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My Other Life: Caroline Garcia, Folded Book Artist

by Judy Lessin | February 8, 2016
Caroline Garcia

Caroline Garcia

As crafts go, folding books isn’t one of your better known pastimes. But for Cobb, Calif.-based nail tech Caroline Garcia, creating folded book art is a passion that borders on obsession. “I first learned about folded book art on Facebook. I spotted a “nails” book, and when I discovered how much it would cost to ship it, I scoured the Internet to figure out how to make one myself,” says Garcia. “I found several groups on Facebook, and the members were very kind and helpful about getting me started. I purchased a few patterns to try it out, and I instantly fell in love with the craft.”

Book folding enthusiasts can buy patterns on Etsy or use a computer program to make their own patterns, as Garcia now does. “Once I have my pattern, I take my ruler, and mark each page on two different centimeter marks, where the pattern tells me to. There is a ‘top fold’ and a ‘bottom fold.’ Then I fold the top and bottom corners at a 90º angle on those marks,” she explains. “At first, it doesn’t look like much, but after several folds, you see the image or the word take shape. I have done ballet slippers, names, special dates, a cat, the Om symbol, and many others.”

Garcia describes the work as tedious, but “very Zen” at the same time. “It requires a lot of precision and patience,” she says. “I use Photoshop to create a design, then the computer program converts it into a pattern using an algorithm. Making my own pattern takes a minimum of an hour. The creativity comes in when decorating the book. I have used wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, ribbons, and buttons to cover the outside of the book.” The only downside, she says, is the neck ache that can come from working too intensively.  “I started this craft just over a year ago, and I tell you, it’s addictive! I’ve made more than 20 books so far, and I don’t see an end in sight.”

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