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.
A portion of downtown Washington, D.C., was not focused on the budget crisis this week, but rather on creativity in the classroom. Twenty-two area teachers participated in the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Summer Institute, learning how to integrate arts into standard curricula. I gave a half-day session on pop-ups and landscape books, and discussed how these formats could be integrated into subjects such as biology, history, and literature. The teachers work with classes from pre-school to college, and many were educators who did not have an arts background, but everyone walked away with wonderful examples to develop further in their classrooms.
Paper engineer Andy Baron paid us a visit in Glen Echo this weekend while in town to give a lecture at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History on his new pop-up production, Acuity’s Storybook Year. A 2010 annual report disguised as a pop-up nursery rhyme book, Storybook Year was designed for the Acuity Insurance Company in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Acuity has a history of unusual annual reports. In 2009 a red and white pizza box contained a printed pizza annual report, and in 2008 the report looked like a Guinness Book of Records. This year’s pop-up book is definitely over-the-top, and it’s obvious that Andy put his best paper engineering efforts into it. Now the people at Acuity are trying to figure out what to do for next year’s production. Good luck topping this one!
David Carter, paper eningeer, author and illustrator of How Many Bugs in a Box? and One Red Dot, among other pop-up books, gave a lively talk at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History today at noon. The lecture, in conjunction with the museum’s exhibit Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn, covered David’s early years as a budding artist and his work with Invervisual Communications as a paper engineer. He discussed how he develops his pop-up structures and how he integrates concepts with his texts. What was most apparent in his presentation is that David has lots of fun in his studio and loves his work. Thanks for a delightful presentation!
Presenting a group pop-up photo of the new Sculptural Books class I’m now teaching at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. In this graduate-level class we’re exploring various sculptural book forms and creating a series of finished pop-up pages and paper engineered structures. The class already has completed a basic pop-up and two accordion books, one with architectural pop-up additions. I’ll be doing more posts on projects as the class progresses. If you’re interested in making your own pop-up photograph, click on this link to my web site. If you’d like to learn to make more pop-ups, you can order copies of The Pocket Paper Engineer, Volumes One and Two.
Last week I went to a lecture and book-signing at the Smithsonian Institution with friend and renowned pop-up book illustrator Chuck Fischer. The lecture was scheduled in conjunction with the Smithsonian Libraries’ exhibition Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop and Turn at the Museum of American History. In his talk, Chuck outlined the steps he takes in working with paper engineer Bruce Foster to illustrate Bruce’s pop-up structures. He also showed a video of the Ipad application for his new pop-up book, A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book, which you can watch with this YouTube link. Congratulations on the new title, Chuck and Bruce!
Last week I did a pop-up and landscape book workshop as part of the teacher institute sponsored by The National Museum of Women in the Arts here in Washington, D.C. The institute is part of the museum’s ongoing program called Art, Books and Creativity that explores how teachers can integrate book arts and museum activities into standard classroom curricula. As part of my session, teachers learned a series of simple pop-up structures along with how to use those in lessons on natural history, architecture and history. We also made layered books called “landscape books” with foreground, middle ground, and background images connected on each side with accordion strips and illustrating a range of subjects from celestial bodies to underwater vistas, to city streets. Everyone appeared to be having a lot of fun, and many didn’t want to stop for lunch!
To learn more about the ABC program, go to http://www.artbookscreativity.org/partners.html
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.
May 1st was not only May Day, but also (and more importantly) Reading Day at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown, Maryland. Sponsored by the Washington County Free Library and Western Maryland Regional Library, the event featured my Pocket Paper Engineer books along with those of several other Maryland authors. Other tables provided information on library programs, literacy, and entertainment. Attended by a host of families, the kids especially liked the free books they received from the Washington library system.
A class celebrating families, communities, and architecture through the art of the pop-up was held last weekend at the National Building Museum here in Washington, DC. I worked with 18 children and their parents to develop pop-ups highlighting the interaction between kids, their families, and their neighborhoods. The results were delightful, as you can see from the photos. I’m looking forward to working with the summer camp program at the Building Museum in July, in which kids will develop more projects in pop-up architecture.