Friday, January 31, 2014

Wise Old Twigman

Took found twig pieces into human limb form. Added layers of copper tape to the joint areas with masking tape to make it a puppet for slight gestures of life. Once formed, painted whole body with dark umber and iron oxide as a base for the deepest layer of wood. Left straggle pieces of root as tendons on his right thigh. Our vegetable nature glimpsed. Layers of gel medium with pumice added texture to the taped areas.
Painted top layers of wood with raw titanium matte, light gray, and camel beige until it read as twig wood. Twigman's head was made from a found tuft of grass that I'd preserved with layers of thin matte medium, leaving the fine roots as his beard. Another piece of root was added as a nose and two very tiny seed pods of some kind were added into voids made in the grass, completing an almost obvious face.

The voids in the grass were made by poking holes through and through the clump with a plastic wrapped stick, wired, and left to dry. Next day, sticks were removed leaving voids for the seeds. I considered keeping the seeds positionable for eye movement but decided that this puppet need only to turn his head and move lightly at the joints. His head was made to swivel by the installation of fitted pipe segments into the base of the head and the top of neck.
Making Twigman made me want to see him in action on the Halfland Macro Set. The studio is OUT OF ROOM so I brought the set pieces down and installed them in our living room on top of a built in bookcase, in front of a window. I raked the snail path set piece down a bit with wood blocks at the back so I could animate upstage more easily. Covered the window casing with tall grass and large flower modules. I'm considering letting the window show in the sky rather than creating a translucent backdrop there. The light is so good and somehow Halfland having the sky be a window may fit.

When I positioned Twigman on the large piece of broken wood on the ground, where he seemed made to sit, I found that he looked to be reading the large preserved leaf on his right. Which makes perfect sense.

For another brief sequence I'd like Twigman to be holding onto a large stem of a dandelion and turn his head to follow the snail as she passes behind. That might be a nice way to intro the evening segment of the series.
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