The Popular Edge, Pop-Up and Book Arts News

March 25, 2015

Laser Art Extraordinaire by Eric Standley

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 2:02 am

Laser cut artwork by Eric Standley

An associate professor of studio art at Virginia Tech, Eric Standley uses a laser cutter to create his many-layered artworks, and in doing so captures the essential geometries of twelfth-century cathedrals and mosques. Evidence of how finely the laser can render complex designs is on display in Standley’s detailed pieces composed of sheet upon sheet of colored paper. The results are fantastically 3-dimensional. To see more of his work and a short video presentation, visit his web site

February 7, 2012

A Pop-Up Occupy Tent of Your Own

Filed under: crafts, paper crafts, paper engineering, Uncategorized — Tags: , — popularkinetics @ 9:09 pm
Here’s a creative way to occupy your space on the national map and get your message heard: with your own Pop-Up Occupy Tent.

Go to 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. 

January 25, 2012

The Scottish Library Phantom

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 10:20 pm

A mystery unfolded in a series of Scottish libraries and museums this past fall when small sculptures constructed from printed pages started appearing on their shelves. Made with exquisite care, these tiny treasures started a sculptural scavenger hunt among the book collections of such institutions as the Scottish Poetry Library and the National Museum of Scotland. A cryptic note was found explaining some aspects of the project, but the name of the artist remains unknown: some mysteries are best when they persist. To follow the adventures of the Library Phantom, visit Robert Krulwich’s sciencey blog at  Thanks to Sue Hoegberg for sending us this link.

October 31, 2010

Mike Friton’s Pop-Up Bat Hat

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 9:30 pm

Modeling his fashionable “Bat Hat,” designer Mike Friton is ready for tonight’s Holloween festivities! A former engineer for Nike Inc., Mike is now creating a series of pop-up bugs and other scary critters–sure to be a hit with young and old alike who love their creepy-crawlies in collapsible form. Visit his web site at to see more….

April 18, 2010

Golden Venture origami

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 11:57 pm

The “golden venture” style of paper folding has become popular among origami enthusiasts in the past decade, but the story behind style is one of much sadness and anguish. In 1993, about 300 Chinese refugees were discovered on a boat, the Golden Venture, which had run aground off Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York. Some drowned trying to escape, but most were sent to prisons to await decisions on their immigration status. Only about 30 of these refugees eventually received asylum. Most were extradited to China to an unkown fate. While in prison, they made over 10,000 of these beautiful vessels out of whatever paper scraps they could find–newspapers, magazines, notepads and napkins. The detainees gave them as gifts to those trying to help them, or sold them to help pay legal fees. These beautiful origami paper vessels are now on display in an exhibit titled Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

February 13, 2010

Electronic Popables

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 2:19 am

Students working at MIT’s Media Lab develop projects which integrate the latest technologies with practical applications. We found this pop-up project by Columbia mechanical engineering student Jie Qi particularly intriguing. It’s an interactive book with circuitry embedded in its six 3-D pages that work with removable snap-on electronic sensors. Viewing this YouTube video will give you a sense of how the book functions. Ultimately, Jie hopes the project will inspire other craftspeople to use such electronics in their own work.

The project took Jie about eight weeks to produce, working 8-9 hours a day. There’s a nice behind-the-scenes look at the book with Dr. Leah Buechley, who directs the High-Low Tech group within which this project was developed. Here’s the link:

January 5, 2010

New Zealand Book Video goes Viral

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 5:17 am

Dozens of people emailed us this link to the video “Going West” produced by the New Zealand Book Council, and for good reason. A slick production with paper-cut animation, the piece quickly captures one’s attention. This 2-minute segment took eight months of hard work by Colenso BBDO and Anderson M Studio. The video is based on Maurice Gee’s classic 1993 novel by the same title. A reading from “Going West” serves as part of the video’s soundtrack.

The New Zealand Book Council promotes New Zealand authors and encourages children to read. It sponsors readings, recitals, school programs, and seminars throughout the country.

Carol Barton will be teaching a workshop in sculptural bookmaking this fall as part of New Zealand’s Aotearoa Creative Textile Conference, October 3 – 9 in Wellington. For more information on Carol’s classes, visit her web site at

August 7, 2009

Su Blackwell’s New Art from Old Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 8:36 pm

The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Su Blackwell

London-based artist Su Blackwell scours bookstore shelves for old books, wthen uses them as her medium to create delightful narrative vignettes. She tries to find something within each book that inspires her and that triggers a visual image. Scenes are cut entirely from the book’s pages and are often very intricate; some of her works take up to two months to complete. To see more of her work, visit

Alice, A Mad Tea Party by Su BlackwellCircus Days and Circus Nights by Su BlackwellGirl in the Wood by Su Blackwell

July 29, 2009

A Paper City Fantasy

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 3:37 am

Lighted paper city by Wataru Itou #1

A young student in Tokyo has spent four years designing his “City on the Ocean” entirely out of paper. Of course, we like the fact that it’s lighted, and apparently the light changes for different effects. It also features a working paper train, a ferris wheel, and lots of architectural flourishes. See more at the Tokyo Bling Blog. And thanks to Betsy Rubinstein for emailing us with the link.

June 8, 2009

Surveillance as a Pop-Up

Filed under: Uncategorized — popularkinetics @ 11:16 pm

Snitch by Shana Agid

These days, book artists are designing pop-up books on a whole range of subjects that have nothing to do with kids. Shana Agid has a new book out called “Snitch” in which he explores the positive and negative aspects of  “being watched” within our society. What should we fear about surveillance systems?  What will make us safer? How much privacy should we give up for safety? These are subjects that needs to be examined rigorously as technologies for keeping track of everything in our lives become ever more sophisticated and pervasive. Check out Shana’s web site at

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