The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book

The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book


The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book, 6″ x 18″ x 8″, paper, graphite, letterpress, book board/cloth

This project took 16 years to complete (although there was a long hiatus in the middle) and touches on many facets of my career (collaboration and inspiration, to name two). My initial interest in paper came from pop-up books and cards, and I made the  prototype for this book in Susan Share’s class at Penland in 1996. When I showed the prototype to University of Washington Special Collections librarian Sandra Kroupa a few years ago, she encouraged me to edition it.

Snail pop-up with poem by Nora Robertson.

In 2011, I applied for and received a project grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland. Their generous funding allowed me to purchase materials and work with many talented individuals: Nora Robertson, who wrote the lovely poems;

Laser cut box, gate fold book, flashlight and colophon.

Melanie Brauner, who letterpress printed the text and bound the books;

Foil stamped cover.

Phil Poehlein, who foil stamped the book cover;

Laser cut box made of cherry and plywood.

and Joe Freedman, who laser cut the pages and the box.

Interacting with the book.

I am thankful for the design and illustration assistance I had from interns Leah Uvodich, Kate DePara and Jaclyn Bowie. And Spicers Paper generously contributed the paper for the book pages and colophon.

Child’s pop-up created at the Holgate Library workshop, July 2012.

I have already enjoyed a couple of interactive workshops with children. in which I share the book with them, read the poems, and have them create their own pop-up animal. Then we engage in shadowplay using flashlights.

Child’s shadow puppet created at the Holgate Library workshop.

Shadowplay at the Holgate Library.

Special thanks to Dan Kvitka for the photography. This is an edition of 50 books, and you can view this book in the John Wilson Room at the Central Library in Portland, Oregon (more venues coming soon)!


  1. Holly Derderian says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this~it is really beautiful ~brings back many memories of shadow puppets in our tent at night when camping as a kid! Love the snail….
    Be proud of your success~you deserve it!
    Holly Derderian
    Spicers Paper
    Sample Department

  2. mira scott says:

    Is this book available for purchase? 843-842-5299