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Norwich-Based Artist Luciana Frigerio Creates Magic by Folding a Page

Feb 08, 2016 03:36PM ● By Gabrielle Varela
In this age of the iPad and the Kindle, books are making a comeback—reinvented. There are great books, and then there are great stories. Luciana Frigerio makes both. The Norwich-based artist quit her day job to become a full-time artist in 2012, making folded-book sculptures—books with the pages folded into meaningful symbols and words such as “laugh” and “dream.” Her sculptures range from the romantic to the playful and the geometric, with colorful flowers or animals and pages so precisely creased they almost look woven.

“I’ll do whatever people request. If I don’t know how to yet, I’ll just figure it out,” she says. Self-taught, Luciana saw a man folding books while traveling in 2012 and built her business from there. Within a few months, she had learned to neatly design words in Helvetica and Times New Roman, opened her Etsy shop, quit her day job, and began selling her art everywhere, from New York to Switzerland.

Loading up a car full of books, she can fold while she travels. One of her books will become the subject for a photo series, “Folded Heart in Italy.” Luciana has always been a self-starter, accomplishing a successful background of unconventional, creative jobs including photo stylist, animator, body-art tattoo artist, researcher, and others.

Luciana folds about 150 books a week; how long each one takes depends upon the intricacy and difficulty of the design. With the recent return of the Star Wars epic, there is even a Yoda design now available. She designs and folds each piece individually, taking cover design and content into consideration. “I did this one for a magician out of a Harry Potter book, and I got it so that the free pages on each side displayed the word ‘magic.’ If I can figure out something to tie it all in, I will,” she says,

Whether it is a favorite lyric, words of inspiration, a prom invitation, or a wedding proposal, Luciana’s sculptures are on the rise for collectors, sentimentalists, and crafters. In 2014, she collaborated with Reader’s Digest Publishing on a “Fold Your Own” book with page guides for folding and peek-a-boo inspirational quotes.

One of her most cherished stories is about a man who used Luciana’s books to display his marriage proposal to his future wife on a shelf at a local bookstore. This is how Luciana helps people write their own stories. “I'm helping people make their moments, and it’s great to be a part of that."

Follow Luciana on her blog to see her latest designs and adventures, or visit her Etsy shop.

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