Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bidding Christine! a Fond Farewell...

A happy departure from Halfland for a change, yay! Our wonderful friend Christine! and her uber talented husband, and brand-spanking-new bebe toddler are pulling up stakes from LA for the time being, following fantastic job opportunities in other parts of the country, including New York. New York!

Christine! has been of invaluable help here in the new Halfland. At a time when I was not yet well, she appeared like an angel, to help build the new sky and get things underway once again.
She even made an extraordinary start at making the Queen Bee puppet, seen in progress above. Christine!, as a fine artist, was in the process of creating a fine art piece of a character, with hand painted yellow and black fin bodies and delicate cutout kirigami wings.

As a great mom, Christine! has been a wee bit busier than before the little one arrived. But we've stayed in touch and plan to continue working together on design projects as we can.

Christine! Thank you for reaching out to me from the Times article. Thank you for bringing your extensive artistic street-cred to bear on Halfland. Thank you for coming over so much and helping me work through my challenges with your trademark sensitivity and positivity.

You are a blessing in my life and I am wishing for you every moment of your life to be a joy. Only joy for you. Only Every Joy.

R's Pinecones in Halfland!

Just added to Rana's Four Seasons hat, the super special tiny pine cones sent to me from longtime Halfland friend Jeffrey's son all the way from Louisiana USA!

I added them to the winter branches and then installed a sheer woven veil in black dotted with glass crystal stars. This is how Night falls in Halfland.

(Thank you, R! (and Jeffrey!) xoxoxoox)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Give Him a Man-i-cure!

I could build puppets all day, Man. Actually, I do. For Urhu' s one-good-hand (the character only has a human face, shoulder, half--torso, arm, and hand. The rest of him is all serpentine.) Wired extensions to his finger tips were covered with paper and elastic glue. Nails made from star anise pod pieces were glued on, wooden bead knuckles, and further foam build out were all mâchéd in. Rolled paper and thick thread veins were added to the inside of his wrist (lower left) as the nails were drying on his finger tips.
I crudely wired his pearl bead eyes into place with steal wire that was embedded into the face's interior. You may notice that I have the bead holes orientated horizontally in this case which will prevent this character from having any real eye movements. Fortunately, all he'll need do in his scenes is to perhaps glance upward slightly, which I can accomplish by rolling the beads from outside his face or I can ultimately alter them digitally, if needed.

In the open mouth seen above upper right, you can see that orange wooden teeth were secured into the lower jaw. (I've since removed the serpent fangs from his upper jaw because I don't need any further creepy triggers/associations with this character. He needs to be appealing and comfortable and yet also remain true to what his form essentially is... reptilian.

You know me, his hand looked fine (top photo set lower right) but I wanted better definition around his instrument-playing nails. I glued on fairly thick cording around his cuticles, secured them with more elastic glue all over when the position-tacking had dried, and then radically trimmed them down to as natural a feeling I could. I built up the nail beds with elastic glue which will later be made matte when he gets his final manly manny.

Next stop, What color is the typical Secret Season Desert Dwelling Serpent Sage Musician anyway???

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Let's Face It!

Loving the Composi-mold! Made a second part of the back of Urhu's head, mainly to include the ears as they are an important feature for this character.

Using my torn Tengo washi and Fray Stop glue mâché technique, I was able to make a strong, multi-layered part. To help keep its shape, I used small expandable wire mesh as one of the layers, in between paper.

I was delighted by how the molds made with Composi-Mold flexed without damage and released the part without the use of a release of any kind! In love. The mold material is reusable but I'm thinking of keeping the face front mold intact, for archiving, and buying MORE Composi-Mold for additional puppets upcoming.

Once the head parts were released from their molds, I set about slicing the eyes and mouth open with a blade, adding wire-filled brows and bottom lip, and thin foam over cheeks and jowls, to help the puppet keep its structure during animation.

I also stuffed the prominent chin hard with wooden beads and crammed whetted paper as grabbing it will be my only way to change his jaw position from closed to slightly open. His nose, chin, and upper lip were reinforced with heavy wire and wood during the casting process from the inside as I didn't want these faces to become too malleable as their scene goes on.

I'll hope to have some gentle expression changes from this character chiefly by altering his brows and mouth.

Next post, see how his pearl eyes were rigged from the inside and how his one hand was finished...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How Things Really Get Done Around Here

Don't you worry about how Urhu the Serpent Sage Musician's costume is coming along, helpful helpers are helping!
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