I think I could write 25 posts about pop-ups, but I’ll spare you…
Pop-ups were my foray into paper arts. In 1986, when I spent my junior year abroad in Germany, I took a class in letter arts and discovered a three-dimensional alphabet in a book of fonts. The font was printed flat on the page, but illustrated in a way that I could recreate it three-dimensionally in paper.
I soon discovered origamic architecture, a Japanese paper form first explored by Masahiro Chatani who produced several how-to books on the subject, many with templates. Pictured below is my first one-of-a-kind artists’ books, created in about 1993, called Uniform.
Here’s an animated DIY origamic architectural pop-up by Peter Dahmen.
As you can see in the animation, these things take time and patience to cut and fold, but isn’t it amazing, that you can simply make a series of parallel slits in a flat sheet, remove nothing, and just by folding come up with a beautiful architectural form?
And speaking of DIY, Carol Barton has a series of three Pocket Paper Engineer books which come with illustrated pages that you can cut out and fold into a variety of pop-up constructions. Going through the books provides an excellent hands-on experience in making pop-ups.
Ingrid Siliakus and Shawn Sheehy are two pop-up artists who are featured in Playing With Paper. Ingrid’s pop-ups are very architectural (her work is influenced by Chatani’s), both in design and execution.
Some of her pieces take months of precise drawings and calculations to develop, as she designs a piece, layer by layer.
Shawn Sheehy makes pop-ups in the form of cards and artists’ books. His subject matter tends to be creatures of the wild.
Shawn is currently working with Candlewick Press on a trade publication of his book “Welcome to the NeighborWood”, which is scheduled for a spring 2015 release. All of the artwork will be produced with collaged handmade paper.
Shawn teaches pop-up workshops around the country, often at botanical gardens; his 2013 workshops are all about pop-up heirloom vegetables.
I had the good fortune of hosting Paul Johnson in my home last spring for a few days, and he creates a different form of pop-ups, based on a form of packaging design. Paul created a pop-up paper castle project for my book, Playing With Paper.
Paul does lots of teaching in the UK for students as well as teachers and has written several books. His next book, Pop-up Paper Projects (250 pop-up ideas) is being published by Routledge (UK and USA) next spring and is geared towards teachers.
In a way, my career has come full circle (or one circle amongst many has been drawn to a close). I recently completed this artists’ book, The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book, which is now in several special collections libraries around the country.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! I have a few pop-up books listed in a shelf on Goodreads, but there are many more out there.
What is your favorite pop-up book and why? Please share it with me by emailing or leaving me a comment below.
About the 25 Days of Paper: I’m going to be a crazy blogger in December, featuring cool paper products, projects, blogs, books, or papers each day. Join in the fun by reading along! I’ll also post links on my FaceBook page. Enjoy the season!