The Harpy Dance

I spent today working on Ariel’s Harpy dance! Some of it was quite nice, some of it looks a bit awkward, but the puppet did surprisingly well. She was good at the challenging Kabuki backwards bends and she held on to the feathers tightly! Unfortunately however today was the first serious puppet injury and her right hand came off completely. Thank heavens for the long kimono sleeves and some masking tape. Poor Ariel!

Costume Change

Another day working on the puppets, padding out their bodies, affixing the heads and a bit of painting and working out Ariel’s second costume. So close to the end of the puppet making stage, tomorrow is the last day for finishing touches, before the animating finally begins!

Harpy Kimono Front:

Harpy Kimono Back:

Sewing the Kimonos

Next I began sewing the Kimonos. This is Ariel’s first kimono. What I really enjoyed about this part was how the subtle prints on the fabric became really bold when made in to miniature clothes. The great thing about making puppets on a budget is how the certain material limitations produce interesting results, sometimes not being able to have fabric exactly as I drew improved the design as I was making them. This is one of the reasons I wanted to make puppets and spend a good amount of time on their fabrication. My backstitch has improved tremendously, just don’t look too closely!

First part of Prospero’s Haori:

Maquette

I’ve been working on the puppets all week and also going to the theatre, so there’s lots to catch up on! I’ll begin in order, with the puppet maquettes I made last week. I tried to make the bodies from wire mesh and that wasn’t really strong enough. But this is what the first one looked like. It was useful for testing the size and shape for the kneeling Prospero puppet, the the knees broke after a few movements and the wire I used for the arms was far too stiff.

Sansho Dayu

Drawings from the film by the phenomenal Kenji Mizoguchi, in english Sansho the Baliff. It’s a dreadfully sad film about a family that is separated and sold into slavery in Medieval Japan. The top drawing is from a particularly emotive moment in the film. The anguish aside, the costumes were really good to look at for a less ornate, yet still patterned kimono/hakama.