I’m super excited to be going to the Movable Book Society Conference next week in Philadelphia, where I’ll be lecturing and facilitating a mini-workshop.
My interest in paper actually began with pop-ups, way back in the mid 1980’s when I spent my junior year of college in Germany. I took a PAPER course and another one about TYPE (and one about silkcreen too, but that didn’t go anywhere). During that year, I discovered the font Block-Up, a 2-dimensional typeface that looks 3-dimensional, and I spent hours engineering the font in 3-dimensions using pop-up techniques. And just recently, I editioned the font in this book called Alpha Blocks.
For my senior thesis at The University of the South, I created a series of origamic architecture-inspired paper sculptures. I never got digital images of those works, but here is an image of a slightly newer (but still historic) work based on those studies.
After college, I moved to New York City and worked in print and graphic design shops for a few years before I discovered Dieu Donné Papermill and began my career in handmade paper. A few years later, I was a studio assistant for book artist Susan Share at Penland, where I designed The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book. Like with Alpha Blocks, it took me about 15 years to finally edition this book.
This video shows the final version of The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book in action. It features short poems by Nora Robertson.
After I wrote Playing With Paper, my editor mentioned that she wanted to publish a book called Playing With Pop-Ups. I asked if she had an author in mind, and she did but it wasn’t me! It is interesting how things work in the publishing industr, and as it turned out, her first choice wasn’t interested so I got the job.
During my lecture at the conference next week, I’ll talk about my writing/editing process for Playing With Pop-Ups. Unlike my other how-to books, I focused on featuring other artists in this book. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the paper engineers who contributed work for my book!