Sunday, March 27, 2016

Unfolding the Story Behind Paul Johnson's No Fold Pop-Up Books

The pop-up books of Paul Johnson wouldn’t look out of place in a museum or art gallery, but to really understand Johnson’s work you have to imagine seeing these pieces in a classroom. “One half is working in books. One half is teaching literacy to children,” Johnson says. For him, the pop-up books were a way to get children excited to read and write by first getting them interested in the book itself. And these books are exciting, not just as works of art, but as works of inspired engineering.
Instead of folds, these books are held together entirely by paper piano hinges and dovetail joints. Avoiding folds has many practical benefits: there’s less paper fatigue, individual pieces can be easily replaced, and the books can be packed completely flat — perfect for the many and far-flung workshops that Johnson teaches.

Once he has an idea for a story, he begins work on the structure of the book. First comes a rough model, constructing its architecture while playing with the structure. Then the individual pieces — there can be around 200 of them in each book — of this template get traced onto large sheets of dyed watercolor paper and assembled.
One piece, when held downward, looks like a loose stack of papers. Turn it right-side up and the book expands before your eyes with little more than gravity acting upon it. “There’s an element of surprise, there’s an element of performance,” Johnson says. The same two elements, he says, are critical when it comes to teaching.

Special Thanks to Lisa Johnson and "Make: We Are All Makers"

Now, go make something beautiful ...
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan


Tawney said...

I am awed by everything about this - from the concept to the execution. Mesmerizing.

Jackie PN said...

Absolutely incredible! What a creative mind to design something so intricate, interesting and most of as a teaching material!
This was such a cool post Tristan! Thanks so much for sharing- I love to learn about artists who are different and out of the "usual"!
Happy Easter to you!
Jackie xx

peggy gatto said...

Genius!!! I have several pop-up books. Got a new Alice in wonderland from my son and it is gorgeous.Details details and little pull outs and letters and secret places!
Say, I love your clip of "scarlett" pinching her cheeks, classic!!!!

A Magical Whimsy said...

Oh! My! These artistically created books are fantastic! It's always amazing to find something so creatively different which inspires and delights the eye of the beholder. Thank you for sharing Paul Johnson's whimsical imagery. I have an Alice in Wonderland pop-out book which I found at Border's Books and Cafe' before they closed their doors forever. It is one of my favorite Alice books which I have about thirteen various Alice related books and counting!
XO's to you
Teresa in California