My weekend started with a jaunty private workshop at Olivia’s beautifully-appointed apartment and studio in Pikesville, Maryland. Olivia, Meg, and Paula, all artists in their own right, spent the day with me honing their paper engineering skills and creating a pile of pop-up models. Olivia provided us with a wonderful lunch, and we ended the session with a “class” portrait of their completed works.
On the agenda for the next day was the Hagerstown, Maryland, Literacy Festival where I was one of some 15 authors signing books in the public library. A group of four teens was a highlight, wearing their favorite works of fiction, singing “These Books are Made for Walking.”
Immediately after Hagerstown, I drove to the Howard County Fairgrounds where the Sheep and Wool Festival was in full swing. I managed to get there in time for the border collie sheep herding event, and my husband Henry joined me for a walk through the pens to see the sheep, buy a broom for our farmhouse porch, and purchase seeds for the garden.
This unusual combination of events made for an exciting weekend, ending with the planting of kale and beets at the farm.
My Corcoran paper engineering students have been cooking up a three-dimensional storm, with pop-up foods illustrating a recipe of their choice. Dishes represent an international fare, including Chilean causa rellena, Mexican churros, insalata di fagioli, chicken and cheese enchiladas, couscous tangine, cheese souffle and pop0vers. Then for dessert there are Nutella cookies and chocolate pudding pie. Who could resist? At the end of the semester we’ll be having a picnic with the real foods on the table.
My Sculptural Bookmaking class at the Corcoran College of Art + Design here in Washington, D.C., is in full swing, with nine students actively working on making pop-up accordion books this week. On Tuesday we covered cut-and-fold pop-up forms with extensions, along with spiral and straddle pop-ups. I also showed a slide presentation on the history of movable books. I’ll be keeping the blog up-to-date with the students’ ongoing projects.
The drive from Washington, D.C., to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, only takes about an hour and a half, a route through historic towns and farmland. I headed there this past Wednesday to teach a class on paper engineering and give an evening lecture on the history of pop-ups.
Although I am not usually an early riser, I managed to get up at 5 am and left in plenty of time to afford me a chance to grab a cup of coffee and scope out the Lowes and the local flea market in Chambersburg before the class began at the Grove Family Library.
I was delighted to find that several of my former students from Charles Town, West Virginia, had enrolled in the class, along with Dona, a new student. We had a great day making pop-ups, trying a few experiments that didn’t work (part of the design process), and creating a whole set of successful models.
In the evening I gave a lecture on the history of paper engineering to a large, enthusiastic group of Chambersburgians, members of the Chambersburg Council for the Arts. We also did a short hands-on session of pop-up construction during intermission. I had a delightful overnight stay with Jim and Anne Barton in nearby Scotland, Pennsylvania, and drove home the next day after loading up with local peaches. I’m just about ready to make the pie now. . . .
A colorful array of pop-ups filled large tables at The University of the Arts on Sunday as eight paper engineering enthusiasts created models of various structures in my class for the Philadelphia Center for the Book. Despite it being only a one-day workshop session, we managed to cover all of the most important pop-up forms, including props, floating platforms and V-folds. Participants left with stacks of cards and ideas.
In addition to teaching, I visited with my friends Patty Smith and Jude Robison, went to the Italian market and Blick Art Supply, and ended the weekend with a visual feast by seeing the new Barnes Collection Museum. Despite my early misgivings, I think they did a very nice job installing the artworks and maintaining the original feel of the collection.
My fourteen students in the pop-up class at the 2013 FOBA conference were real troopers. Forest Grove, Oregon, usually has relatively temperate summers, but the last week in June this year was abnormally hot, with temperatures in the mid-nineties. Hailing from Washington, D.C., I’m accustomed to hot, humid weather; but many of my students found the heat draining. Still, they remained engaged and creatively expressive, and managed to make some very cool pop-up projects during the two-day session. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this conference a huge success!
This week has started with a paper frenzy at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon. My seven students range from a teacher from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to a public defender and two future educators just finishing their Masters of Teaching degrees. The class already has begun designing their own colorful pop-up scenes, and as of this moment they’re working on constructing individual carousel books. Check back to see their progress through the week.
I was in Philadelphia this past weekend to teach another paper engineering workshop for The University of the Arts Book Arts graduate students there. It’s always fun to work with a group of book artists, and this group was no exception. Participants jumped right in and started adding their own spin to the basic pop-up structures I covered. All seven students left with a stack of models to serve as inspiration for future dimensional additions to their own projects.
I also took the occasion to visit with two good U. Arts friends, Mary Phelan and Susan Viguers. Good luck to Susan on her upcoming retirement!