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Make graceful and lasting change

Learn to make Carousel books

Cindy Tonkin - April 23, 2017

I’m really chuffed to say that I’ve been invited to teach Carousel books at Sturt Winter School in July 2017.

If you’ve made books before you will love it, because it’s not just about the cutting and scoring (which we’ll get a laser cutter to do the biggest parts of), but about the way you SEE the piece.

The three-dimensional nature of Carousel books (see here) makes them tricky. It needs a different way of thinking. I’ve been trying to work out how I worked it out and I’d love to help you see the world that way too.

Please enrol and we’ll play together!

The school is in Mittagong, about 2 hours south of Sydney. In winter it’s very beautiful (it’s also beautiful in summer, I’ve been going there for around 14 years). It takes place on the Frensham girl’s school campus, and there are live-in options. It’s a wonderful all-consuming holiday and it will be fun.

Happy to field any questions about how I work and what you need to bring. Just contact me.

Here are a few more concertina single-bays I’ve been putting together so I can teach it more easily (when the books are all put together, they hide a lot of things that you will want to know about, so these are all in progress until the class is over). Apologies for the less than perfect photos.

The school wanted to push it as a travel book thing, and so I created most of these from photographs taken in my travels:


A few roof pictures (it’s something I love about Paris), one of the Louvre on a rainy day.

Lyon (La Fourviere)

San Francisco

These first two of a deli taken at night from the top of a bus, use the same photo differently, just as an experiment (and I think i need to trim the tree a little on the front panel)


This one of a boy showing off to the young girls who ignore him at a neighbourhood park:

The next two are the Grand Staircase at the Institute of Art in Chicago. They are the same except for the front panel. They play with perspective somewhat, but having seen the David Hockney exhibition recently where he played with perspective, I’m going to say that was on purpose, right?

And Carousels of carousels

I have long taken pictures of carousels, merry-go-rounds or Maneges (depending on which country I’m in). I even visited a carousel museum in Connecticut once.

These carousel books are from carousels. The pictures come from Chicago, San Francisco and Canberra. The colours are boosted with my watercolour pencils because I wanted them bright.


This one is all typography and lettering. The front panel from a furniture warehouse in Chicago, the middle from a printing museum in Lyon, and the deepest one is the reverse side of signs for a theatre in the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

And a museum of shops

And this is the Shop Museum in Newcastle

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