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.
I had the pleasure on Wednesday of working with nine middle school girls and their “big sister” mentors who are part of the Young Women Leaders Program sponsored by the University of Virginia’s Women’s Center and Curry School of Education. The big sisters are undergraduate students at U. VA. and receive a semester of training when they begin mentoring. All of the little- and big-sister teams learned to make several pop-up structures with the objective of eventually designing cards that can be produced in multiples using Silhouette Cameo digital die cutters. In the process, students will learn about new technologies and production techniques, marketing skills and entrepreneurship. I was delighted by their response, and look forward to following the project’s progression.
To celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to our nation’s capital, the National Building Museum commissioned me to design do-it-yourself pop-ups that kids (and adults) could make at the event this past weekend. A pop-up Japanese Tea House and a pop-up of the Miajima Torii Gate were among the projects. Both were given out free to the crowd, along with instructions on how to cut out and assemble them. Volunteers helped with the assembly process, and everyone seemed pleased with their take-home pop-up souvenirs.
To make your own Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival pop-ups, download the designs and directions from www.cherryblossompopup.com, print them onto card stock paper and glue them together. The trees have already lost their blossom due to our early spring, but you’ll have the pop-ups to remember them by.
During the past two weeks I made the trip to Philadelphia to teach a short session on paper engineering as a segment of Alice Austin’s Book Structures class there. I always enjoy the students in this class. They bring a fresh, inventive spirit to the forms they construct, and hopefully include them in future book projects. Plus, seeing my friends and colleagues at the university makes it an especially enjoyable visit.
It’s always nice to have a break from the East Coast’s cold with a trip to California in January. This time I had four workshops scheduled. The first two were pop-up sessions, one for adults and another for children, held as part of the Norton Simon Museum’s education program. The adult class met inside on Saturday morning since it was a bit cool and breezy. A lively exchange of ideas and hands-on practice in constructing basic pop-up cards ensued.
Warmer weather in the afternoon, allowed for an outdoor session with the kids. (Parents participated, too.) It was fun to be under a tent in such a beautiful garden setting, and everyone seemed to enjoy the relaxed, creative atmosphere.
The next stop was on Wednesday at the Otis School for Design in Playa del Ray. I gave a brief demo for the book structures class, then a lecture on the history of pop-ups for the entire student body.
Finally, I gave a two-day workshop for the California Guild of Bookworkers held at the Long Beach Museum. The enthusiastic group of students spent two days learning the carousel book structure and several paper engineered forms, with an eye toward incorporating photography into the work. The Guild has plans for an upcoming exhibition of photographically-based artists’ books, and I have hopes that many of the class participants will produce some pieces for the show based on what they learned in class.
Now it’s back to winter days on the East coast, which aren’t so bad since I have time to do some new work in the studio.
A group of ten enthusiastic students took part in my pop-up paper engineering workshop at the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh this past weekend. We covered the construction of a range of pop-up structures, from simple cut-and-fold versions to platforms, props, and V-fold pop-ups. Everyone did a great job of bringing their own creative ideas into play.
The Society for Contemporary Craft features a gallery, craft store, and a full calendar of classes and events. It’s located just off the lively Penn Avenue strip where a string of ethnic market shops and street vendors sell their wares, so it’s a great place to spend some time enjoying a full range of world foods, crafts, and a cosmopolitans vibe.
Students in the Sculptural Books class at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia spent this Monday’s class with Carol making simple cut-and-fold pop-up models. Next week Carol will demonstrate the making of a series of glued pop-up structures that students can incorporate as sculptural elements into their ongoing artist’s book projects.