Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Basket cases and sea-creatures....

My mum took early retirement last week after many years of teaching 6 and 7 year olds. She was passionate about using art and craft to teach children, and had a stock room brimming with all sorts of amazing craft goodies she had collected over the decades. Anyway, knowing that a lot of the older more obscure items would be thrown in a skip as soon as she left, she rescued me something. She knows how much I love to collect random stuff that 'will come in useful one day' so she presented me with The Arnold Basketry Kit. It looks like it was made in the late 70s (so it might even be older than me!) and it's a huge heavy box full of all kinds of wicker, raffia, coloured plastic strips, coloured wire, bits of interestingly shaped wood and big wooden beads. I've stuck some pictures below. I'm sure I will find many prop and scenery making uses for it all.

Thanks Mum - you know me so well x x x

WARNING: The next part of this post should not be read by Shelley Noble if she wants her Halfland sea-creatures to be a surprise when they arrive!

I have made two things to send to Shelley Noble for the underwater sequence in her Halfland film (her blog 'Notes From Halfland' is linked to on the right).

The first is the illegitimate love-child of a starfish and a child's abandoned woolly glove (an unusual union I grant you). It doesn't have a clever half themed name I'm afraid. It looks kinda like a Doug to me....

It is hand crocheted from yellow and purple acrylic yarn, and has a aluminium wire and epoxy putty armature and a tie-down in the bottom. It is padded with polyfibre wadding and his eyes are (fairly obviously) small stacks of buttons. Its five legs/fingers are all poseable.

The other thing I made is shoal of 'Alphabafish'. They are half letter, half fish, they are made up of the letters of the first half of the alphabet, and the blue fish spell H A L F. The photos aren't great I'm afraid.

The fish are made from square wooden beads with letters on them, mounted on aluminium armature wire with the fish shape sculpted around them in superfine white Milliput (high grade epoxy putty). The eyes started as plastic and glass beads sunk into the putty. When the putty was hard I painted the fish with Games Workshop model paints mixed to the colours I wanted. When this was dry I covered the painted area of the fish with PVA glue then added glass seed beads to the surface with a pin. When the glue dried I gave the fish another thick coat of PVA to make sure the beads stayed firmly in place and to protect the paint from damage.

I stuck the other ends of the wire securely into a blob of epoxy putty which was fixed to a ball joint I'd taken from a 'helping hands' magnifier (I made sure things were 'T' shaped so nothing could pull out of the putty). This was then all fixed to a basic ball jointed rig (made from the rest of the 'helping hands'). This should allow Shelley to animate the fish individually and as an entire shoal.

I have boxed them up and they are ready to post to California tomorrow!

Still not got around to doing my soundbite challenge animation of drunken monsters... hoping to find time, just very busy with other random stuff, like making the puppets for the short I am collaborating with Steee on.


Shelley Noble said...

heehee I'm giggling so much, Ceri. I saw the adorable starfish mitten guy (love em) and then saw your do not read warning.

I put a piece of paper over my screen and scrolled to the bottom of the post too fast to read so I have neither seen nor heard nuthin' on whatever else you've made! yay!

So exxcited, thank you so much for doing this! I'm so glad your things will be in the scene!

bRYEnd_of_the_schtick said...

(^ catchin up time. hope all is well.