Friday, 20 December 2013

Digital Dusting

Been (digitally) dusting off my Fairport Convention recently too (what a classic cover photo on Unhalfbricking!). Still find it nearly impossible to pick a favourite of theirs. Reynardine? Crazy Man Michael? Who Knows Where The Time Goes?... or this?...

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Festive Rone

Let's just say it's rough...early days. Found a polystyrene ball in a studio box, had scraps of wrapping paper and tape, so conjured up a crude version of the puppet... armless for now. I'm thinking of keeping the ball, but coating it black and fixing the mask to that. Got an idea of the hood shape and basic templates for transferring to material/cloth. It's funny how this crude mock up has given me a much better sense of how he can be as a puppet, sometimes you just have to make... and then paths open up.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Diamonds and Rust

I love this Joan Baez track... so thought i'd share.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Meet On The Edge?

"We bump up against each other all the time - on the school run, the commute, at work and in the pub, but generally we choose our clans and stick to them. To know your neighbours and community whether they are 40 years older or younger, or the crazy cat lady down the road, is one more way to give you the contentment  and security of togetherness, a way of fighting loneliness and isolation, both yours and others..Value your edge and reap the benefits!"

There was a lovely and thought provoking post over on my mates Mark's blog, His Own Two Feet,  last week and it's well worth a read if you haven't. The post introduces us to The Edge, in a variety of ways. Mark's got all the right ideas and I'm looking forward to seeing him carry them out (and hopefully get involved with some). 

How are your edges?

.... just for the hell of it.... Ledge/Edge.... and because i love a bit of Fairport!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Earl Of Rone continued...

So, why the Earl of Rone? Well, he's just one of a number of fantastic English folklore characters out there, madly eccentric. If I'd done the Hastings Jack, it would have just been a lump of vegetation. The Earl has a great physical character, much more like one of my cast of characters. He's soft, stocky, chunky almost cuddly... but he is deeply dark. He reminds me of some old Polish/Czech character. Earthy in his sackcloth garb, but with the graphic white, red and black mask, with it's sharp angular nose. It reminds me of Kveta Pacovska.

WOW! where did that pop up from? i'd forgotten about my love for her work, in fact a great many wonderfully talented Polish and Czech artists i was a little obsessed with whilst still a student. Stasys Eidrigevicius was my absolute favourite (He's from Lithuania, near enough!)... i have a beautiful theatre poster of his tucked away somewhere... that needs digging out! (more of his posters here). He also made wonderfull masks.  I'm going to have to do a post on him now, when i get the time.)

Anyway, getting back to the Earl's mask, it just seems so un-earthy. it seems to have more in common with Joseph Grimaldi and early clowns. Mind you if you look at the Hobby Horse (or Obby Oss, as they're often called) that accompanies the Rone procession, you certainly get a big hit of that Harlequin clown flavour!

.... Aghhhhh... stop looking up even more inspiration!! There are just so many things i could devote months (years?) to exploring, but only so much time ... and work needs to be done, kids picked up from school, meals cooked etc etc. Sometimes (and i don't know if this happens to others of you out there, i get quite breathless/ anxious at the sheer scope of possible creative angles out there, especially theses days with everything a click away and varying social media and websites offering you even more treats that you just never would have been aware of 10-20 years ago. They would have just passed you by. Damn it, can't breathe... gasp! I often felt this way at college whenever i walked into the library... so much potential and it was all there just waiting for me to find it!  Often i just had to walk out as i felt breathless... really! I still spent more time in the library than the college studio... but that's because the studio was full of people!! I need a bit of solitude to create, so would often leave it until i got home and locked myself away in my room. I even used to BAN my then girlfriend from coming in to see me at those creative times! terrible, sorry Lydia!!
.... Where was i again... oh yes, the Earl of Rone. What also sells him to me as a possible puppet is his string of ship's biscuits around his neck, it's good for a character to have an accessory! His crudely stitched together sacking costume should also be a help to me and my lack of seamstress skills! A true character... and on the run and hiding in the woods! if only he had a cup of tea for those biscuits.... hmm, maybe...

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Earl Of Rone - A Puppet Adventure

I'm starting to get excited about this little puppet project, looking forward to figuring out how best to make it and getting my boys involved in designing their own ones too. I'm going to start with the Earl of Rone and see if he holds me long enough... before i hold him! I'm also considering the Biddenden Maids (Mary & Elizabeth Chulkhurst)

... and the Brede Ogre (Sir Goddard Oxenbridge, who I've already drawn before here and made a pot of... which needs to be re-made, better). These characters are more local, Kent and East Sussex.... whereas the Earl is Devon based. I've already had a crack at him in clay (which some of you may remember), he's still sitting up on that shelf waiting for me to get my act together! Anyway, for this I'm going to try and keep things relatively simple technically and make a glove puppet, the full body variety with little dangling legs. I have a small collection of these that i found in town several years ago, they used to hang in my home studio before it became jakki's dumping ground, sorry... workspace! I need to re-house them in a finer setting. They have fantastic papier mache heads, which have been cut off a form and SEWN back together, it's a beautiful scar. A couple of them have even found their way into my work, here are the wolf and the fox as part of my Wish List set.

This is going to be the basic model for my Earl
Wolf, with that great jaw scar/stitches
hopefully this wish becomes clearer now you can see
how the original is stringed up!
whereas this one just runs on the basic premise of a wolf being bad

Monday, 9 December 2013

Puppet Challenge

There's a great adventure waiting to happen over on Clive Hicks-Jenkins' Artlog blog. It's a Puppet Challenge with an online show to follow. It's being curated by Peter Slight and the theme is Folktales, Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends... not much there to work with then! ; )  I'm going to join in the party and try and make a puppet for it. Great theme too, right up my alley Folklore and Legends! I've decided to do the Earl of Rone, a favourite of mine. I should do the Hastings Jack in the Green and keep it local, especially as Clive had been involved with designing and creating the mask that the Jack previously wore (and it was beautiful, do take a look) read more about that here on Clive's Artlog. Clive is a fantastically creative man and gifted artist, there's nothing that man can't turn his hand to... Stage designs, masks, puppets, wallpaper, plates/cups.. Ghost Houses!... the list goes on and his quality carries across it all. If you're not already following his Artlog you really should! Anyway, I will do another post soon covering my plans and my thoughts, research, existing puppets I own etc. if I put it all here you just won't read it all will you? ... What? ... I lost you at "Puppet Challenge"? ; )

Friday, 6 December 2013

Jonathan Wilson

Went to see Jonathan Wilson at the Dome in Brighton on Tuesday night with Jakki  (boy it's not easy getting us both out at the same time for a night out!). Anyway, we got there eventually and what a great band and gig. Always nice when the live show doesn't just sound like the album. These guys were amazing live and Jonathan Wilson is a fantastic guitarist, they really cranked it up a few notches, heaven! It was the sound of the Californian desert, we were happy. So many of the tracks just sound like classics already and they just worked through so many from both albums, Gentle Spirit and the new album Fanfare. "No time for small talk..." and that was fine by me. I recommend going to see him live if you get the chance. Lots of CSNY touches all over this new album ( well it does feature Crosby & Nash on it!). Great slabs of Neil young guitar, Zuma comes to mind. A good dash of Dennis Wilson's spirit too, hic! so, you know, I like it : ) and at over 7 mins Dear Friend, is a good place for you to start loving Jonathan... if you don't already! (not sure about this video though, hmm. Listen to this and imagine the full volume live workout... Brilliant! (Good tour t-shirt too).