May 31, 2011
May 26, 2011
1. In ancient Greek and Roman drama, a god introduced by means of a crane to unravel and resolve the plot.
2. Any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an apparently insoluble difficulty.
Orign: Deus ex machina is New Latin for "god from the machine"; it is a translation of the Greek theos ek mekhanes.
May 25, 2011
How amazing would that be to see glowing mushrooms in the rain forest?
May 24, 2011
May 23, 2011
May 19, 2011
I remember years ago at a Movable Book Society conference where I was checking out amazing pop-up books on dealer’s tables and an older collector ambled by and whispered, ‘If you think that is good, you should check out Max’s Machines, it’s the best pop-up book ever.’ Hyperbole or not, when someone hints about a great pop-up then I quickly look into it. Turns out the book costs a few quid so it took awhile for me to get my grubby mitts on a copy. It was worth it.
Max’s Machines was created by Willy Bullock in 1999 for Scholastic in the U.K, and right there on the cover boasts ‘the best pop-up book – ever’. (Seems like British paper engineers were always trying to one up each other since Richard Scarry released this book a year earlier.) Bullock creates three giant pop-ups in this five spread oversized book. First up is an intricate racecar that is lifted high above the page with the pull of a tab. Next is a giant dump truck that tips its load of dirt at the yank of a lever. And for the finale, our hapless hero Max is ejected from his supersonic jet when the tab is pulled.
Nowadays, Tim “Willy” Bullock has turned his attention to creating clever and complicated paper automata. He recently released his fun ‘Rude Moose’ kit which can be found on his cool4cats website. I can’t wait to see what is next.
1. Offensive to the smell; as, mephitic odors.
2. Poisonous; noxious.
Origin: Mephitic is the adjective form of mephitis, "a foul-smelling or noxious exhalation from the earth; a stench from any source," from Latin.
May 18, 2011
It has been a while since we shared and "I Spy" post but everyone at the studio was so mesmerized by this video that we had to share it. This high speed video of gelatin cubes bouncing on a mirror surface is brought to us from the mad geniuses of Modernist Cuisine. I usually reserve 'poetry in motion' for pop-up books and maybe figure skaters but we think this takes the cake. JELL-O turns out to have an interesting origin story - created by industrialist, inventor and philanthropist Peter Cooper. That same scientific approach to food is repeated years later by the folks who developed the amazing videos and photography for their six-volume reinventing of cooking. I can't tell if I am drooling over the Jell-O or these books.
May 17, 2011
1. The writing or compiling of dictionaries; the editing or making of dictionaries.
2. The principles and practices applied to writing dictionaries.
Origin: Lexicography is derived from the Greek lexicon (biblion), a word- or phrase-book (from lexis, a phrase, a word)+ graphein, to write.
May 16, 2011
David A. Carter is no stranger to this blog. I have tremendous respect for the man and he is a delight to be around. The studio recently came across an assortment of his pop-up cards and they were quickly snatched up. These 5” x 6” cards were designed in 2008 and published by Clarkson Potter (better known for their cookbooks and lifestyle titles) and produced by Millenium in China. I believe there are eight different designs with names like: Dots & Spots, Curlycue, Blossoms, Wave, Kaboom, Clicker, Paisley and Twister. Many of the compositions will be familiar to fans that followed the One Red Dot series. Each set contains a single design in four different colors printed on eight cards with colored envelopes. The cards have a universal appeal and are wordless, which allow the pop-ups to be used in a variety of occasions. The packaging mentions that the designs are influenced by the works of Matisse, Calder and Gehry among others and remember to pester him more about some of the hidden meanings and inspiration in his work. It also notes that David has authored over 70 pop-up books, so it looks like I have to start looking into more of his back catalog and find some of his earlier works, which may show up on this blog in short order.
Please check the comment board to see if your entry is still there. If not, you may enter again and we'll make sure that we have a record of the entry. Good luck to you all!
1. Of or pertaining to the art of cutting stones or engraving on them.
2. Or or pertaining to the refined or terse style associated with inscriptions on monumental stone.
1. One who cuts, polishes, and engraves precious stones.
2. A dealer in precious stones.
Lapidary is from Latin lapidarius, "pertaining to stone," from lapis, lapid-, "stone".
May 13, 2011
I'm not going to pretend to understand exactly how this video was produced, but I understand that the lasers and scanners took the data it collected and produced the 3D images we see in the video. The other really interesting part of the process was that on set they used a sheet of plexi glass with little pieces of mirrors on it that was put in front of Thom Yorke while 'scanning' him. This was to make the image break up and become irregular, which you'll see in the video.
Here's the 'House of Cards' video:
And you can check out more about how they made the music video here:
1. A person employed to take dictation or to copy manuscripts.
Origin: Amanuensis comes from Latin, from the phrase (servus) a manu, "a slave with handwriting duties," from a, ab, "by" + manu, from manus, "hand".
