For nearly 30 years, Movable Stationery has been lovingly shepherded by the founder of The Movable Book Society, Ann Montanaro Staples. At the last biennial conference in 2018 in Kansas City, Ann announced her well deserved retirement. In the following months a search for her successor as Editor was initiated. While at that conference, it was my honor to serve as the 25th anniversary Keynote speaker. It was such a wonderful experience and I met so many new young and talented paper engineers (see the entry below about the A to Z book!) and reunited with old friends, that I just had to toss my hat into that ring. My history as both paper engineer and art director have given me some useful skills and perspective gained through years of experience.
It was a daunting task to continue on the path that Ann had painstakingly eaked out. But I was grateful to be supported by Ann, Ellen (The PopUp Lady, herself!), all the members of the MBS board, but most of all, the MBS director, Shawn Sheehy. He has been absolutely indispensable in his support and assistance.
Since then we have published two issues and another soon to be released. This newsletter is a benefit of membership with the MBS, so normally and understandably, distributed to only those members. Taking the newsletter online, however, has provided some fantastic new opportunities with the tools available: more space for larger photography, hyperlinks that do not have to be typed as before, and movie clips as well. But again, this being a benefit of membership, it is restricted to just those members. However, we are having so much fun with this, that this month we have opened the pages of our newsletter to everyone who is a fan of movable books, members and the curious alike — and invite all to explore how Movable Stationery can keep you informed on the world of movable books. If you like what you see, please…spread the word and share the link to this issue. More importantly, consider joining us on a regular basis. For a small annual contribution of only $32, or $37 outside the US, you will receive all the benefits of membership, including access to future issues of this newsletter. Become a member at MovableBookSociety.org
And Ann, thank you one more time for your vision to create this community of movable book lovers and the fortitude to will it all into being. Enjoy your continuing adventures!
Released in December 2019, The Pop-Up Book of Westerly, Rhode Island was commissioned by The Ocean Community Chamber Foundation as a non-profit special project to celebrate the history, culture and landmarks of Westerly’s vibrant, charming seaside community during its 350th year. 100% of its profits support charitable endeavors and revitalization efforts.
My partners on this book were the force of nature herself, Lisa Konicki, with charming illustrations by Lisa Szaro. I traveled to Westerly for its release and was awestruck by the entire experience. Westerly is almost romantic its seaside ambiance, rich history (350 years worth!) and I was lucky enough to stay at The Ocean House, probably the nicest place I’ve ever vacationed. If you come to Westerly (and please do!), try to stay there at least one night. You won’t regret the luxurious and personal care you will receive.
I would like to note that this book was inspired by a book created by the late Roger Culbertson, a well known and well liked paper engineer whom I sadly never had the pleasure of meeting.
Currently underway is a followup companion book for the neighboring town of Stonington. This time the illustrator is Stonington legend, Susan Pfeifer Scala. Our goal is to have this book in hand by late August of this year. I will post updates when I can!
Previously released in September 2018, the Movable Book Society‘s limited edition juried collection of alphabet pop-ups, AtoZ, is now the feature of a short documentary by Christopher Helkey. The collection was designed to commemorate the MBS’s 25th Anniversary. The biennial conference travels from city to city each time landing for the 25th anniversary in Kansas City, Mo, at which I was honored to deliver the keynote address.
In addition to the plethora of wonderful speakers and topics, it was my pleasure to meet for the first time, many of the talented and aspiring paper engineers from around the world who would come to be selected for this amazing limited edition collection. Along with Monika Brandrup, vice-president and creative director of Up With Paper, and collector Larry Seidman (who wrote a companion booklet about the MBS and the process of the competition) , the three of us served as judges. The choices were difficult as there were so many worthy submissions. (Each paper engineer was allowed to submit a design for up to three letters). Choosing the final 26 designees entailed much thought and discussion among the judges, but the final winners were all well deserving, as evidenced by the work seen in the collection. Up With Paper, along with Poposition Press (Rosston Meyer), embellished and prepared the submissions for print and consistency throughout the collection. Also of special note, the custom box that houses the collection, along with the logo for the AtoZ competition, were created by Isabel Uria. It was also my honor to create the pop-up variation of her logo that resides inside the cover of the box.
Congratulations to the winners featured in the AtoZ collection: A-Simon Arzipe (also the winner of the 2018 Meggendorfer Prize) B-Camille Magaud C-Peter Dahmen D-Dorothy Yule E-Eric Broekhuis F-Yoojin Kim G-Jess Tice-Gilbert H-Angelo Ferrari I-Lena Ignestram J-Hiromi Takeda K-Rob Kelly L-Courtney McCarthy M-Wai-Yin Kwan N-Kelli Anderson O-Kyle Olmon P-Maike Bierderstaedt Q-Aurore Le Vilain R-Julie Charvet S-Isabel Uria T-Sheila Hirata U-Shelby Arnold V-Damien Prudhomme W-Shawn Sheehy X-Katherine Belsey Y-Tina Yeung Z-Yevgenia Yeretskaya
If you would like to obtain your own piece of history, Hurry!, the AtoZ Limited Edition boxed set only has a certain number remaining. Click here to get yours before they are all gone! http://movablebooksociety.org/product/atoz/
My first experience working with the team at National Geographic’s Kids. It was a delight working with Shelby Lees, Amanda Larsen, Hilary Andrews and Darrick McRae! But this book would not be possible without the spirit and drive of Marianne Dyson, and of course, Buzz Aldrin, one of America’s national treasures!
