If you’re intrigued by the idea of creating pop-ups, but you have no prior experience, this week’s Reference Collection might just be for you. The Pop-Up Book by Paul Jackson (REF.BB.1210) provides a comprehensive explanation of basic pop-up techniques, including step-by-step instructions to create more than 100 pop-up projects. As Jackson explains, the book “attempts to show that, although in the hands of a master a pop-up can be a remarkably sophisticated construction, the techniques themselves are delightfully simple and can be used creatively by anyone.”
Chapter one begins with the basics, outlining the materials and equipment needed to create pop-ups, as well as methods for cutting, folding, and creasing. Diagrams are included to illustrate the color-coding system used throughout the book, providing clarity on which lines are to be cut and which to be folded.
The remainder of the book is divided into two sections. Section one focuses on the primary techniques required to construct pop-ups. This section is divided into two chapters – one covering one-piece techniques, and the other covering multi-piece techniques. Each technique includes a sequence of step-by-step photographs, as well as exercises which can be used for practice. Techniques include the angle of crease (and variations), the shape of slit, the asymmetric slit, asymmetric angles, generations, cut aways, the asymmetric mountain, multi slits, steps, wings, the horizontal ‘v’, floating layers, scenery flats, straps, diagonal boxes, the square-on box, the cylinder, trellises, and pivots.
Section two focuses on how to design your own pop-ups using the techniques explored in section one. Here, a variety of projects are used to illustrate how adaptable pop-up techniques are for any subject matter, and how easy it is to create an original design. In this chapter, the Valentine heart is used in every example. As the author notes, “The heart could equally have been a birthday cake, a Christmas tree, a face, numerals or anything else, but the simplicity of the heart helps draw attention to the techniques and away from any possible distraction.” With each design, the techniques used from section one are noted for easy reference.
The final portion of the book includes a gallery of projects. Here, works by students, professionals, students, amateurs, and even children have been published side-by-side to reveal the breadth of the art of paper-engineering. The gallery explores the many media variants for which pop-ups are created today, including books, greeting and business cards, marketing novelties, student projects, and works of art. No matter what your interests, this collection is intended to inspire and engage you.
One thing readers should note is that the title focuses on three-dimensional structures only, meaning that rotating discs, lift-up flaps, pull tabs, and other two-dimensional paper-engineered devices are not covered. For more information on these, you may want to check out The Elements of Pop-Up by David A. Carter and James Diaz. You can read more about this title here.
|Ya Boo Sucks!, 23 cm high|
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.
-Sarah McCarthy, Librarian