Thursday, December 16, 2010

10 by Marion Bataille

10 by Marion Bataille
Publishers- Albin Michel

Indian Edition- Tara Books
For All ages

This new pop up book 10 by Marion Bataille was released in September in France and has been published by Tara Books in India, in association with the French Embassy, under Tara's new series- French Focus.

The superbly executed book holds the joy of counting numbers 1-10 forward and backwards. In this pop up, like in ABC3D, Bataille uses only black and white. The striking combination ensures that the readers' focus stays on the amazing transitions - on how a number morphs into another. The book comes in a rich red slipcase with die-cut front and back, that reads 01 or 10 depending on one's perspective.

View the official video published by Albin Michel to see the sheer visual drama, as each page unfolds. Watch with wonder as each number literally dissolves into the other.
While it looks simple in execution, it must have been a gargantuan task to design the numbers to transform into each other just so. The book took two years for the author to create.

A small book with a really large magical appeal. And not an expensive book if you look upon it as a sophisticated work of paper engineering art- which is what it is. Ten on Ten, we say!


Should we call Marion Bataille an artist, an author, a visualiser, a designer, a story teller, a master craftswoman or an engineer- well maybe all of those and more. Presenting a crisp Q& A with the inspiring lady herself!

How did you decide that this is your field?

I worked on animated book systems for a long time just for my pleasure and at one point,when I had a finished project (ABC3D) I presented it in a gallery in Paris, "les Trois Ourses". They show artist books that I really liked, and they accepted to show mine as well.

What kind of training does one need to become a pop up book artist?

I trained myself by observing and practicing. Since ’86, I had been experimenting with the pop-up technique. I trained myself by observing and with pop-up manuals, and in 2004, the project of a pop-up alphabet book took shape.

How do you arrive on your subject- the alphabet or the numbers...what next? .Any plans for pop up books based on stories as well?

I am a graphic designer, so typography was a subject matter before I did animated books. The succession of pages in a book itself tells a story, a list of letters in alphabetical order tells a story, there is no need to add to this.

In the book 10, is it 5 pairs of numbers in terms of the crafting that get repeated, since it has to work both ways. Would that be a right way of putting it?

Yes, like we have two hands, and that is the origin of our numeration.

Somehow ABC3D seemed more varied and complex. Would you agree?

Yes, each letter is different but every figure is part of the same counting system. In both books I wanted to see how the structure of the book and the structure of typography could meet. In ABC3D each letter is unique, and the regular succession of pages creates a rhythm that is contradicted by the dialogue between letters. In 10 all the figures are part of one single system. I imagine a relationship between the shape of figures and finger counting. The form of the book plays its role too.

Why was Tara chosen in India? Are there more such collaborations across the globe outside of France?

Tara chose to publish Abc3d and 10 in India. The printing and manufacturing process of a pop-up book requires that they should be published in big amounts to reduce the price of a copy. Abc3d was published in 11 countries and "10" in 8 countries apart from France.

What are the steps and people involved in a pop up? We understand it would take more than a writer and an illustrator and of course, a publisher.

It depends on how the author works, some work in collaboration with a paper engineer. But personally, I like to do engineering, it is part of the pleasure.

Please tell us a bit more on the manufacture of pop ups. Is each copy handcrafted or machine made? Is the glue a special kind? Any other interesting trivia?

It is very much like dress making, you build a construction in paper, and put it flat, draw a pattern and adjust several times until it moves smoothly. The glue is the one one uses in bookbinding. You need few more tools : one to mark the folds, for this one can use a used ball-pen. A cutter, a ruler, sellotape for adjustments.

Certainly adults find the thought/ logic that goes into the design intriguing and children would delight in the movement and the surprise. In that sense pop ups are truly universal in appeal, aren't they?

Yes you have a technical yet playful object, and intimate as a book can be.

Can you share with us your list of must have pop up books and why?
I like "the elements of pop-ups" by David Carter and James Diaz very much.

Do look up the Tara blog for more Q&A with Marion Bataille.


Choxbox said...

Paper engineering is fascinating indeed! Love the ABC3D book and look fwd to this one. Thanks Art - that was an interesting set of Qs & As.

nanands said...

One more interesting play with!

artnavy said...

Pure "play"sure Chox and nanands

Christine said...

I'm going to check this out!

artnavy said...

christine- am sure u will love it- interesting blog you have... do keep visiting ST

Praba Ram said...

Thanks for this lovely piece, Art & Marion. Amazing to read about the making. Takes a lot of patience and skill. Love how she has answered it all so casually and playfully.

Wish I had saved my first ever pop-up card that I recd from a cousin. For a long time I did. Don't know where it went. It was an adorable one that I got for my 8th birthday out of which number 8 popped out when you opened it. The colors, glossy paper texture totally etched in memory. Pop-ups have that beautiful memory-making playful quality. :)

Artnavy said...

she was very prompt too

I still have a lot of the cards of yore- thanks for reminding me to go take a look favourite was a Christmas pop up card with music as well...

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