Update: Saturday was an unqualified success. The interactive exhibit designed by the team at the Children’s Museum of Houston is a joy. Rather than just displaying pop up books under glass (as is the usual method of pop-up book exhibitions), they have created a truly hands-on experience for children of all ages. Display cases have rods that allow paper mechanisms to move back and forth to show exactly how these works. Above are paper instructions that you can cut out and form yourself. Another section has a tunnel that allow paper airplanes of various forms to take flight. The planes then fall back out on the floor for retrieval. Origami displays, die cutting, so many educational stations. My workshops were a lot of fun for the lucky dozen in each. I’m not sure who had more fun: the children, their parents, or ME! I look forward to returning so that I can have more time to discover all the features of this outstanding display.
By the way, you can download a copy of the pop up I taught at the workshop, along with step by step visual instructions here:
I am pleased to announce that I will be a featured guest at the grand opening of the new Paper Engineering exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Houston May 12. While there I will be available to sign copies of Love You Forever alongside Sheila McGraw, the illustrator of the best selling book. Additionally I will lead four workshops, first come first served, to learn a little about paper engineering and build a special pop-up for the event.
I do hope you and your parents can make it to the event, but in case you can’t, you can download the pop up from the workshops, and follow along with photo instructions here.
IN 2017, I worked with Lehr & Black, a distinguished event planning service in Los Angeles, to design a pop-up inside a box. With the theme of Great Gatsby, we created this pop-up that displays when the foil stamped box is opened. A great touch that the creatives at Lehr&Black added was a copper toned mirror inscribed with details of the invitation.
Very excited to share that the book I created with Buzz Aldrin, Marianne J Dyson and the incredible staff at National Geographic Kids is off to the press! The book even comes with a papercraft Lunar Lander Module that you can punch out and construct for display. This book tells the story of Buzz Aldrin’s journey preparing for, touching down and returning to Earth just in time for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing back in 1969. We hope that this book will bring that journey to life for those who weren’t there for the event and spark more interest in the future of space exploration and manned spaceflight.
Earlier this year I was contacted by DeNovo Alternate Marketing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to design three pop-ups that would eventually be included in a special printing of gift books memorializing the development of the incredible new children’s hospital. This series of pops were titled From Dream to Reality, chronicling the development, construction and opening of The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids. Working closely with DeNovo’s Chris Moore, CedarGraphic’s Chris LaBarr, and with illustrations by Steve Penberthy I created a pop of a drafting table, the building under construction, and the finished hospital. Each copy of the 106 books were personalized to a particular person or persons. As part of this effort, I agreed to also hand assemble each pop from die cut pieces supplied by Cedar Graphics and eventually to insert them into the finished books. The assembly for each book took a full hour once the minutes were tabulated. So that meant 106+ total hours. However, the process of producing these books required many many revisions and coordination. In the end, it was necessary to condense all that assembly time into a two week period, requiring an around the clock effort to make the looming deadline. Here are a few photos of the process.
Firefly Books, in an ad wrapping the May 1 issue of Publishers Weekly, has announced the upcoming September release of the perennially best selling, Love You Forever, the Pop-Up Edition. Originally published in 1995, the beloved story by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw, is now reimagined as a three dimensional, interactive pop up book by Bruce Foster. Adapting Sheila’s original illustrations to work as pop ups and movable, pull tab pop ups, Bruce has added a poignant new layer to the already deeply emotional tale of a parent’s love for his/her child.
December 2016 saw the release of two new pop up projects from my studio: a 12 month spiral bound movable 2017 calendar for Sophos Software and a custom Christmas card for the Vague Family in Philadelphia, PA.
Working closely with Tyler McKellar of Rifle Agency, located in the shadows of the Grand Tetons, Idaho, we created a 12 month calendar commemorating a comical day in the life of an IT professional. Tyler provided both the creative direction and comic sensibilities while I created the illustrations (loosely inspired by a previous animated project by Rifle Agency for Sophos) as well as the paper engineering. For each month there is a comical scene illustrating the trials of being an IT professional inside a corporate environment and on the flip side, a calendar, complete with a satirical commentary for the month. The calendar was so popular that Sophos immediately commissioned versions translated into Chinese and Japanese for its Asian markets.
Sample example: Pulling a tab causes the sleeping IT professional to flip upward revealing a new scene:
The second release mentioned above was an elaborate pop up Christmas card for the Vague Family commissioned by the Brownstein Group, an advertising agency based in Philadelphia. Setting the card at a favorite holiday destination of the Vague Family, the card features the Sforza Castle near Milan, Italy complete with holiday booths. There is an inset pop up of the actual Sforza family, gathered to sing Christmas carols. Produced in conjunction with Structural Graphics, 600 cards were created at the same SG facility in Mexico that produced the Pier 1 Catalog a year earlier.