Carving A Reputation

Christine Carver has forged a reputation for her intricate book folds that she has sent all over the world

Lancashire-born teaching assistant Christine Carver has always loved books – so when she was going through a personal crisis six years ago, books became her saviour.

“I was suffering from PTSD and I needed to do something to take my mind elsewhere,” she recalls.

“Someone had taught my step mum how to make a hedgehog by book folding so she taught me how to do it. It took me about a month to make the hedgehog – now it would take me around 15 minutes!”

Finding book folding totally therapeutic, Christine decided to do some research and after gaining much-needed confidence, began to book fold miniature houses and hearts and showcased them at a school summer fair: “They were really popular, so I decided to push myself and researched book folding online.

“People had started to ask me to make bespoke book folds for them, but I needed to have software that would allow me to make individual patterns, and as a gift, a friend bought me the software,” adds Christine, who has since gone on to make wonderfully detailed book folds under her aptly named Carve My Pages name.

Her books can now be found all over the world – she sent a Robbie Williams book fold to Canada, recalling: “The lady I did the Robbie Williams book fold for basically had everything. She was very wealthy and her sister wanted something unique as a gift for her. She was a big Robbie Williams fan, so it was perfect!”

Christine has also sent a book fold of a Blackburn Rovers badge to New Zealand and one to Bali. Other requests have included children’s faces: “The software I use enables me to design a pattern just for one individual. The more I do, the more intricate they get and I have now been doing them for four years – they have also been sent all over the UK.”

When Christine is commissioned to do a specific book fold, she carefully chooses a book in mint condition with at least four or five hundred pages.

“I may get them from charity shops or whoever commissions the book fold can select a book that’s relevant to them.

“For example, I was asked to fold an angel from a novel by Lorna Byrne called Angels In My Hair, which was lovely. I folded a David Bowie face in a book about him and a Manchester United badge in a book about Alex Ferguson. It’s always nice when the book is relevant, but it doesn’t have to be.

“As long as there are between four hundred and a thousand pages and the book is in good condition it doesn’t matter,” adds Christine, who marks up, scores and folds each individual page.

“It can take forever! But it has to be very precise. The marks on the pages, based on the pattern, are sometimes just millimetres apart. It’s because it has to be so accurate that I love it!”

Christine now exhibits her work at craft fairs throughout the region and showcases a lot of her book folds on Facebook: “People seem to love them. I have always really valued books. As a teaching assistant I work with books everyday – for me throwing a book away is a sin! I think it’s an awful shame that people now read from Kindles.

“To throw a book away is such a shame when I can make something so beautiful out of them,” says Christine, who is getting busier by the day with new commissions.

“I love to make something really personal for someone – it’s an absolute pleasure and an honour. It also goes to show that out of trauma can come something good and very positive. I have been very lucky to find something so therapeutic.”

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Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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