The Book Art Project - Image

The Project



Artist's Works

Limited Editions


Paul Johnson

















































































































Workshops for the General Public and Book Artists

The Book as Picture:
The Permanently Open Page

Construct a 3-dimensional book that hangs on the wall instead of sitting on a shelf. Class begins with a look at books Paul has designed to display as reliefs or hung as pictures. Participants make 3D models using these techniques. Finally, we incorporate several of these models into a single book and experiment with different paper-engineering techniques (including pop-up toy theatre forms) for use within the single page.

A Box of Fireworks

No one can wrest more surprise from a few pieces of paper than Paul Johnson can. This class starts with participants making a paper origami box. Then you’ll construct an extending pop-up book that ‘grows’ out of the box. As you lift the book, pages pop out from the sides like a pyrotechnic display! It’s great fun to make and, amazingly, requires only paper, scissors and glue. A workshop of terrific fun.

Spring Books

Make a movable book of interlocking pages that springs out of a box. Both the book and the box (including the attached lid) are made from single sheets of paper without the use of adhesive. Another springing book that joins pages together by using scrolls follows. Finally, we make a fantastic 3D book integrating paper quilling into the design. Please note that this is a completely different session to the Box of Fireworks workshop.

Making Movable Editions- Single sheet books

The workshop begins with cutting out and assembling from the flat sheet one of Paul’s 90 -degree pop-up editioned books; we then explore techniques and produce several models easily constructed from a photocopied base design. Finally, participants design a pop-up book on a single sheet of paper suitable for reproduction as an edition.

Making Movable Editions- Multiple section books

The workshop begins with constructing a classic 180- degree foundation form as a template and exploring the many themes – box, house, boat, flying craft – that can be processed from it. We explore 3D designs as flat shapes that can be photocopied, cut out and assembled as an editioned movable book. This workshop is independent of Making Movable Editions- Single sheet books.

Book of Ours

Make a meditative book inspired by medieval books of hours. Participants We begin by making an extended cut and fold accordion book. Inspired by a poem, we make a simple decorative line work design on the first page, and then pass the book to the person next to us who contributes similarly before passing it on, and so on. Eventually each book arrives back with the originator who makes a cover for it and takes it home.

Dream House Carousel Book

Make a four-room pop-up book that joins end to end to make a 360 degree house-in-the-round. Carousel books are as popular in children’s book publishing today as they were in the 19th Century. Using basic folding, cutting and joining techniques – no advanced engineering skills required - we explore the minutiae of a doll’s house as pop-up movables. There will be plenty of opportunities to personalize this magical panoramic book – it could be a portrait of your own home!

Secret Gardens in Boxes

The first box is conceived as an arbor with stand up topiary, shrubs, a canopy and surrounding pergola. It is made from a single sheet of paper (and so is ideal to be made into an edition) and can be folded down flat.The second box, also made from a single sheet of paper is divided into two sections. One contains a relief picture – it could be a Japanese garden with tea house, bridge and lanterns – and the other holds a pop-up accordion book containing your own haiku poem based on the relief’s theme.

Pop-up Extravaganza

Make a pop-up book of a haunted house, a giants castle, and a pirate sailing boat and so much more. Some pop-ups can be made by using just scissors, but with a spot or two of glue you can make the kind of pop-up books you see in book stores. An exciting day of making pop-ups books by one of the UK’s leading paper engineers.

The Book as Architecture

Paul Johnson specializes in making three-dimensional books inspired by architecture in which there are no folds and therefore no paper 'fatigue'. All sections are fastened together using a range of paper hinges, locks, and dovetail joints. One advantage of this method is that sections can be modified and redesigned as the model develops - you simply take out one section and replace it with another. In this intensive workshop students will make a pop-up gazebo using these techniques. You can see several of Paul Johnson's 'book without folds' in the Artist's Work section (scroll down to New Work 2009).

Market Day pop-up book

This movable book is inspired by Maison de Poupee, one of the finest and most captivating "toy books" to come from France in the 1900s. We make four connecting pop-up shops - florist, toy shop, candy store and fashion shop using paper joints. The premises, which are free-standing, drop forward on canopies. The beauty of this structure is that all the items in it, from a bouquet of flowers to a tiny bag hanging from the shopkeeper's counter, are all hinged together. A great fun-to-make book!

The Enchanted Garden

Make a delightful pop-up house and its twelve walled gardens each with interconnecting doors and labyrinthine pathways. Just one quick flick of the wrist and a flat pile of paper becomes a complex pop-up construction. All this is made possible by adapting the cellular slotted partitions used in commercial packaging to creative purposes and ends. It's quite magical - there are no folds - the whole structure is connected by paper joints and hinges.

The Magic Tree House

For over a decade Paul Johnson has been passionate about making pop-up tree houses. Now, for the first time he has combined several paper engineering techniques into a tree house constructing workshop. The tree grows in stages - trunk and then branches and finally a fairy tale house crowns the upper foliage. The whole structure has no folds - the flat state of the form transforming into a 3D pop-up by one 'flick' of the wrist. You may want to make this as a Christmas present for a friend but find it impossible to part with.

Workshop durations

Most workshops can be either three or six hours in length.