I haven’t written much the last day or two because I’ve been engaged in fairly prosaic things like catching up on sleep, and cleaning. When you make 82 lbs, 7 ounces of chocolates in two weeks, and especially when you make 40+ pounds of chocolates in three days, the kitchen winds up covered in debris. It’s rather like seeing a street full of downed branches after a windstorm, or the footage you see on TV post-hurricane. There are cut-off bits of candy pads scattered on the floor, stacks of paper separators sprawled out over a chair, 30-40 plastic containers (and lids!) on the table. There is chocolate trampled into the kitchen floor. The chocolate tempering machine is still decorated with nouveau-art dribbles of chocolate, the chocolate molds need to be washed, and the ants found the leftover marzipan (’nuff said!). I am nowhere near getting everything clean, but am chipping away at the mess. My goal is to finish cleaning everything by the end of the day Sunday. It’s a tall order, but I think I can do it.
Meanwhile, my design class is drawing to a close. We’re working on our final project, which is to be an accordion book with the theme “Transformation”. It’s due next Thursday, and has to be six pages with at least two transformations over the course of the book. Me being me, of course, I’m actually doing eight pages, extending the story onto both inside covers. This is because I want to do a really rockin’ pop-up on the inside of the last page, and in a conventionally constructed accordion book, that means putting part of the pop-up on the back cover. So of course it wouldn’t be fair to the inside front cover to leave it undecorated, so…. 🙂
Anyway, I am doing my book on my transition from a mathematician wannabe to a fiber artist, and in my usual style, have decided to make it way more complicated and difficult (and interesting) than is strictly called for. The design is continuing to evolve, but basically it starts with a black-and-white, bare-outlines tangram “person” sitting around, looking at a mathematical diagram of a circle:
In the next frame, the person is reaching up to get the circle, which has now (not shown in mockup) transformed into a colorful handwoven fabric circle. I think the “person” also gets pastel colors instead of plain black and white, but that will be decided as I make the book.
After the figure catches the circle, it suddenly finds itself against a colorful background of handwoven fabric circles, and starts running through the circles, delighted:
In the first frame, the colors are regimented, in rows marching through the colors of the rainbow. In the second frame, the colors are much more active, with the warmer (eye-catching) colors surrounding the figure’s head and upper body, fading to purple, blue, and cool colors further away.
Then the figure runs up against a big octagonal stop sign, surrounded by mathematical formulae, and a diagonal line of “fencing”. The fencing will probably be some sort of embroidery resembling barbed-wire. At the bottom, the figure is seen sneaking past the octagon and through the barbed-wire:
I haven’t fully designed the last two pages yet, but basically as soon as the figure makes it through the fence, it transforms from a geometric figure into a Real Live rag doll, dancing amidst lots of ruffles of fabric and yarn and so on. And the final page will be one really rockin’, dynamic, pop-up of a fiber artist celebrating amidst piles of stash, tools, etc.
Which brings me to the real topic of this post: I have discovered THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!! It’s called The Elements of Pop-Up, and it is a detailed, analytical explanation of pop-up engineering complete with little demo pop-ups! Not only that, it’s got the world’s most complicated pop-up right inside the front cover. I mean, how much cooler can you get than that???
Check out these photos:
I mean, this is such a totally cool book that I almost want two copies! I know, I know, you can only read one copy at a time, but the only thing that could possibly be better than this book would be two of it, right? I am totally psyched.
So now it’s time for me to run off and read up on pop-up engineering. I want to make a pop-up just about as dynamic as that inside cover, which means reading up on what can be done and then trying to design my own. Combining it with fiber arts motifs and materials will be even more interesting!
And, um, yeah, the book is due next Thursday. But that gives me an entire week and a half to work on it, right? Surely someone as obsessive as me can turn out a really amazing book in nine days?
The National Museum of American History has an exhibit of pop-up books and how they are made–“Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn”
You may find the video on the website of interest. Best wishes with your pop-up book!
Cynthia Teague says
I have that book! I found it on clearance somewhere and bought it because it is indeed The Coolest Book Ever.
And I also wanted another copy — because this one seems like it could be damaged, and that would be awful. But they didn’t have a second, so I just keep mine hidden from the kids.