Friday, November 29, 2013

Look Who Rolled Into Town!

Little while ago got to meet Christine's! ceramicist artist mother from Connecticut, Rachel, and their dear New York artist and friend Marge. They were able to come see 1/2L during their trip to see Christine! and Company(!) It was lovely to meet them both and hear about some of the art they enjoy making.

I invited them both to, of course, make a fish or whatever they'd care to for the film. And I was delighted to so far receive one of Rachel's truly wonderful rock characters made from one found in Christine's garden. I love how Rachel brings out the natural features present in a rock so that the personality seems fully alive. It's a perfect Halflandian contribution.

Thank you so much, Rachel and Marge for visiting!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hair All About It!

Painted Almaloy wire mottled brown and grey to camo under the hair, let dry. Added bulks of sheep wool in dark brown tones to these with tons of messy matte medium. I layered on strands of white goat hair to make them looked aging and grey, like my own.

I forgot to wait until Rana's skin was lighted with another layer of paper before adding on the hair--but the moment was seized... Began by folding the wooly wire lengths in half and hot gluing them onto the puppet's head, careful to work around her animation-active ears and fixed horns in her head.
Carried on around the back, filling in with the bulked lengths until her entire head was covered. I left a few stiffened strands poking out here and there to add realism to her later hair styles. Turned the pupp upside down to fill in the hairline at the nape of her neck as her hair will be worn partially up half the time.
Letting my hands work without my head being in charge, I felt the dark hair wasn't a match for Rana's tawny goat skin leg hair color. It was too jarring a color difference for me. So I reached into the "amazing box of all supplies" curated through the years for each puppet, and pulled out a bag of Gotland sheep fibre in perfect honey-shaded ringlets that I'd bought a few years back from my Slovakian Shepherdess living in Scotland.  When I topped Rana's hair base with thin wafts, invisibly affixed with hot glue, the combination of color and texture leaped off the puppet and brought her to life right before my eyes! I have become 100% fully obsessed with making Halfland now more than ever.

I continued for several hours until her hair was sheathed in the Gotland from roots to ends, and from top side to underside. I worked hard to make the natural curls in the fiber lay organically and yet also permanently hold their place until the wires are repositioned.
Once done, I sopped more matte medium onto the ends of each tress-bundle and wound a finishing ringlet onto the plastic handle of many paint brushes, clipped on via pegs overnight to dry into that ideal tapering shape.

The results are AMAZING!!! Here we now have the puppet's hair that she can wear down at night in the cottage for bed and it also easily wires up for daytime halfbuns in the back. Fully animatable, natural looking, wise old goat woman hair!

Rana done got her hair did! YAY!

Tengucho Very Mucho

Made a special trip to Hiromi papers (the most superb selection of Japanese washi outside of Japan in my book) at Bergamont Station in Santa Monica this week to get more of the very perfect washi for Halfland puppet skins. They had 10 colors* to choose from! I also bought a sheet in tea green that may be nice for the Yanu mothman puppet as well.

I had used their machine made Color Tengucho Series in light pink ($5.76/sheet) to make main character Rana's undertone structure intending to add a layer of tinted paint on top to lighten and shade it. But having a paper finish was giving me a handmade look that I had to keep going with. This time I bought three sheets of their Tengucho (made from 100% Thai Kozo† Machine Made in Kochi, Japan. Kozo is Mulberry bark) in neutral to top over the pink and tone it down.

The secret to this process working for me is the hand tearing I do to the paper before beginning to paste. First I tear the tiniest portion of the outer edge of the 25"x37" sheets off, side by side, until only the heart of the paper is left without anything remotely straight. No no no straight edges in papier mâché ever ever ever. see how sheer the Tengucho is over my hand upper left. Middle top shows a macro of how the fiber in the paper looks around each and every stamp-sized piece of it that I make ready to use. This type of hand work goes nicely with a movie. Multi task! I bag the torn pieces in labeled bags so that I know for certain what I'm about to apply to the puppet.

The Tengucho is so sheer that while wet, one layer of it applied with Aleene's elastic glue hardly shifted the pink color at all. But two or three layers of it, once dry, did the trick perfectly. One of my favorite results of the puppet so far is her elbow, center bottom. The pale paper skin over the strong pink underneath looks so natural with wrinkles. The blotchy sort of pinky fleshy result of this double layering, right bottom, is an uncanny match for my skin color. Wonder what animator made me?

Kozo (Mulberry) bark is used in approximately 90% of the washi made today. Kozo was originally found in the mountain wilderness of Shikoku and Kyusu Islands. It became a cultivated plant used especially for paper and cloth making.  The fibers are longer than in washi made from Mitsumata and less expensive than those made of

* Colors available (online as well); Light Pink, Red, Light Green, Tea Green, Black, Royal Blue, Purple, Pale Blue, Beige, Chocolate

Saturday, November 09, 2013

There Are No Words For It

This gif Paul found shows how one of the title sequences with a large transparent paper leaf and the silhouette of a lace making spider (already built) peeking over an edge will aim to look.
I'll cast one of the large Answer Tree leaves in washi (not as fibrous as the test leaf above was) and strongly back light it (with the spider puppet on it) with "almost wording" revealed from embedded in an inner layer...

Additional titling, that actually needs to be read by humans, will be ambiguously created out of rug fringe as seen in our house above, or similar to the twig, shadows, webbing, veining, etc. seen again in the examples below.

There will be no proper language seen in Halfland as it exists in a world without any. However, I would like to name the "chapter" starts with evocative words like "Kettle"or "Season", etc. and I'd like the title name of Halfland to appear, nearly, for those who are keyed into the looking for an official title.

I hope simply to sign the pieces like a painting vs. a film. The end credits, if I'm able to do them as I'd like, may be filled with photos of everyone whose contributed to the film series, in person, online, or otherwise. As many shots as I have of what these people working on what they actually added to the project, and brief line about them, their own websites, etc. Everyone's story is so wonderful.
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