Archive for June, 2009

One Lucky Duckie

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Happy Duckling

Just by chance, I came across the trailer for a wonderful animated short that is making waves in the film festival circuit. The Happy Duckling is an eight minute animated adventure set in a pop-up book world. It follows a young boy as he navigates his way through a pop-up book world as he evades a curious duck.

It is reported that the film was produced by a talented and dedicated team of students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Arts and Design and Abertay University in England. The Happy Duckling was written and directed by Gili Dolev in 2008 and features original music by Mick Cooke of Belle and Sebastian fame.

This is some of the slickest computer representation of pop-ups that I have seen, and I hope to one day get to see the entire feature. Looks like my best chance would be to view it at SIGGRAPH in August. Fellow paper engineer, Matthew Shlian, took part in this conference last year and spoke very highly of it’s ability to showcase cutting edge collaborations of art and technology.

Even if I don’t make it to New Orleans for the film festival, I hope that these young animators will continue to dazzle us with their fun, inventive storytelling and computer craft. Maybe one day we will be able to see a whole pop-up world unfold on the big screen.

– Kyle

Above and beyondWORDS

Friday, June 19th, 2009


The book artist/curator/indefatigable promoter, Ed Hutchins sent me a catalog to his latest book arts exhibition. “beyondWORDS:BookFest 2009” will run June 11-29 at The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences Gallery with an opening reception slated for Sunday, June 14, from 5-7pm. According to the press kit, the show features 55 handmade books that “illustrate how words can be presented in re-imagined and re-created ways, and how, in some cases, the message can be delivered without words at all.” Ed Hutchins and his co-curator Carolyn Chadwick assembled an international group of book artists that approach dimensional books from very different directions. A quick scan of the full color catalog revealed a few familiar names to this site. Emily Martin, Shawn Sheeny and Rand Huebsch all have interesting pieces on display.

There are many other beautiful and unorthodox book forms in this exhibit and I hope to make it out to see them in person. (Besides, how could I possibly pass up a visit to the gallery’s hometown of Loveladies, NJ?)

– Kyle

Calling all Craftsmen

Friday, June 12th, 2009

The wonderful Carol Barton just shared news of an upcoming pop-up exhibit in the ‘Sunshine State’ this Fall. Florida Craftsmen is a non-profit organization that has been supporting Florida’s fine craft artists for the past fifty-three years. Elizabeth Kozlowski, of the Florida Craftsmen Gallery, was kind enough to provide a call for entries form and the information is reproduced below.

Florida Craftsmen Logo

Call to Artists

Exhibition: Scissors: Pop-Up
A national juried and invitational exhibition of original movable books. Curated in collaboration with: Margaret Miller, Director, USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphic Studio

Dates: September 18 – October 31, 2009

Submission requirements and fees: Artists must submit a minimum of 3 digital images of the book for review including 1 detail in jpeg format on a CD. Files should be no larger than 8 x 12 inches at 300 dpi resolution.

If selected, the actual book will be on exhibit at Florida Craftsmen, Inc.

The entry may be one-of-a-kind, or created and published in an edition but cannot be a trade edition (i.e. produced commercially by a publishing house for sale nationally or internationally).

The submission fee is $10.00.

Digital File Samples on a CD due to FC August 10, 2009
Acceptance Letters out August 21, 2009
Books due to FC September 8, 2009
Work available for pick up November 2, 2009

Shipping: At the artists expense
Insurance: In-house insurance provided by Florida Craftsmen, Inc.

Additionally, on September 12, 2009, from 10 am to noon, there is a free panel discussion that is open to the public called: “History Of Pop-Ups” moderated by Jennifer Sheehan, Ph.D, University of North Texas

Looks like this exhibition is open to everyone (not just Florida residents) so get cutting and submit some pop-up wonders to be showcased in St. Petersburg!

– Kyle

Going Pro

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

After years of wringing my hands and saving pennies I finally took the plunge and bought myself a CraftRobo Pro cutting plotter from Graphtec. The CraftRobo Pro is like a large printer but instead of an ink cartridge there is a small swiveling blade that will contour cut the die lines I create in Adobe Illustrator. Goodbye scissors and broken X-acto blades. I was suspicious when Shawn Sheehy began using one a few years ago. Later, I was jealous to learn that Sam Ita has been using the Pro to create his latest book. I finally gave in and bought my own.

CraftRobo Pro

Now that “Baby Signs” is in bookstores I have been working on a new pop-up idea. This new design requires such precise and complex cutting that I was ruining my eyes and wrists trying to create the multiple versions of each pop-up! It was time to embrace technology. I have played around with the small desktop CraftRobo before but found that it would only cut a few small pieces at a time. I needed something a little more heavy duty. I needed to go Pro.

– Kyle