Thursday, March 22, 2012

NZ Book Month Pop Ups!

me and The Red Poppy Pop-up

I have a friend who is an engineer, and I am an artist. She and I have vastly differering  jobs but last night I almost ventured into her world. With paper. 

It was a New Zealand Book Month event run by The Wellington Children’s Book Association and  featured the wonderful collector of pop-up books (amongst other interesting antiquities) Trevor Morley and myself.  Trevor has a fantastic collection of books from rare collector's items by Ernest Nister through to amazing Star Wars pop ups complete with light sabres!  The young boys in the audience were entranced by the books and all thoughts of Playstation were gone from their heads as they contemplated the mechanics involved in the engineering before them.

Trevor also had an 'Adult' selection which required a driver’s license and proof of age to view. Much giggling was heard in the corner (oh, was that from me?) as pop ups of all sorts abounded. Trevor was a former vice squad cop, so he was at pains to make sure that no one was accidentally offended or over educated by a mistaken viewing.

I turned my hand to simple engineering and showed how to make words pop up to make simple and effective greeting cards, then went on to a larger project; making a pop up diorama of The Red Poppy; the book that has occupied my illustration career for a few months past. Everyone got to make a smaller black and white version of it too, with the help of the Storylines scissors and glue sticks kit that we use each year for arts and crafts at the festival day.

I promised the enthusiastic audience some links to useful sites that show how to make pop ups.
Here they are:
Extreme Cards:  this one has all the different sorts of cards you will ever need- very useful! It also has a pattern for the Volvelle; the disappearing picture- a bit tricky to get right but worth persevering with 

Popular Kinetics is another useful site- I particularly like the ‘make your own Occupy tent’ one. This site has lots of card ideas- just click on all the pages and occupy yourself for hours! 

 And, if you want to make a Red Poppy scenario this is how you do it:

1) Download the pictures below and print out 2 copies  of the background image and one of the characters. The line image is a guide for tracing onto the back of one of the backgrounds.
2) Fold and crease the backgrounds images in half one way and then the other so they it fold easily either way.
3) On ONE of the background images, cut along the solid lines (not the dotted ones)
4) Fold and crease along the dotted lines and make sure they bend from either side easily
5) Open  it up and push the cut areas out so they form box shapes; this is what you'll glue your other character pieces to. Lay it down flat again for the next bit.
6) Cut out Jim, Nipper and the poppies and glue them to the front of the 'boxes' you have pushed out.
7) Glue the other background to the back of the pop up, making sure you don't glue it to the box parts that pop out!
8) Open it all up and there you go! Jim on the battlefield heading  towards the patch of poppies in No Man's Land and Nipper the brave little messenger dog, waiting  to rescue him!

Now go to the Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie and buy a copy- it'll help keep me and David Hill working to produce some more lovely things to look and read :)
Happy NZ Book Month everyone!


cutting and folding guide- lay along the centre of your paper

Jim, Nipper and poppies

Background- print 2

© Fifi Colston 2012

1 comment:

Melinda Szymanik said...

adult section for pop up books? - I have to say my mind ran riot with these words. And "at pains to make sure that no one was accidentally offended or over educated by a mistaken viewing" had me laughing till I cried. Over educated - I can see that's a phrase I will be utilising in future to counteract any overzealous censors. Glad the evening was such a success - you are a marvel Miss Colston