Paris-based artist/author Julie Stephen Chheng has created this charming five-volume set of little books which sequentially unfold into a full tableau based on specific themes. Each is illustrated by a different artist. My favorite is Le Cinéma because I like the drawings by Serge Bloch of patrons in their movie seats. Other themes are Le Foot (The Rugby Match), La Plage (The Beach), La Fête (The Party, illustrated by Chheng), and Le Voleur (The Thief). To see videos of the illustrations in action, visit Vimeo here.
December 21, 2014
March 27, 2013
There is more and more stuff being recycled these days, but in Paraguay it’s taking a particularly interesting form at the Cateura landfill. Here parents support their families by picking through the trash, looking for materials that can be resold. Favio Chavez, a social worker and music teacher, was working for an environmental group teaching the trash-pickers about safety issues. At the same time he opened a small music school for the trash-pickers’ children, but they only had five instruments among them and the kids grew bored. Nicolas Gomez, a carpenter and one of the trash-pickers, was asked by Chavez if he could devise some instruments from recycled materials. He started by building a drum, then moved on to making other instruments. X-ray film became drum heads, cans became violins and flutes, bottle caps became saxophone keys. Now the LandFill Harmonic is on tour and coming to Arizona’s Musical Instrument Museum this year. It’s such a creative way to educate, inspire, and provide skills that will change these children’s lives. Watch a video of the Orchestra of Instruments Recycled From Cateura.
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.
March 6, 2012
On the eve of Super Tuesday we’re continuing our tradition of offering a pop-up campaign card for you to make. Choose from an entire field of pop-up candidates to glue right onto the White House lawn, or Photoshop your own pick into the scene. (We’ll be editing down the choices as the Republican field narrows. Stay tuned….)
February 11, 2011
A group of wonderful little videos showing historic pop-up books in action has been posted to YouTube by the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. It’s a movable library in action. Here are the links:
Puss in Boots, 1934, Blue Ribbon Books
Popeye with The Hag of the Seven Seas, 1935, Pleasure Books
Cowboys in Pop-Up Action Pictures, 1951, Publicity Products, London
Tony Sarg’s Treasure Book, 1942 B. F. Jay publishers
Dick Tracy pop-up book by Harold Lentz, 1935, Pleasure Books
Pinnochio pop-up book by Harold Lentz, 1933, Blue Ribbon Books
What a Surprise by Ernest Nister, 1900, E. P. Dutton & Co.
The Jolly Jump-Ups Journey Through Space, 1952, McLoughlin Bros.
December 27, 2010
We thought this video spoof on digital books would appeal to all of you traditional bibliophiles out there. It’s a funny yet thought-provoking look at how a first encounter with a bound book in the Middle Ages might equate with our own initial efforts to use virtual media, and a reminder that the book is a fluid form, changing through history as our technologies have changed. Here’s the link.
November 28, 2010
The Happy Duckling is an enchanting little animated film that simulates a pop-up book. The story follows an ordinary boy who is relentlessly stalked by a duck. Winner of awards around the globe including the Best Animation BAFTA Scotland Award, the piece was written by renown Israeli animator Gill Dolev. Dolev enrolled the help of eight students at the Universities of Dundee and Aebertog in Scotland to help him produce the film. From the results, it looks like they learned a lot and had a great time working on the project. To complete the film, an inventive original score was added by composer Mick Cooke. Here’s the link.
July 19, 2010
Artist Liu Bolin explores issues involving identity and loss of the sense of self within Chinese society by camouflaging his subjects to blend into their surroundings. His series of photos, begun in 2005, are works of protest against the government, which shut down his studio.
Most intriguing are those subjects covered with text. The writing obscures the person, replacing identity with a new, written message. To see more images of Bolin’s work, go to http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/3738/camoflague-by-liu-bolin.html
June 15, 2010
To all of you pop-up and paper engineering enthusiasts out there, start planning your trip to Washington, D.C., this year to see the exhibition “Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn.” It’s a little gem of a show nestled in the Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery on the lower level of the National Museum of American History. (If you enter the museum on the mall side, take the escalator downstairs.) The exhibit traces the history of the paper-engineered book, from its origins in scientific astronomy texts through current pop-up volumes of fantastic complexity. Some of the books you may have in your own pop-up collection, while others are truly rare and stunningly beautiful. Curated by Stephen Van Dyk of New York’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum library, the show emphasizes the mechanical aspects of pop-up constructions, with great signage and an engaging video of illustrator Chuck Fischer and paper engineer Bruce Foster at work. Plus there’s a wonderful little catalogue of the show available for free at the entrance.
The show runs through October, 2011, so there’s plenty of time to plan your visit. But don’t put it off too long. You’ll probably want to see it more than once!