If you have ever wondered about the elemental folds, wheels, and pull-tabs that make up a pop-up book, then this week’s Reference Collection highlight, The Elements of Pop-Up (REF.PM.0143), is for you. Here, authors David A. Carter and James Diaz explain the basics of pop-up creation, allowing readers to touch, see and study each element. As they explain, “You will be able to see exactly how each score folds and how each glue point is to be glued. You will be able to work and view each mechanic.”
The title begins with a brief glossary of key terms. Here, the reader will learn about the armature, which serves as a framework for supporting the pop-up; the base page, or the paper page to which the pop-up is attached; and the cam, a moving piece which gives an off-center rotation or reciprocating motion to another page.
Once the basic terms have been laid out, Carter and Diaz quickly navigate into an exploration of the fundamental elements involved in the creation of pop-ups. They begin with parallel folds, including representative samples of the parallel cube, the tube post armature, the uneven tent, the boat, the tent with a tipped-in extension, and the coil.
|wheel with a moiré pattern|
Angle folds are examined next, with representatives including the unequal angle fold, the angle fold box with crossing planes, and the opposing angles with a tent, among others. Next, comes the section on wheels, including the wheel with a moire pattern, the double wheel, and the wheel with a cam and reciprocating arm. Finally, readers learn how to create tabs such as a pull-tab with a spinner, a pull-tab with a changing picture, and a pull-tab with parallel movements. Each technique includes a tactile example of the method itself as well as an explanatory paragraph of how the element is created.
|angle fold examples|
The book closes with a brief step-by-step instructional on how a pop-up is put together, as well as the tools and materials required to create one. With only two brief pages included on the actual composition of a pop-up, this title would not be recommended as a sole reference for those just starting out. However, the book’s greatest strength is the inclusion of tactile examples demonstrating each basic fold, wheel, and pull-tab type. For those who already have a grasp on pop-up fundamentals, and want to learn more, this would be a great pick.
The Reference Collection is one of three collections at The Center for Book Arts. The other two include the Fine Arts Collection (composed of artists’ books and prints) and the Archives (containing Exhibition Catalogs and the Center’s ephemera). All three collections can be viewed on-line via the Center’s website or in person by appointment. Note that the Reference Library is currently being cataloged, with roughly 85% completed.
-Sarah McCarthy, Librarian