Altered books: Stag close up

Photos courtesy of Isobelle Ouzman

From mind-bending 3-D sculptures to meticulous quilling work, the possibilities of paper art are endless.

For Seattle-based artist Isobelle Ouzman, her love of paper art manifests in her positively beautiful "Altered Books," a project in which she tries to give otherwise neglected books a new life as one-of-a-kind art pieces.

Altered books: Stag detail

To create her exquisite book sculptures, Ouzman carves and shapes the pages of books using an X-Acto knife and glue. She then goes back and draws each unique scene using Micron pens and watercolor.

At the end of the process, only a few words of the original text can be discerned — a thoughtful nod to the sculpture's literary origins. In the case of the commissioned work below, we see Winnie-the-Pooh walking through the forest with Christopher Robin.

Altered books: Winnie the Pooh

For those who might cringe at the thought of a perfectly good book being carved up, Ouzman is quick to explain that she loves books and would never carve one that was valuable.

"Every book that I alter [is] found by a dumpster in Seattle, a recycling bin, a thrift store or was given to me by someone who no longer wants it," Ouzman writes on her website. "Rather than have these discarded books sit out in the rain or in some store to gather dust, I'm striving to make good use of them."

Continue below for more examples of Ouzman's work, and if you want to see more amazing paper art, check out Alex Arnold's crystallized book sculptures and Wolfram Kampffmeyer's charming 3-D paper animals.

Altered books: Dragonfly

Altered books: Hummingbird

Altered books: Women

Altered books: Forest daisies

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Neglected books upcycled into imaginative works of art
Seattle-based artist Isobelle Ouzman proves the possibilities with paper art are endless.