauders Map from the Harry Potter series, among many others.
We put together a batch of some of the best bookish art we have come across on our internet travels- most of the artists have remained elusive despite our efforts to Google reverse image search… If any of you know who any of the artists are- just let us know and we will credit!
Some people have decided that bookshelves are so last century and have been attempting some daring and kooky shelving options. Books can now be dangled, strung up, float on invisible shelves, be shoved in some foam padding, or displayed like an arty picture. Anything constitutes a shelf now: pipes, crates, a knife block- the ultimate recycling.
Check out some of the ridiculous idea below and see if you fancy adopting one of these shelving ideas!
A while ago we shared the hilariously normal take on romantic book covers by Val Derbyshire much to everyone’s amusement. Romantic fiction is very popular to this day- even classic bodice-rippers from the likes of Mills & Boon can still be seen being slipped into someone’s bag after a trip to the library.
One woman fell in love with the intense and romantic imagery many romance fiction publishers use but noticed its distinct lack of inclusion for the LGBT community and non-white folk. Most models on the covers were white and heterosexual- which is not exactly representative of the world of romance.
Elizabeth Renstrom and photographer Jason Altaan came together to reimagine the classic covers with a more diverse crowd… Check them out below!
Musicians are no strangers to the literary world and a recent project has certainly shone light on this!
About a decade ago a man called Jeff Antebi, the founder of Waxploitation, had a dream of creating a book with his favourite musicians and artists. The idea was to have rock stars, illustrators, and actors collaborate on unique stories and artwork. Now 29 of those pairings make up the kooky, absorbing, and amazing project: Stories for Ways & Means.
Musicians and artists include Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Frank Black, Laura Marling, Alison Mosshart, Dan Baldwin, Swoon, Will Barras, Ronzo, Kai & Sunny, and many more.
Featured voices appear in short promo films from the likes of the great Danny Devito, Zach Galifianakis, Nick Offerman, King Krule, and Lauren Lapkus.
The stories are available in book form straight from the website- from $40 (£30) for the hardback to an exclusive signed edition for $490 (£374). Proceeds go to various charities including Room to Read and Pencils of Promise.
Check out the video below for an exciting look at this rockstar collaboration!
Art Matters explores the importance of our literacy, imaginations and creativity, and how readers can help change the world. There are no age restrictions to creating, thinking, and reading, and the earlier we start- the better.
Below is a selection of pages from Gaiman and Riddell’s illustrated essay ‘Why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming’ taken from Art Matters.