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3-D story telling with tunnel book workshop

“Peepshow books,” more commonly known as “tunnel books,” might not be what you expect.

This 3-D storytelling art form has been around for quite a while. Originally inspired by theatrical stage sets, it dates back to the mid-18th century.

The books consist of a set of pages bound by concertina folded strips on each side and viewed through a hole in the cover, creating the illusion of depth and perspective.

Award-winning artist Charlene Asato will teach a three-hour “Tunnel Book” workshop from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 10, at Volcano Art Center. The cost is $45, and advance registration is required.

For more information or to register, call Volcano Art Center at 967-8222, or visit

Tools to bring include X-acto knife with fresh No. 11 blade, cutting mat, scissors, pencil, metal edge ruler, bone folder and an old magazine or catalog for gluing.

Asato avidly pursues book arts, paper arts, photography, calligraphy and doll arts. In 2012, she had a solo exhibition of her books at East Hawaii Cultural Center.

Still wondering why they are called tunnel books? Many of these types of books were made to commemorate the tunnel built under the Thames River in London in the mid-19th century.

The Volcano Art Center is a nonprofit educational organization created in 1974 to promote, develop, and perpetuate the artistic and cultural heritage of Hawaii’s people and environment through activities in the visual, literary and performing arts.


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