Archive for April, 2009

London Calling

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Last week a young paper engineer popped into the studio for a quick visit before returning to England. We haven’t seen Elinor Dean since last September (you can reminisce here) and she had a lot of stories to share from the past six months, such as the time she had to make a one-meter tall pop-up card in a week’s time. She also brought one of the recent titles from British genius, Nick Denchfield called Commander Nova’s Alien Space Station. I absolutely love his 360-degree pop-up playset design complete with cleverly constructed spaceships.


While Eli did not have many pop-ups to show since she was catching a plane over the pond, she did share that her new website has launched. After checking it out, I think that it captures her personality perfectly. Be sure to check out her paper engineered creations and more at

– Kyle


Friday, April 17th, 2009


This past weekend a great show featuring nine very different paper artists opened in Los Angeles. PAPERSHAPERS is hosted by the hip automobile company, Scion and was curated by Giant Robot. The installation features not one but two of my favorite paper artists:

Peter Callesen has really wowed me with his poetic exploration of positive and negative space with paper. (I’m still reeling from the Perry Rubenstein Gallery show back in January.)

Brian Dettmer transforms retired reference books and other media into meticulously carved sculptures. They way he creates a narrative by revealing sections of a book’s page is a true marvel.

PAPERSHAPERS will be up until May 2, 2009 for those who are within driving distance of L.A. As for the rest of us, the good folks at Paper Forest visited the exhibition and posted some great images of the various paper crafters. Be sure to poke around the Paper Forest site to discover other folks making great things out of cardstock.

– Kyle

Smooth Move

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly is chock full of gossip about Madonna, Drew and Justin and most interestingly, a pop-up advertisement. Dr Pepper has been around since 1885, lending an air of medical authority to the soft drink business. Thanks to some scientific breakthrough they have sequenced the Prunus avium genome and are ready to introduce Dr Pepper Cherry. Fans of the ill-fated Dr Pepper Red Fusion may take consolation in this possibly similar concoction, but is the rest of the world ready for the good doctor’s new frankensoda? To assuage any fears they wanted to share how smooth the beverage is. The cover depicts a tall perspiring glass of Dr Pepper Cherry with the question “How smooth is the taste?” Let’s open the spread to reveal the answer to this coy question.

Dr Pepper Cherry Pop

“Amazingly smooth” we are told. You might go so far as to say…smooth as silk. As the spread is opened, the soda can tips slowly as silk falls into a pool below. It’s a provocative ad, making some viewers in the office think of satin sheets on Valentine’s Day and others of a sea of blood matched only by images from the motion picture “The Shining”. I’m not sure if the ad company was shooting for that imagery, but it made for a hearty discussion at the studio and if you can talk about an advertisement for more than five seconds than you know you have a real smooth ad on your hands.

– Kyle

An Uplifting Experience

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

This past Wednesday was the annual benefit for the Center for Book Arts in New York City. The CBA, founded in 1974, serves the book arts community through exhibitions, lectures, publications, artist assistance and education. This is one of the few places in the United States where you can learn the art of the pop-up and movable books from teachers like Carol Barton, Michael Caputo or Shawn Sheehy. I was fortunate to take a workshop there last year and really enjoyed the facilities and environment.

Sheehy elevator

The theme of this year’s benefit was ‘Construction’ as the Center hopes to raise funds to replace their aging elevator. The event was well attended and the place looked great. They really played up the construction theme with servers donning hard hats to pass out tasty hors d’oeuvres served in Tonka trucks. The clever cocktails were truly potent with my favorite being the ‘smooth elevator operator’. The live and silent auction went as well as could be in this economy; so well in fact, that I was outbid for a beautiful woodblock print. In addition, they commissioned ten artists to contribute pop-ups addressing the theme all of which turned out wonderfully. Carol Barton, Emily Martin and Shawn Sheehy were among the pop-up artists selected to create pieces for the evening’s raffle. Alas, despite promises from the staff that my raffle tickets were “extra lucky” I did not come home with a prize. But I did leave with a renewed fondness for the Center of Book Arts and it’s achievements and I look forward to seeing what other good things will come out of this beloved institution.

– Kyle