Thursday, March 27, 2008

On a Roll... or 20

(upper left) me sitting in the stream bed wiring the Time Frog's pond, to the right the pond taped up. Below that, you can see the maquette trying out his spot dreaming about the water lillies that will appear. (lower left) I love the storybook way the Rana stand-in looks positioned on the path down to the stream waiting to snag her friend Kyra the mermaid from the stream.

Rolls...of MASKING TAPE!!! Lots of Halflandian action been happening here, s l o w l y. After laying down the set base in cardboard, I used aviary wire to fill the gaps between levels of ground and along the shore of the stream. the wire was then completely covered in a conforming layer of masking tape in order to allow the upcoming layers of papier mache to adhere to it.

Today I was able to cover the ENTIRE set with taped down crumpled newspaper shapes in order to get the papier mache layers that will be smoothed over the top to be sculptured like organic ground terrain would be, rather than just flat surfaces. When the ground layer is completed and cut into removable panels, I will glue down a thin layer of sand, paint it to look like soil, and top the landscape with natural and synthetic foliage.

My kitty checks out the pleasant tabaccy scent lingering on Octokitty from his trip out here in the cigar box from New Orleans.

I have been so busy working on design projects, I've been unable to mention the excitement at receiving more delicious puppets from the most kind and generous reader friends, until now...

The Ides of March deadline has come, but before it did, Jeffery Roche, one of my multi-talented sweethearts, Ubatuber, finished and sent the outstanding Octopuss pupp. I am so attached to this clever playful melding of sleek black cat and shiny octopuss I could scream over how much I love him/her. It's of course brilliantly animate-able and Jeff even included a drawing of her components and materials so I'd know. What fun the package it came in was. He put a copy of the little book he'd illustrated last year, Quis Separabit, by Brian Showers, he wrapped the pupp in crinkly spiderweb paper and mailed the whole thing in a super deluxe wooden cigar box. I don't know how he parted with it but I'm glad I get to keep these treasures. Thank you, Uba!

Also that week, the charming, Enrica Prazzoli aka Enui, sent me a large parcel all the way from Italy filled with Italian candies and art treats. She sent two creatures for the film, one an exact replica of curly starfish out of white clay (Be sure to compare how well she made this, check out the photo she took of live specimens at an aquarium featured in the slideshow at right.) And she made a lacy jellyfish out of painted and melted plastic cap, skirted with lace, beaded wire and yarn tendrils. It will be fun to make those wave gently in the sea current under dappled blue shadows. She also sweetly included a fantastic glass bottle just the right scale for Halfland (which was capped perfectly by a tiny cork Shel Rasch had given me). The perfect bottle was something Enrica had been saving for herself but she un-shellfish-ly thought to share it with me. I love everything, Enrica, thank you.

More than even the fantastic puppets everyone has sent, I'm deeply moved and humbled by the lavish hearts that came along with them. I am taken aback by how so many talented people took their precious time and talent to make something wonderful and send it here, often with little goodies and drawing on the packages, etc. What magnificent people have shared themselves with Halfland. Thank you to everyone who reads this journal. And to those who've contributed puppets for the scene, I look forward to placing your critters on the set, turning on the reflecto-balls and blue gel covered lighting, and watching them come to glorious life! Thank you!


  1. Anonymous12:33 AM

    Great post. It's been a while. Glad to see progress being made. I've got to make sure you spend more time on this. PK

  2. un-shellfish-ly! ha! i am definitely looking forward to the underwater scene. :)

  3. Octokitty is adorable! I love to see the progress you're making. :)

  4. I'm looking forward to the scene too, so many cool creations! Your kitty is maybe smelling my kitty too, Biggie would sit and watch me work on the pup with its wiggly tentacles flailing.....and she had that kitty look, you know the one....giant pupils, ears fully forward, ready to do the butt-wiggly dance-n-pounce :)

    If Rana's cottage set gets much bigger, where will you sleep? ;) Everything is looking fantastic!

  5. Daaaaaaannnnnng!!

    excellent progress Herself!

    I love watching you creating the terrain....


  6. Woo hoo, thanks all! Funny kitty story, Uba!

    I'm about to start the first papier mache...

  7. Wow, it's Christmastime in Halfland!!!! Everything is looking awesome!!!!

    Requesting full-size set pics on Flickr please? Maybe next time when you get stuff all gloppy with mache?

  8. @Mike, you got it. Tomorrow I start with paper layer. Yay.

    "...where will you sleep?" @Jeffery guess what? I just fell asleep in Halfland! I was adding newspaper boulders to the stream when I looked up to the meadowlands and was overcome with the desire to climb up and go to sleep. Too bad Paul had gone to bed or that would have made a great documentary shot!

    By the way, the set you see only takes up a bunch of the workshop here! There's tons of additional living space beyond the hallway columns. I'm afraid I'm Space Spoiled now.

    Halfland's new intern, yes, that's right INTERN!! (starting in April) said she wants to live this way when she's grown. We talked about how it isn't for everyone as it's rough rather than nice but she was determined. That's my girl!

  9. an intern! lucky you!

  10. Girl, that is a GIANT, intense set! You are insane! I love it! I can't wait to see the world come alive.

  11. @gl, I know! I hope it works out. She's supposed to be able to come over Mondays after school. I will persist because she's an especially wonderful girl and she seemed to really want to learn stop mo and faux textures. The bark on the tree is what got her.

    @Ryan, dude, I laughed reading this comment. I loved your reaction! I have moments where I have objectivity about the crazy. But now it doesn't seem that big anymore! I'm just into it! uh, Big Time.

  12. I would never have thought your tree could look that small... simple amazing progress, keep it going!

  13. Anonymous4:43 PM

    Octopussy is a winner!
    And it would be so great to see the lace jellyfish swimming with that undulating, opening-closing action, tentacles dangling.
    Tentacles seem to be contagious, so many of us did them on our creatures.

    I agree, that huge tree is now dwarfed by the spreading halflandscape. It's starting to rival the scale of the Peter and the Wolf set, without you having the crew of eastern European craftsmen to build it!

  14. @Rich Thanks! Hum-min-na Hum-min-na Hum-min-na I wanna keep it going NOW! Argh werking on book. ack.

    @Mr. Nick! Thank you so much! hee hee. I covet the live trees the P&W crew used. oh man o man. They looked incredible, so real in miniature.

    Multiple levels + hugeness = FUN! xooxox


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