Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Pop-Up Design & Paper Mechanics, by Duncan Birmingham. Review.



18 Shapes to Make

By Duncan Birmingham

Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd 2016

£5.99 UK/$9.95 US

ISBN 978-1-78494-165-9



Star rating: ****



This 48-page booklet is an abbreviated version of Duncan Birmingham’s 2010 title, Pop-Up Design and Paper Mechanics: How to Make Folding Paper Sculpture. If you want a no-frills crash course on pop-up card designing – just the facts – then this streamlined format could be just the ticket.


As a guide to pop-up mechanisms, the combo of simple photos and line diagrams successfully explains how to make things work, although you will have to put on your thinking cap to imagine the card actions. Next time up: a pop-up You Tube channel, please!


The upfront sections on Working Practice and Simple Rules are clear and concise. Handy hints are sprinkled throughout - suggestions on how to refine results, avoid pratfalls, or up your game. I liked the suggested approach of pop-up sketching – encouraging the reader to experiment. The idea of gluing experiments back-to-back to make a pop-up portfolio has wings.


Featured pop-up mechanisms include several varieties of V-fold, Parallel Fold, Open-topped shapes (boat shapes), Twisting Mechanism (double-action!), and Bending Planes (spirals can be used to make easy-peasy pop-ups). 


This title would make a good gift for a papercrafting newbie, whether an older child or adult.