Pop-Up Book: Five Elements

I’ve been working on this pop-up book for a while, and I used Vine (thanks for the recommendation, Gordon!) to make a miniature video of the images in the book. The interface seems a little clunky for Vine; frankly, though, the interface of a pop-up book is pretty clunky, too.

Anyway, here’s the still images from Flickr:

Elemental Pop-up book: Air

Elemental Pop-up book: Fire

Elemental Pop-up book: Water

Elemental Pop-up book: Earth

Elemental Pop-up book: Spirit


Are there things wrong with these books? Sure.  I think that I would re-design them next time so that the background panel is the same color as the Element itself; and I would do a better job of building the landscape suggested by each of the four Elements: the dawn meadow, the summer greenwood, the beach at autumn, the winter forest.  I’d also try to do a better job of suggesting the other symbols related to each element, like the signs of the Zodiac, and such.  But hey, it’s a pop-up book, and my first such book completed, and I’m pretty proud of it.  Sure, you can’t exactly read it to your kid over an iPhone or a Kindle, but it’s not bad.

Along these same lines, I ran a class today in how to use the 3D printer at school, and I taught seven kids the drawing schematic suggested by Dave Gray (which I call the Semigram).  If you haven’t taught yourself this basic set of drawing instructions, and taught at least one other person how to use it, YOU ARE MISSING OUT.  None of what you see in the photographs attached to this blog post would have been possible without that visual training, however brief, however simplistic.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have at least some basic drawing skills built into a Design Thinking plan at school, and you cannot get past this particular hump if you keep telling yourself, “Oh, I’ll never be able to draw.”  This book was drawn with scissors and glue, as much as with pen; but it took the knowledge of the drawing aptitudes to be able to construct the book.  It involves a way of seeing the world.

Oh, yeah.  And magic. Without magic, and some intentional investigation of the Mysteries of the Western Tradition (like alchemy, and magic, and suchlike) this book wouldn’t have been possible, either.


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