Swiss Army Knife Pop-up by Shawn Sheehy

Swiss Army Knife Pop-up by Shawn Sheehy

My plan was to go back to North Main Gallery in Salem< New York and take a photo of this exquisite pop-up Swiss Army Knife created by Shawn Sheehy.

Back-lit pop-up by Shawn Sheehy

Back-lit pop-up by Shawn Sheehy

Mission Accomplished. But there was a rub. When I started looking at the show again it was as if I hadn’t seen it at all the first time. A few pieces had caught my attention, and feeling quite satisfied with the work I had examined, somehow the rest faded away.

The fact is, this show is one of richest book arts exhibitions that I’ve seen. Consistent with the nature of books, the layers of the show keep revealing itself.

Display of the pages of Hen and Duck Books by Susan Bonthron

Display of the pages of Hen and Duck Books by Susan Bonthron

The artists were generous with what they brought to the show….like this display of pages Susan Bonthron mounted, which delightfully showed, all at once,  the pages of the exquisite little books…

Hen and Duck books by Susan Bonthron

Hen and Duck books by Susan Bonthron

…that were displayed (and which were sold out!) on the shelf below.

 

Models by Sheehy

These rather humble cardboard and tape books hid great surprises, as well as a peek into processes that I don’t usually see. Inside these books hid some fascinating creatures.

A maquette for Beyond the 6th Extinction: A Fifth Millennium Bestiary, Shawn Sheehy

Maquette for Beyond the 6th Extinction: A Fifth Millennium Bestiary, Shawn Sheehy

Each one of those pieces of folded cardboard contained the models of intricate pop-ups for Sheehy’s book Beyond the 6th Extinction: A Fifth Millennium Bestiary….

Details of page designed by Shawn Sheehy

Details of page designed by Shawn Sheehy

…and if the main star of the pop-up page isn’t enough all sorts of details are scattered about.  But this time, dear reader, you must know that I am completely smitten with this show. There’s more, but at this very moment I need to sign off this blog for tonight…you can look for yet another post on this show because I haven’t even mentioned the broadsides, the carrot/tree book , Susan’s Pesky Bug workshop and more.

However if you want to keep reading at this very moment…

…take a look at the write-up on the show in the local paper. Anon.

BASIS 2013  Daughton Plant Generousity_0117

Plant Generosity, Plant Patience, Nurture Joy, by Cathy Daughton

In the summer I miss seeing the outpouring of creativity that I get to see during the school year. Fortunately, North Main Gallery in Salem, New York has put on a book arts show rich in materials, ideas, structure and color.This has become an annual event, which I am grateful for!

BASIS 2013 poster with people

Keith, Beth and Ulrike viewing Shawn Sheehy’s Swiss Army Knife Pop-up

I attended the opening party on July 24, and took a few snap shots…I plan to go back today and get some more pictures (it’s a very photogenic show..) People came from near and far to see the show. On the top right there. in the chartruese sweater, is  Ulrike Grannis  a paper artist I met at the Center For Book  Arts in the late 1990, who came up from Chatham to see the show. Next to her is bookmaker, educator and advocate Beth Thielen

Anuimal ARchitecture detail, Shawn Sheehy

Animal Architecture detail, Shawn Sheehy

Here’s a pop up by Shawn Sheehy…I can’t even begin to imagine how one thinks up making a pop-up of a spider web. This piece one of many pages of a book in progress, which will be in full color, that will contain other examples of animal architecture, such as honeycombs and bird nests.

Shawn Sheehy

Shawn Sheehy

The opening included talks by each of the artists, so it we got to hear something about Shawn’s elaborate processes.

Forest, a tunnel book by Susan Bonthron

Forest, a tunnel book by Susan Bonthron

The theme of the show center around the natural world, and the variety of book structures shown here are varied: pop-ups, accordions, and tunnel books, like this one by Susan Bonthron, are just a few a the different kinds of bookmaking structures here. And what, you may ask is a tunnel book? Well, I took a snap shot of the set up, to show off the structure:

Tunnel books by Susan Bonthron

Tunnel books by Susan Bonthron

Tunnel books are horizontal accordions that create scenes with depth.  They close up flat but expand to reveal depth and detail.

Birds by Susan Bonthron

Birds by Susan Bonthron

This book, has a codex kind of binding but the pages are incised with bird silhouettes which show the landscape that they shadow upon.

Birds by Cathy Daughton

Birds by Cathy Daughton

More birds…Cathy spoke about this book during her talk, waxing poetically about taking one drawing and repeating it with variations.

Pop-up Flowers by Shawn Sheeny

Pop-up Flowers by Shawn Sheeny

I have been dissecting pop-ups for years, but I couldn’t even begin to fathom how Sheehy works out these designs. My favorite construction of his is a swiss army knife, which I hope to get back to photograph later today, and I will share this with you as soon as I get a good shot.

Pop uo Workshop with Shawn

Pop uo Workshop with Shawn

Much to my delight, the morning after the opening Shawn set up shop at the local gardening center Gardenworks, and walked us through how to put together  Sheehy vegetables. I made a pop-up tomato, string beans and swiss chard, and now I am even more confused…

Looking Inside a Swiss Chard pop-up, designed by Shawn Sheehy

Looking Inside a Swiss Chard pop-up, designed by Shawn Sheehy

…but it was delicious.

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