Sunday, April 30, 2006
You Say You Want A Resolution
late night snap after Clare's opening of his piece at the x1 art show at Transport Gallery downtown last year
Clare is Brilliant
At Himself's urging, I made an official date today to go (downstairs) and talk over next steps for better armatures with friend and multi-talented artist/builder, Clare "The Killah" [name deleted]. (no, I don't know what that means but it made me laugh, I guess because it makes him sound like a pro-wrestler.) And it was a struggle of sorts, of the mind...
Clare has enjoyed many many (ok, not THAT many) years as many many things, one of which was one of those union construction dudes at the Music Center in Los Angeles, working to build sets and gags for big ballets and such. You name it, this man can build it right. And, as I mentioned, he used to be heavily into the model steam locomotive world and would machine fabricate perfect miniature trains that would run like the big boys.
I brought down print outs of ball/joint armatures and splained what I wanted something like that for. He said that he could see clearly what I was after but did not have all the equipment here to do it. Undaunted, I asked him if he had any ideas for a way I could get what I wanted without the toxic silver solder and big noisy presses or other herculean amount of work, and he did!
He had what I think are three very clever and more-my-speed solutions to offer, two for the armature and one for the rigging. Get ready. Well, you may have thought/known of these options already, but I hadn't.
The first thought he had was for me to go toy shopping, find a jointed doll/figure in the right size and use it inside my fiber-filled, latex-skinned and dressed puppet. You know, I think I will, even if it just works for a smaller side character. It might save me a great deal of time and effort using an already made skeleton. I'll report back.
The second idea he had was for me to buy and cut the rod/pipe bones and essentially sculpt a ball/socket joint (like a Loc-Line unit) around them, make small 2-part molds of them, and then cast them in resin. I love this idea but--I'm going to have to see about finding a non-toxic, rigid substance to cast these joints out of because I run a strictly No-Tox Shop. Latex is as fumey as I'll go and that with a cartridge respirator.
The coup de gras was his notion for how to keep ma feets to the floor. Clare understood my walking and staying put issues (after a thorough and dazzling pantomime on my part) and he agreed that plumbing flanges installed on the ceiling o'er the set, with flexible wire attached to the individual shoulders and spine, like a marionette, would do the job with one addition--magnetic flooring! Flexible magnetic sheets (something like this http://www.magnummagnetics.com/) that I could lay in the set and be painted to look like wood planks (a compromise over the little wood planks I have--but if it works it'll be worth it). Mighty magnets (http://www.firebox.com/index.html?dir=firebox&action=product&pid=909) or perhaps even plain metal pieces would go under the footal areas and voila foots held down enough during walking.
You know, I think the best part, much like what we do for eachother online, was to present a puzzle to someone that really had me stumped and at a loss to resolve on my own and have the act of saying it outloud bring about the opportunity for a resolution. I surely would never be working through these many blocks to making Halfland real without The Other. It's Mike, Clare, Himself, and every other person reading, that gets me past my personal limitation of thinking up new ways to get things done. It's like my brain can only go to 3 or 4 on a dilemma and then someone else comes up with an 11. And we all know that's better.
Thank you, Clare!