Friday, July 25, 2014

The Puppet Challenge: first steps, false starts and unfinished ideas.

From upper left:

An early Väinämöinen in two poses with several experimental joints. There's a small brad on his face, bits of pipe cleaner on his ankles and wrists, and "butterflies" for lack of a better word, everywhere else. These butterflies were cut from cardboard (knees) and aluminum bakeware (hips and shoulders) and were the only part of the project that drew blood! (I'll post an explanation of how these are made and work. It's intriguing.)

The next two, Lemminkainen's mother and another Väinämöinen, have sewing snaps for joints. They work beautifully, can be unsnapped and reused repeatedly and, with a little planning, can even be made to look like jewelry or hardware. Not that that would show up very well in a shadow. And I have a million of them about that! Mother's snaps are clear plastic; I thought that would be perfect but actually they have a small hole straight through them and so mother appeared to be held together by spots of light. So...constellation shadow puppets, maybe? But not in this story.

The lower two pictures are the only ones that are actual shadows. In the upper left of the right-hand picture is the totally overworked but rather fun Väinämöinen that moves his arms and opens his mouth to sing. It only takes four hands to work him, all the while hollering to the audience "Wait a sec, I've almost got it!" Hated to give up on that, but sometimes you really must "kill your darlings."

1 comment:

Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

Liisa, I have so enjoyed your puppet challenge explorations, and have quoted extensively from them on your piece at the Artlog, which I'm about to post. Well done. You are a tireless seeker!