Maker Series: Jedidiah Fleming / Book Carving | OLFA - CraftOLFA – Craft

Maker Series: Jedidiah Fleming / Book Carving

In a couple of sentences, tell us about yourself:

I am Jedidiah Fleming from Sparta, TN. I began my artistic explorations briefly with mosaic tile, but have been working with books and paper as my medium for 3+ years.

What is your craft / business?

I take books, (almost always damaged, outdated, overproduced, or saved from being thrown away) and with an art knife, I re-purpose them into dioramic sculptures that can be hung on a wall or placed on a shelf.


What are you most well-known for, or what do you consider your area of expertise?

I believe there are three things that stand out about my work. The cleanness of the cuts, the depth of the cuts into the book, and the thought-provoking mixture of imagery and words.

Who or what inspired you to get into the type of work you do (how did you get started)?

I was immediately captivated and inspired by the works of Brian Dettmer and Alex Queral. I loved what they did with books as a medium to such a degree that I had to give it a try. From there, I spent much time researching book carving on the internet, as well as gathering tools to begin experimenting. After my first book, I couldn’t stop practicing. I was hooked on book art.


How do you describe or categorize yourself?

Dad, husband, maker, reader, artist, thinker.


From where, or whom, do you draw inspiration?

Sometimes I begin a project with a clear idea of what I want it to look like finished, just drawing from ideas I get in my mind that I think might merge well with the book/paper medium. Other times, I will begin carving into a book without purpose, and the words and imagery I find along the way will influence me and develop into a theme.


What are the OLFA tools that you use for your craft?

The smaller art knife (AK-1), the cushion-grip art knife (AK-4), and my older OLFA L-2 utility knife with snap-off blades. These are all valued items in my toolkit.


What is your favorite OLFA tool and why?

I love all of my OLFA tools! My favorite is the AK-4 cushion-grip art knife. It’s a heavier art knife than knives I had tested before, and that is a feature I really love about it. The weight of it in my hand makes me feel like it was tailor-made. Also, its design seems to enable a slightly deeper reach than other knives. This is my everyday knife, and if I ever lost it, I would have to immediately go purchase another.


When do you do your most creative work? 

My most creative time to work is whenever I have time to create!  😀

What is your favorite project or piece of work you are most proud of? 

“Star Formation” I love the feeling that it is alive.


What other hobbies do you enjoy?

Reading, music, nature, brainstorming, hanging with my family.


What do you do when you need to take a break from what you typically do?

Art is what I do to take a break from my normal routine of being a full-time dad. And within art, I like to explore freely with paper. Also, in addition to using books as an artistic medium, I also enjoy reading them as a relaxing activity.

Where do you search for inspiration?

In books! Books are full of potential inspiration waiting to be found. I almost always flip through a book at least once before beginning to work on it.



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