Duncan Birmingham
A Guide to Pop-Up


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I enjoy spreading pop-up skills and am available to lead workshops pitched at any level.

Duncan Birmingham pop-up workshop

Workshops can be any length, normally 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days.

Options include:-

  • Basic mechanisms and techniques (includes building a 3D reference book).
  • Building complex models - I introduce sophisticated mechanisms which each student can modify individually. 
  • Building unique designs requested by the students.
  • Pull-strip mechanisms, if required.
  • The history of pop-up, if required.
  • Demonstrations and lectures.
Workshop  pop-up paper mechanism workbook 1 Workshop  pop-up paper mechanism workbook 2

In my workshops every student produces a pop-up book – these usually contain between twelve and thirty pop-ups depending on the length of the course.

Usually these books are three dimensional sketch books containing examples of all the major mechanisms found in modern commercial pop-up books. In the books, alongside the pop-ups, I encourage students to write their own notes on theory, construction methods and uses of the individual mechanisms. 

On longer courses students have a chance to experiment with what they’ve learnt and I have the opportunity to offer more individual suggestions, guidance, and explanations of the unusual intricacies that arise.

The workshops are structured so that they start with the most basic, elementary, 3D shapes and progress to an in depth study of both the geometric theory and the practicalities involved in producing highly complex pop-ups. 

I teach in a very “Hands on” way. Leading students every step of the way, explaining by example and building the mechanisms at the same time. I teach a technique that doesn’t involve measuring or scoring so construction is quicker and less laborious than traditional ways of working.

In addition to the practical work I supply students with notes on pop-up theory and show numerous examples of spectacular pop-up spreads from books in my pop-up library.


  • Depending on the type of course, and the space available, up to 30 participants is possible. Normally 15 is a good maximum.
  • My fee is negotiable depending on the type of course.
  • I can provide materials at a small extra cost per student.

For further information please contact me at -


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