Tag Archives: paper engineering

A Busy Weekend in Maryland

Olivia making pop-up cardMeg making pop-up cardPaula making pop-up card

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.

Pikesville, MD, class portrait

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.”

Book kids, Hagerstown Literacy Festival 

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.

Sheep herding, Howard County Sheep and Wool FestivalSheep, Howard County Sheep and Wool Festival

This unusual combination of events made for an exciting weekend, ending with the planting of kale and beets at the farm.

Maryland farm iwith rainbow


A Pop-Up Feast at the Corcoran College of Art + Design

Causa Rellena pop-up page spread, Magdalena Cordero

Best Churros Ever Pop-Up Page Spread,  Jihae Kwon

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.

Insalata di Faggioli pop-up page spread, Susanne AllenMom's Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas pop-up page spread, Amy Nichols

Couscous Tangine pop-up page spread, Fatima ElgarchNormandie Farms Popovers pop-up page spread, Jody Cabezas

Cheese Souffle pop-up page spread, Julie GarciaNutella Cookies pop-up page spread, Julie Shea

Chocolate Pudding Pie pop-up page spread, Krista Sharp


My Corcoran Sculptural Books Class, Washington D.C.

My Corcoran Class 2014

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.

Historic Chambersburg, PA

Fountain in Square, Chambersburg, PA        Civil War Historic Marker
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.

Grove Family Library, Chambersburg, PA

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. Students in Carol Barton's pop-up class, Chambersburg, PA

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.

Student in Carol Barton's pop-up class, Chambersburg, PAStudent in Carol Barton's pop-up class, Chambersburg, PAStudent in Carol Barton's pop-up class, Chambersburg, PA

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. . . .

Peach Pie, Sept 2013

Paper Engineering, Philadelphia Center for the Book

Carol Barton's pop-up classStudent in Carol Barton's pop-up class, Philadelphia Ctr for the Book
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.

Students in Carol Barton's pop-up class, Philadelphia Ctr for the BookStudent in Carol Barton's pop-up class, Philadelphia Ctr for the Book

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.

Barnes Collection, PhiladelphiaBarnes Collection, Philadelphia

Focus on Book Arts Conference, Oregon

FOBA logo

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!

Carol Barton's pop-up class, Focus on Book Arts Conference, Forest Grove, Oregon

Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland


    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.


Weekend at Pyramid Atlantic Center for Paper, Prints and Books

Class from abovePyramid Atlantic sign

I’m often asked by people where they can take book arts classes locally in the Washington, D.C., area. Pyramid Atlantic is one of the best venues, and this weekend I had seven engaged students in my paper engineering class there. Not all the students were local: two students traveled from North Carolina to take the class. Participants spent Saturday and Sunday learning a range of pop-up forms and producing some inventive structures of their own. I thoroughly enjoyed the group and the exchange of ideas.

Student in Carol Barton's paper engineering classStudent in Carol Barton's paper engineering classStudents in Carol Barton's paper engineering class

Back in Philadelphia for a Pop-Up Weekend

U Arts Building

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!

Spooky Pop-Ups at the National Building Museum

The National Building Museum, Washington, DC

My annual Halloween Haunted House workshop at the National Building Museum in downtown Washington, DC, took place this past weekend, with about 25 spooky young designers and their parents participating. Ghouls, monsters, bats, witches, and graveyards were among the pop-up motifs created in the two-hour session, which ended with each youngster getting a candy treat to take home along with his or her finished pop-ups.

Carol Barton's Halloween pop-up class, National Building Museum, 2012Carol Barton's Halloween pop-up class, National Building Museum, 2012Carol Barton's Halloween pop-up class, National Building Museum, 2012