Years ago some friends of mine were getting married. I forget what I gave them as a gift. But for a card there was something “unique” that I wanted to give them.
You see, years earlier I had purchased “The Royal Family Pop-Up Book”. There was a bin full of them in the World’s Biggest Bookstore in Toronto in the late ’80s. Ordinarily I disdain royalty merchandise. But this was an elaborate pop up book and the price was only $1.99 . They must have been clearing them out. Judging by the dates given in the book like 1983, I’m sure this is what they were doing.
So what does this have to do with my friends? Well one page of the pop-up book had Prince Charles and Lady Di facing each other. A tab could be pulled and the pair would come together for their marriage kiss.
Since I can get a pretty good likeness of most people when drawing, I wanted to draw my friends heads and using a similar apparatus as the pop up book, have them come together in a kiss as the tab was pulled. It’s just that I don’t know how most pop-up book apparatus works. And did I say this was elaborate? Not only do they lean in for a kiss, the upper torso moves in and their locked hands move slightly.
My only hope was to copy the apparatus of “The Royal Family Pop-Up Book”. But it was mostly hidden, even from weird angles, and I was loathe to take apart the pop-up parts because I would ruin my book. When did I become so attached to a book I almost didn’t buy? Anyways, I never did make that card.
I’m looking at the book, now. There’s some neat 3D scenes but the highlight of the book is really the kiss.
Smooch, smooch, kissy, kissy, kiss.
“But, Di, some people think I shouldn’t kiss a cadaver. And other people think I shouldn’t even kiss you!”
-er sorry, there, I must have zoned out.
Anyhow, if anyone on the Internet knows how to figure out the pop-up book mechanism and would like to post it online, I’d like to see it.
In fact I would like to see someone make a stock card of a kissing couple with blank faces. I could buy one for $5 and draw the faces and maybe sell the product for $50 and I and others could make more money off of weddings. Photographers could do the same – take a profile of the bride and groom’s heads and attach them to the stock card. Weird people could put a picture of Pacman and Ms. Pacman, put it on the stock card and play.
The byline on the book says paper engineering by Vic Duppa-Whyte. Maybe he could make stock cards. In my brief search of him on the Internet I found he paper engineered other pop-up books, all seemingly from the ’80s. I couldn’t find if he was alive today or even when he was born.
But that’s not my only cheesily romantic art idea.
Hopefully, you’ve all seen the picture of the vase. But is it two profiles? In its 2D incarnation it could be either. But I was thinking of making a 3D vase based on it. Years ago, I had the idea to make that vase and make it so the two profiles are of any couple of your choosing. Wouldn’t this make a cheesily romantic gift?
However, I saw that gift more recently in a psychology text. It was an art gift to some royal couple. The gift predated my idea.
But just to prove that I independently thought of it myself, I think it would be important to blend the profiles on the 3D vase such that the two profiles’ features would be blended smoothly, halfway to each other. That way, if you rotated the vase 90 degrees you would have an evenly blended profile.
To a childless couple you could say the combined profile is their child.
To a couple with children you could say the profile is their “good child”. Just remember if any of their bad children find out, the “good child” vase might end up broken.
Sadly, it seems Vic Duppa-Whyte is no longer engineering paper:
From Ellen G.K. Rubin, the Popuplady in 2008:
Thanks for the on-line detective work, Bob. I’m sorry to hear about Duppa-Whyte’s passing. Along with The Royal Family Pop-up Book, I remember The Human Body which was partially paper engineered by Duppa-Whyte. This was an even better book but it never had a markdown so I never bought it.