Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Pair of Puppets

Once in a blue moon, I get an order for more than one puppet, and every so often, a pair. These two came in as I had nothing else on the docket, so I was able to do the work assembly-line-style, which really speeds things up. 

The clients were really fun people. We worked our way through the designs and small tweaks, and I was able to get quickly to the building stage. Here is a look at the 'finished' male puppet as I first presented it to them.

Dawww, they in love! The production of these puppets has come a long way from the old days, when they were slapped together from whatever cardboard and felt scraps I had laying around.

These days,  the 'skeleton' is made of durable, light weight poly foam and covered with anti-pill fleece. The next big step ( which I had been avoiding) was arm control rods. I watched a few YouTube videos and read some indie puppet blogs and came up with a technique that not only produced stable arm controls with wooden grips, but also posable fingers!   Very exciting stuff.

After looking at the pictures for a while, the clients felt that the male puppet looked a little sleepy, and lacked the energetic, kid friendly look they were hoping for. 

After some delicate eye surgery, the desired look was there, and the clients wee very happy for it. That's what we strive for here at Happy. 

Above: Happy

Below: Happy 

Thanks for checking in!

Catching up: CAMP!

This is the last in a series of three long overdue posts to catch up on, then I can start posting about more contemporary happenings (Hallowe'en amongst them). Without further adieu, here's the scoop on art camp 2014!

        Art Camp, again, right on schedule just a few days after Martha, Smokie and I moved house (this time, thank the gods, to a much better house). The studio opens onto a small deck, where we set up tables and we were fortunate to do all of our screen printing  en plain air, as Van Gogh and the Fauves intended.

        Every year, as the returning campers get older, the projects mature with them. Our focus this year was screen printing; mainly tee shirts, along with a few bags and tapestries.

        We spent the first day planning, sketching, illustrating and working out ideas and getting them transferred onto tracing paper so I could burn the screens overnight. 

Fandom was in no short supply, ranging from Disney to Star Wars, Hunger Games to Divergent (though that is a shorter road all together), and plenty of Dr Who.  

Once the designs were ready. We laid them out on the screens to see if we could get by on my supply of three large screens. 

After a display of my well-honed Tetris skills, it worked! What I didn't know was that I was missing two designs, and we only had time to burn once. More on that later. 

Martha very much appreciated the below design, ha. 

And I, in turn, geeked out over this one. 

One of the boys made a really cool three-color World Cup shirt - the camp took place at the height of 'futbol' fever. 

Nerdiest shirt award goes to the amazing and wonderfully quirky NETFLIX handmade fan shirt. So great! 

I had no ideas how grateful I would be for the unforeseen blessing of mild weather, the outside printing set up, and (more importantly) the wash out station under a tree. I can't imagine printing this volume over such long hours and traipsing throughf the house and leaning over the bathtub, as I do when it's just me printing. 

I absolutely loved these MineCraft inspired shirts. 

The solution for the lost designs (those that didn't get prepared for screen printing) was for me to carve linoleum for block printing, which I lucking had fabric ink for. Everyone left happy (whew). 

Martha answered the pleas of the girls (and boys) and taught them each how to make a zipper clutch or small tote. They had a lot of fun working on a sewing project more substantial than what I can teach them.

That's it! That's all! Scram! Until, you know, later.