December 3, 2013
My last post (if you learn and teach only one pop-up, let it be this one!) provided a page on how to make this pop-up. The goal of this post is to show off some of the ways that this cut-and-fold shape can be embellished. All the the work shown below is done by kindergarten students. The card above is the one that I present to students before they get to work. After introducing the project we have a discussion about other ways to interpret the shape. There’s never any shortage of ideas.
Here’s the pop-up as a bridge, no doubt one of those great bridges going over the Hudson river.
Then there’s the Rocket Ship interpretation….
…as well as other ideas about flying.
This butterfly in the pop-up house is a bit hard to see, but I really love the writing that this kindergarten artist added to her work.
Here are a couple of ingenious young Jedis who have realized that their pop-ups are completely functional arm shields.
Here’s the house as a crown. One thing that might be interesting (or annoying, depending on your mind-set) to note is that it’s likely you would be right if you tried to guess the gender of each of the children whose work I’m showcasing.
Lot of energy here! This child is quite an active kid, and all that movement got focused into this card.
I’m not quite sure how the pop-up inspired this dinosaur drawing…though I do see that the scales on the dino’s back echo the cut shape. Whatever…it works for me.
Of course, many students make home sweet home, often with mom, dad, siblings and a cat. Then there are the barn and cows interpretations, sometimes the shape becomes a pencil or a dog house, a bee hive, or an ocean wave.
One thing to keep in mind when teaching students is that somewhere along the line in school they will be faced with learning about lines of symmetry. Pop-ups like this one are a great hands-on activity to teach the concept of lines of symmetry.
My last post featured the colored tutorial page for this structure. Here’ s the same page, uncolored:
Hopefully you’ll color this one in yourself.
If you are interested here are links to a couple more of my posts about pop-ups:
Here’s a tutorial page on what I consider to be the absolutely hands-down best first pop-up to teach to students of any age: the Pop-Up House.
Sometimes I will work with a class of kindergarten students just once, so I try to teach these youngsters something that they can do not only when I am there guiding them, but, also something that they can do on their own. This little house shape fits the bill exactly.
Here are the challenges with very young: it’s important that, when folding the paper in half that the crease is sharp, meaning that it is folded really well. It’s great if the paper is folded evenly, but that part is less important than the tightness of the crease. Sometimes I will pre-fold the paper for young students, but I seem to do that less and less. If I have the time, it’s worth slowing down to teach these kids how to make a good, even fold. Many five-year-old aren’t ready to notice or care how evenly the paper is folded, but some of the students are ready, and it’s really fun to see them work carefully and successfully.
Although this is a house shape there seems to be no end to the different ways children embellish their handiwork: it’s a crown, a rocket ship, the back of a dinosaur. Next post here will be a sampling of some of the many ways young people play with this structure.
One last thought for now: I generally don’t so much teaching around the holidays, but it seems to me that this could be a great idea for holiday card. Decorate the house with lights. Maybe someone is on the roof, or there’s something special in the night sky. Or the family is gathered at the house, there could be candles in the windows. Lots of ways to go with this.
November 20, 2013
Four year birthday for my blog!
It’s been quiet here lately… I’ve missed being here, as posting is one of the things I like most about my life. Three months ago I had knee-replacement surgery, and it’s been quite a journey. Feels like I’ve been in a cocoon as the healing has been happening. Good days and bad days. Every day things feel just a little bit better, and that’s a good thing.
I made the pop-up pictured here as a sample for a class that I taught maybe 15 years ago at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, a real gem of a museum. It’s an appropriate image for me to show right now, not only because it has four lit candles , but also because I am thinking about a couple of posts that I want to do on making pop-ups. Generally, when I do pop-ups I am doing them with young children, so it’s important to keep things simple while still making them interesting. I have to say that I am always impressed, with what a big impression creating these structures makes on children. I know that, in the book and paper arts world, that pop-ups are well covered, but we all have our styles, tricks, and fascinations. I look forward to sharing mine here.
Thanks for coming to the party.
October 12, 2013
There’s one more post about the Book Arts Summer in Salem 2013 that I want to write, even though summer has now given way to autumn. I guess this post is more about making sure I have a record of the show, as seeing it was like going down a rabbit hole…the more I looked in certain directions, the more there was to see.
For instance, Shawn Sheehy exhibited a number of broadsides which featured the writing of various poets. I knew that there must be more to know about this project, so googled the press that printed the broadsides, Onerios Press,, which led me to the Vamp and Tramp website, which OMG has gathered in one place more presses, artists’ books, miniature books, and broadsides (not mention new arrivals) than I will ever have time to sift through….though I’ve been working at it!
Another sort of rabbit hole were these notebooks that Sheehy set out on a table. He invited the viewer to look through them…I wanted to take them home.
Each page was filled, and I mean filled with notes, drawings, and plans, It was such a treat to have a peek at the inner workings of Shawn’s process of working. One thought that I kept having as I viewed the show was , ‘I wonder how this guy’s mind works?’ and here I actually got the chance to read through what he was thinking and seeing as he worked through ideas.
There are a few more images I want to add in here before I get to the final part of this post. Cathy Daughton made these whimsical, accomplished drawings for an accordion book, which, for me, successfully blurred the distinction between carrots and trees.
Here’s North Main Gallery full to the brim of participants in Susan Bonthron’s Pesky Bug workshop. Susan did as much prep for this one workshop than I usually do for a full week of workshops: she wrote and printed up a book about various garden pests, and she created a veritable treasure box of items which we used to make prints of slimy creatures munching their way through the crops that we evidently plant for their enjoyment.
We we each able to print up ten of our gardens’ worst nightmares, ranging from the all too real asparagus beetle to the tomato horn beetle (a particularly enthusiastic tenant in my husband’s garden) . Fortunately, the booklet that we tipped these pages into provided us with tips for eviction. It’s not pictured in the photo above, but Susan also included an image of the Fracking Beetle, which has not taken up residence in my backyard, At least not yet.
Now here are the final stars of the show, which I’ve saved for last because I noticed them last. Their names appear just inside of this catalog for the show.
In little letters, inside of front page, you can find this line:
The catalog design is such a well done piece that I started looking for more info about Joe Freedman and Ilisha Helfman. It was such fun looking into the work of this duo! If you want your socks knocked off, check out this blog post written by Nancy Ricciwho visited their studio in Portland Oregon. Links from Nancy’s post will lead you to a plethora of highly diverse work done by Freedman and Helfman. But it won’t lead you to Joe’s current (kickstart) project, his GatorGraph which has nothing to do with alligators, but that’s all I will say about it because I wouldn’t want any understated description of mine deprive you of checking out this brainchild which surely inspires out-of-the box thinking. Oh, and if you are looking at the GatorGraph page and are feeling adventurous, click on the links to the projects that Joe has backed: he has a real eye for ingenious thinking.
So, thank you Joe and Iiisha for a great catalog, and thank you Ruth Sauer and Ed Hutchins for putting together a memorable show. It’s been a journey. Now, one last look at my favorite piece in the show…