We continue reviewing the latest pop-up book releases! This time a (USA) pre-release review of Creatures of the Deep: The Pop-Up Book by artist and paper engineer Maike Biederstaedt (a.k.a. Biederstädt). A beautiful and elegant pop-up book based on the Art Forms in Nature book by Ernst Haeckel. In this review we will take a closer look at both the paper engineering and the artwork. We also had the opportunity to ask Maike about her work and how she created Creatures of the Deep.
Creatures of the Deep: The Pop-Up Book is available at Amazon.
Maike Biederstaedt is a German freelance pop-up designer who lives and works in Berlin. She’s an illustrator and a very talented paper engineer. She creates the most wonderful books, greeting cards and advertising materials and recently won the coveted Louie Award (an American greeting card industry award) with her MoMA Snowflake pop-up card. She also teaches a pop-up class at AID Berlin and organizes pop-up workshops. Creatures of the Deep is her first commercial pop-up book publication and what a great introduction that is to the world of pop-ups!
Creatures of the Deep review
This is one of those pop-up books you want to open slowly, to see the pop-ups pop-out in slow motion. Every pop-up is viewable from all sides what makes this book a perfect presentation tool for educational purposes and also a great item to display in a pop-up book collection. Creatures of the Deep is a large luxurious-looking book that contains 7 pop-up spreads with three-dimensional pop-ups from Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations. A unique combination of art, science and paper engineering.
The 3D transformation of Haeckel’s illustrations works great with pop-ups. Because of the sophisticated and detailed cut-outs, all creatures seem to pop-out of the artwork. This, combined with the almost invisible way of paper engineering, makes it look like something magical happens in front of you. The creatures comes to life with subtile movements without revealing any supporting paper or mechanics. The octopus for example is a very clever pop-up design with combined V-folds and spirals that work together to make the tentacles curl up in a natural way. The detailed radiolaria pop-up (some kind of mineral skeleton) almost looks like something alien from outer space. It’s a globe shaped spine structure pop-up, centered in the middle of the spread. The symmetrical way it opens is hypnotic and elegant. It’s unique to see Haeckel’s artwork this way.
So what can we tell about the artwork? For those who are familiar with the work of Ernst Haeckel, this book will be a fun read. All the bright details with dark colored backgrounds, printed on matt paper are a delight to the eye. It does right to the artwork in every way. If you’ve never heard of Ernst Haeckel, you’ve probably seen his work before without knowing. Among other things, he was a famous biologist, philosopher and artist from Germany. His legacy of illustrations is a beautiful fusion of both science and art. His artwork looks like it came right out of a Jules Verne novel. It’s 19th century science at its best. Creatures of the Deep is a real dedication to Haeckel’s work and it shows that this, as a pop-up book subject, works great when you know how to preserve the details and respect the artwork. In this pop-up book the artwork speaks for itself and the pop-ups literally add an extra dimension to the already spectacular images.
Creatures of the Deep is a great addition to the category of pop-up art books. The neat finish of both paper and prints, combined with subtile and delicate engineering, make this book a gem for every pop-up book collection.
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