Movable Book Society Conference Observations

Movable Book Society Conference Observations

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Movable Book Society’s semi-annual conference in Philadelphia. I was invited to give a talk about my book Playing With Pop-Ups, which features many of the paper engineers who were at the conference. It was really fun to be amongst the luminaries in this field! Please excuse all of the links – just click on what interests you!


I thought I’d just highlight a few of them. Colette Fu kicked off the first evening with a slide show and talk about her 6-month stint in China where she worked in a studio at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai. Sally Blakemore spent two weeks with Colette traveling through remote areas of China, and she talked about visiting a papermaking village in a cave. 

Sally Blakemore with her pop-up book that documents her experiences in China

Sally Blakemore with her pop-up book that documents her experiences in China

There is a whole cast of characters interested in pop-ups and movables. Emily Martin makes artists’ books and gave a presentation about her carousel book Romeo and Juliet.


 Isabel Uria is an energetic young designer full of good ideas. She works at Structural Graphics, a dimensional print company, and the amazing paper creations that Isabel shared with us. 


Yevgenia Yeretskaya gave a wondeful presentation about her career in paper engineering. She’s an art director at Up With Paper and has done many projects on her own. The day after I got home, I saw her book Snowflakes at my local bookstore. She spoke about compromises that have to made between design and production. 


We went on field trips one day. Here we are at UPenn in the special collections library. They pulled out some amazing books for us to look at!


Like this one:

IMG_8023 2

We spent several hours at University of the Arts where they have a brand new papermaking studio (that will be a separate blog post). We saw these sheets being printed on a Heidelberg printing press, and then Sam Ita, who designed a LOVE pop-up, showed us how to cut and assemble our own cards.


Several books were on display for a competition. This is Yoojin Kim, a young designer at Up With Paper with the book that she entered.


There is so much more to tell… these are just the bits that I remembered to photograph. I’ll have to write another post about the other presentations that I heard, the collectors and librarians that I met, and more!



  1. Linda Wilson says:

    Wonderful projects! I have the fragile remains of lobster anatomy pop up from another century.

  2. Claude Aimee says:

    What a wonderful opportunity for you! I wish I were there too! Thanks for sharing your papers adventures!

  3. I found this year’s Movable Book Society Conference to be spectacular; featuring manufactured books, hand-made art books and innovations in paper animations and LED lighting.
    The variety of ideas, books and historical presentations, plus all the new, young innovators were energizing. Each session was packed with interested collectors, inventors and conservators. Helen Hiebert’s book is one everyone should own, particularly educators and librarians. Highlighting some of the most incredible talent in the industry, the self-interactive pages, within the book, educate and amaze using cuts and folds that are easily followed and well worth the $25 price. I particularly was amazed by our keynote speaker, performance artist, Paul Johnson, who revealed his flattened pieces as they turned into 3-D paper sculptures with the flick of a wrist. It was the work of a magician.

    • Helen says:

      Thanks so much for writing this, Sally. I do need to do a second post about everything else, including Paul Johnson. Did you get any pictures of him?

  4. […] Helen de mi crítica de su libro más reciente Jugando con Pop-Ups . Recientemente publicó en su blog sobre la convención, que sonaba como el sueño de un ingeniero de […]