Carousel of ideas

Let’s make a carousel book

A simple construction to a beautiful object.

A simple construction to a beautiful object.

When I learned that Pooja Makhijani — author/crafter/blogger from whom I first learned bookbinding back in 2011 — is conducting a carousel book class at the little library in my neighbourhood, there is only one thing to do — sign up!

Learning a new technique is always fun and I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

What I know now

• A carousel book is really a 3D object, a marriage between a pop-up and an accordian book.

• The format is perfect for short, visual story telling. You can make a book with four, five, six or more “scenes”. And fill each with a visual. Creating these scenes is the bulk of the work, depending how complex each is.

• A scene is created by cutting out parts of the paper, so that you get a foreground/background effect.

Stitched: Secure the three accordian folds with a pamphlet stitch at each mountain fold between “scenes”. At each end, pierce a hold and loop a ribbon through luggage tag-style.

Secure the three pieces of paper with a 3-hole pamphlet stitch at each mountain fold BETWEEN “scenes”. At each end, pierce a hold and loop a ribbon through luggage tag-style.

My humble attempt.

My humble attempt.

Done! ...but it’s just the beginning.

Done! …but it’s really just the beginning.

Windows

My classmate that afternoon, seeing that I was cutting squares and rectangles for my scenes, remarked that I should make each a window into a room. Just like in Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film. A great idea!

With some rudimentary know-how under my belt, I turned to Google for inspiration.

Examples

Here are four good ones:

1) “All Hail the Queen” by Sarah Robbins, USA

Sarah Robbin’s lush tribute to bees.

Sarah Robbins’ lush tribute to bees.

More here.

Ideas: Gold/metallic cards, intricate pop-up elements, designs on each layer

2) “A Sense of Place” by Dea Fischer, USA

Evocative photos of landscapes in a carousel book format.

Evocative photos of landscapes in a carousel book format.

This book has been acquired by the Rare Books collection at Yale University. See the process photos here.

Ideas: Transparency, minimalism, photography, variation in construction

3) “The First Noël – A Christmas Carousel” by Jan Pienkowski, Poland

Jan Pienkowski tells a Christmas story.

Jan Pienkowski tells a Christmas story.

See a short animation by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries here.

Ideas: White-on-white effects, story telling

4) “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” by Emily Martin, USA

This book has been acquired by Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. There are magnets embedded in the covers.

Emily Martin’s retelling of Romeo & Juliette.

Emily Martin’s retelling of Romeo & Juliette.

More here.

Ideas: Extensions, variation in construction, story-telling

I should get to work soon!

•••

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