Monthly Archives: June 2010

American Library Association Convention in DC

This weekend was the American Library Association convention in Washington, D.C. It seems to get bigger every year! My Pocket Paper Engineer books were represented at the Independent Publisher’s Book Association booth, and I spent yesterday passing out pop-ups and press materials to the crowd. Today culminated in the annual library cart drill teams competition. The winning team was dressed in skeleton costumes and did a fantastic routine to the music “Danse Macabre,”  complete with carts dressed as tombstones.

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Paper Engineering exhibit opens at the Smithsonian Institution

I was in pop-up heaven last night at the opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s new exhibit “Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn.”  The show is a little gem, tracing the history of the paper-engineered book from its origins in scientific astronomy texts through current pop-up volumes of fantastic complexity. Curated by Stephen Van Dyk of New York’s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum Library, the exhibition is beautifully installed and emphasizes the mechanical aspects of the pop-ups on display. It will be up until October, 2011, in the National Museum of American History.

Of course, the fun of being at the opening was to see many friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate this special pop-up occasion. Illustrator Chuck Fischer was there (in person), and will continue to be a virtual presence in the exhibit through a video installation showing him and paper engineer Bruce Foster at work. Pop-up lady Ellen Rubin traveled from New York to attend. (Both she and Ann Montanaro of the Movable Book Society assisted in formulating the show.) And I was able to catch up with all my librarian friends Nancy Gwinn, Susan Frampton, Jackie Colburn, and Diane Shaw.

Colorado Academy High Schoolers try Paper Engineering

Last week I taught a paper engineering workshop for a group a high school students at the Colorado Academy in Lakewood, Colorado, on the outskirts of Denver. Many found the work challenging, but the students met the challenge on the last day when they combined several pop-up forms to create their own pages, incorporating their drawings and collages into the pieces. Thanks to Richard Kelly for inviting me to work with this great group of kids.

I also had the chance to see Denver’s botoanical gardens with a current installation of Henry Moore sculptures, the Denver Art Museum, and the fabulous Kirkland Museum with its collection of 20th-century furniture, paintings and furnishings. After shopping at Denver’s EVOO Marketplace (which sells olive oil and balsamic vinegar exclusively) and at the Savory Spice store, I packed my bags with some delectable flavors to enjoy on my return to Washington, DC.