May 12, 2011
Today we are looking at a pop-up book of opposites. Black Cat, White Cat was created by Chuck Murphy in 1998. (It should not be confused with the excellent Yugoslavian adult comedy that came out the same year.) This smaller format, five spread book was published by Simon & Schuster as a follow up to his successful series that includes One to Ten and Color Surprises. Chuck Murphy is one of most solid paper engineers ever to lay scissors to paper and his work is among the first I turned to when I was teaching myself about pop-ups. He has a very easy and distinctive style, with high contrast graphics that compliment the rhyming text. I always get the feeling that his books are all very well thought out with careful attention paid to his children audience. You can read more about Chuck’s ideas from an older interview with Robert Sabuda and learn about his background from a short biography found at Random House.
I’ll leave you with a short video of the finale in this book. Still pictures just would not suffice. Enjoy!
May 11, 2011
Enter to win by commenting on this post and leaving your name and email address. We will choose a winner at random and the contest will close on June 15th. We will contact the winner via email to confirm the personalization of the book. Good luck!
He had disguised himself as a priest and managed to get up to the Jewel House and past the keeper. The keeper's son showed up unexpected and was able to sound an alarm about the robbery. King Charles was so dazzled with Blood's audacity to steal the Crown Jewels that he made him a member of his court instead of punishing him.
May 10, 2011
1. Something improvised or extemporized (to do or manage something in a makeshift way).
Origin: Autoschediastical enters English from the Greek by way of the German autoschediázien, "to extemporize."
May 9, 2011
Matthew Reinhart had a great time this past Saturday at Books of Wonder sharing his new Dragons & Monsters pop-up book and signing copies along side prestigious picture book illustrators Leo & Diane Dillon. If you missed the event, you can still stop by the bookstore and see the paper dragon window display and pick up an autographed book.
And if you are in the D.C. area tomorrow be sure to catch the final talk in a series of pop-up lectures when Bruce Foster will talk about “The Magic and Math of Harry Potter, The Pop-Up Book” at noon in the Carmichael Auditorium at the National Museum of American History.
May 5, 2011
I am a huge fan of Kees Moerbeek. This Dutch designer has made dozens of books over the years and his newest title, Aesop’s Fables releases in October. But today, we are looking at one of my favorite pop-up books he created with his wife Carla Dijs. Six Brave Explorers was produced by Intervisual for Price Stern Sloan in 1988. It was printed and bound at Carvajal in Columbia. I was once told that during the design of this book, Kees and Carla were told that the book was too expensive so they had to cut some corners. And cut they did. This six-spread book has a unique triangular format that sliced their paper usage nearly in half. What a creative idea!
The format of this counting book is based off the “Ten Little Indians” children rhyme and Kees is not afraid to interject a little death and colonialism in the pages. The simple central pop-ups stand tall over the main characters and an easy flow is established throughout the book. This book was such a success that two other titles: Four Courageous Climbers and Oh, No Santa soon followed. Let’s hope that many more books spring from the mind of Kees Moerbeek.
May 4, 2011
1. Hard work; vigorous exertion.
Origin: Elbow grease was a metaphor for manual labor, as in elbow grease is the best wax for polishing furniture. Now in an extended sense it can refer to any effort, physical or mental.
The fragile painting was stolen during a 50 second break-in on February 12, 1994. The two thieves that broke in left a note on the wall reading "Thousand thanks for the bad security!". In January of 1996 four men were convicted and sentenced in connection with the theft.
May 3, 2011
1. Of or pertaining to walking about or traveling from place to place; itinerant.
2. Of or pertaining to the philosophy taught by Aristotle (who gave his instructions while walking in the Lyceum at Athens).
Origin: Peripatetic derives from Greek peripatetikos, from peripatein, "to walk about," from peri-, "around, about" + patein "to walk".
His folded white paper pieces are usually of imagined architectural scenes. Check out more of Schubert's work here.
May 2, 2011
A surprise guest dropped by the studio last Friday after a long delayed flight from Manila, Philippines. Pop-up collector and advertising guru, Adie Pena was in New York for one of his biennial visits to the States. It had been years since we last met at the Movable Book Society conference in Washington D.C. and I was eager to hear what Adie has been up to. It looks like he is busier than ever as teaching three advertising courses at the De La Salle -College of Saint Benilde, as well as helping with a local theater production that involves a dress that unfolds over the entire stage as figures appear like pop-up elements.
Adie has been collecting pop-up books and movable advertising for over 18 years and is known as one tough critic of paper engineering but we were able to get a some smiles out of him with a few sneak peeks of our upcoming projects like Puppies and Rescue. We hope that he enjoyed the city during the wonderful weather this weekend and his return flight was smooth enough for him to concentrate on his other passion, anagrams.