Category Archives: Art Education

Pop-Up “How To” Books That Deserve Shelf Space

This post is the 4th in a series detailing the “How To” books that survived my studio clean out because they deserve the space they occupy. I’ve been waiting to share with you about the Pop-Up Section until the Pop Up Now II show opened at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon. If you’d like to see the show in person it isn’t too late. The show is open until December 17th.

In case you’d like to read the previous posts:

“How To” Books That Deserve Shelf Space #1

“How To” Books that Deserve Shelf Space #2

“How To” Books that Deserve Shelf Space #3

Pop Up Now II at 23 Sandy Gallery

Now, to move on to Pop-Up “How To” books. Here they are in no-particular order. And I have to mention there are a few more that I want but don’t own yet.

The Elements of Pop-Up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers by David A. Carter and James Diaz


Don’t like the title scare you away. You don’t have to be any kind of engineer to use this book successfully. If you’re going the kind of person who needs a physical representation of pop-ups in order to figure them out (as I am), this book is for you! It has step by step instructions and detailed information on each kind of pop-up included and…


it has actual pop-up samples of each kind. If necessary you can take them out of the book and take them apart, but not easily. (Don’t ask how I know this.)


The Pop-Up Book: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating Over 100 Original Paper Projects by Paul Jackson


This is a beautifully illustrated book with extensive diagrams, photos and examples of each kind of technique. For example, “Shape of Slit.” While it looks complicated, the pop-up below is actually two folds and a cut slit. Paul Jackson will have you making fabulous pop-ups in no time.


Playing with Pop-Ups: The Art of Dimensional, Moving Paper Designs by Helen Hiebert


Helen Hiebert’s books are always excellent. This one features moveable features like volvelles in addition to the pop-up elements included in the first two books. I especially like that she includes historical information about the techniques.


If you feel like you already know all there is to know about pop-up techniques, it’s still worth the purchase of this Helen Hiebert book. In addition to a very strong “how to” section, there is this beautiful gallery section. Here are some samples by Julie Chen.


The Art of Pop-Up: The Magical World of Three-Dimensional Books by Jean-Charles Trebbi


While this book does have some “how to” at the end, and some samples (see the last photos), the real strength is the history and examples of pop up and move-able books. It’s an education and eye-candy combined.


I especially love the “Picture from ‘Transforming Performers: with Surprise Pictures” on the page below. Such a simple and do-able concept, but also eye-catching and a terrific way to advance content in a book.


There is also an extensive gallery section that will introduce you to pop-up artists and their work. It’s a great jumping off point to spend some time with Google and learn even more about these pop-up geniuses.


These last two photos are samples of the “how to” section of the book. Adequate, but not a good starter book. And honestly I don’t use it for this. But the first two sections are fabulous.


Well, now I want to go to the studio to make pop-up books! How about this? Next week I’ll give you a freebie tutorial on making pop-up trees. Perfect to use in holiday cards.

Do you have a “How To” Pop-Up book you’d recommend? Please share in the comments!


The Power of Art with Children (or Why Every Child Should Make Books, Lots of Them)

This is an extraordinary example of a partnership between an artist and school children.  Titled, If I Had a Garden, this book is a real treat. I’d tell you more about what I loved, but I’ll ruin the surprise…

Thank you to Klaus von Mirbach for sharing this on the BookArts ListServ.

You’ll find more of Klaus’ work in his blog. I think his work is amazing!

I especially enjoyed his photographs on his work with schoolchildren.

Have you made art with school children? I’d love to feature your work, too. Please email me or leave me a comment.


College Book Arts Association Conference: Inspiration, Technique, and More

I spent Friday and Saturday at the College Book Arts Association (CBAA) Conference and, wow, what a lot of amazing people, ideas and art!

It was great to reconnect with friends and colleagues that I haven’t seen in a while and to meet many new ones. It was also fun to meet people in person that I recognize from their participation in the Book Arts ListServ.

I spent the two days going to seminars on topics ranging from “Electronic Innovations in the Artist’s Book” to “Cross Purposes: Merging Book Art with Other Genres and Media” and going to demonstrations on techniques such as the Secret Belgian Binding and the Linked Baseball Stitch.

You do not have to be in, or associated with, a college to be a member and attend the conferences. And, even though it’s over now, you might want to peruse the Conference Program to see if this is something you’d like to go to in the future.  In 2014, the conference will be in Salt Lake City.

I’ve got a stack of inspiring ideas, techniques and people to learn more about and I thought I’d share these with you. I’ve got at least a month’s worth of blog material! Tomorrow I’ll start with some of the artists whose artists’ books I found most inspiring.

Did you go to the CBAA Conference? What inspired you?

Next: Luz Marina Ruiz


Having Fun with Art History at Khan Academy (Not just for kids!)

I was reading Wired Magazine the other day (the July issue to give you an idea how behind I am on everything) and I came across an article entitled, “How Khan Academy is Changing the Rules of Education.” Well since my background is in education and I have lots of kids in my life who are in school, I read it from beginning to end. It’s interesting, worth the read. Go ahead, I’ll pause while you read it…

When I finished the article I went to my computer and surfed over to the Khan Academy website to check it out for my niece, Marisol, who helps me keep my brain nimble by helping her with homework. Algebra, check, science, check. I’ll have to share this website with Mari, I thought.

Then I scrolled down a little further and I was surprised and tickled to find a section on Art History. Art History! One of my favorite subjects. Now I know from chatting with a lot of my artist friends that art history is not always a favorite topic, but I have to tell you, after checking out the Art History section of Khan Academy, you’ll might just change your mind. The videos are short, informative, conversational in nature, and will teach you a lot in a little bit of time.

At first I wandered through some of my favorites that I knew I would enjoy – and maybe learn a bit more about: Van Eyck’s portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife, Gaugin’s The Red Cow, and Millet’s the Gleaners.

And then, to challenge myself I tried an artwork that I don’t like very much but am open to the idea that my lack of education may affect my ability to understand it: de Kooning’s Woman I (Nope, no change, I still don’t like it, although I did learn a lot.)

It was tempting to spend hours going from one artwork to another but I think I’ll just add this website to my daily routine. One work a day.

While you’re there, check out the brain teasers, math, science and other topics. After sampling a few of the math videos I thought perhaps I’d like math a lot more if I’d learned it this way. There are even sections on Banking and Money, the Credit Crisis, Currency and Current Economics. Probably something we should all understand better. After I work through the Art History Section I’m going to check out the Astronomy.

Do you have websites that you use for your art education? Please post web links in the comments and tell us why you like that site.