Mindell Dubansky, preservation librarian at the Thomas J. Watson Library in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, has a passion for books that aren’t books — they’re objects shaped like books, which she describes as “blooks.” She’s been collecting these faux tomes for the past twenty years, and was recently featured in the New York Times for her collection in the article Collecting Books that are Just Covers. Her interests range from blooks that are perfume containers, flasks, guns, and radios in disguise, to patents and photos of book-shaped billboards and buildings. Check out her intriguing Blook Blog here.
August 2, 2014
December 6, 2012
Graphic designer and calligrapher Sabeena Karnick, working in Mumbai India, has created a beautiful paper alphabet using a technique called “quilling.” Paper quilling has been around since the Renaissance when French and Italian nuns and monks used strips cut from the edges of guilded books to decorate book covers and other objects. These paper strips were rolled into shapes and glued together to create complex images and patterns. Later in the 18th-century European “ladies of leisure” practiced quilling when it was considered one of the few arts not too taxing on their delicate minds. Quilling was also practiced in America during colonial times. To learn more about the process of quilling visit these web sites: www.makezine.com and en.wikipedia.org
October 25, 2012
From early childhood, London artist Marc Hagan-Guirey has been a huge fan of horror movies. He began working with kirigami (the Japanese art of cutting an image from a single piece of paper) by designing a model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in Los Angeles, but then gravitated to more spooky edifices with a design for the house that served as the set in the Adams Family television show. From there he’s moved on to create a Horrorgami Overlook Hotel (The Shining), The Amityville House, and the MacNeil house from The Exorcist. He has plans to do more, and has a show coming up in November at Gallery One-and-a-Half in London. A video of the artist and his work is at this link. Thanks to Betsy Rubinstein for bringing these horrors to our attention.
September 16, 2012
For all of you paper lovers out there, The Paper Forest blog is a treasure trove of projects to make, paper art exhibitions, and related links. Fed by five artists, Jaime Zollars, Shelley Noble, Matt Hawkins, Dan McPharlin, and Falk Keuten, it reflects their wide range of interests and artistic views. Here’s the link to the site: http://paperforest.blogspot.com/
August 27, 2012
With the Republican and Democratic conventions now on the horizon, it’s time for everyone to make a pop-up choice. Pop your candidate into the White House by downloading the images and instructions for constructing your own campaign 2012 pop-up card. Visit http://www.campaignpopup.com And don’t forget to vote at the polls in November.
March 26, 2012
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 artist and paper engineer Carol Barton 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 this year’s early spring, but you’ll have the pop-ups to remember them by.
February 7, 2012
Go to http://www.occupypopup.com/ and download the USA map card and tent pattern of your choice. Write your message on the side of the tent and follow the directions for cutting out and constructing the pop-up into the card.
Address your tent to your government representative. Make several. Set up your own encampment. Send them to all your representatives. It’s fun and harder to ignore than an email or tweet. (Can you imagine all these little tents popping up at the White House and in the offices on Capitol Hill !!! ) Plus, the post office will love you for your business.
December 8, 2011
Can’t live without the Hogwarts’ wizardry in your Harry Potter books ? How about wearing it? Ravenna Osgood, a young, hip designer in New Mexico, has been winning prizes for her fashions in Santa Fe’s Recycled Arts Festival for years. This time around she’s concocted a wearable book, literally, crafting her dress from J.K. Rowling’s now-classic texts. She’s proven herself a fashion magician with found materials ranging from coffee bags to credit cards. For more pictures of Ravenna and the Recycled Arts event, go to http://recyclesantafe.org/2009winners.htm
March 27, 2011
The crocheted coral reef now on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History is an intriguing mix of art, geometry and natural science. It’s the type of project we at Popular Kinetics love because it touches on so many aspects of the visual and scientific world. Mathematicians discovered hyperbolic geometry in the early 19th century—a geometry set on a curved surface as opposed to Euclid’s geometry set on a flat plane. Nature employs hyperbolic forms to expand surface area in plants, such as in the crinkles of lettuces and ruffles of sea kelp, but scientists had no idea how to build a physical model of the formulas until mathematician Daina Taimina realized that crochet can replicate the same forms.
The idea was picked up by the Wertheim sisters, Margaret and Christina, who grew up close to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. While crocheting hyperbolic forms, they noted how their models resembled the corals and sea creatures of the reef, and thus the project was born. The crocheted reef at the Smithsonian is made from a mix of materials, including recycled plastics, beads and cassette tapes, addressing the problem of trash in our oceans. A portion of the reef is white, representing a dead reef.
The exhibit is up until April 24th, so hurry to Washington for a look, or visit the Smithsonian web site for a video about the making of the crocheted reef.