KABUKI WIGS

After seeing Sadayakko’s hair I went to Screen Face, the make-up artist shop, and bought some crepe hair, it’s the stuff they use to make fake beards in theatre. I stitched a miniature skull-cap and then sewed sections of crepe hair to that. Prospero’s wig and beard are made from some fake fur I had already. Then I plan to just pin them in place.

I recalled the researched I did at the beginning of the project and I looked back at the Lion wig and costume in Kabuki. I really like the idea of referencing Kabuki’s use of wigs by giving my puppets miniature wigs rather than making it their hair.

When styling Prospero’s wig I also looked at the ‘100 day wig.’ A style of wig that shows 100 days worth of growth on a man’s head where he normally (in feudal Japan) would have shaved it. This wig is characteristic not only of villainous and untrustworthy characters, but also heroes in exile, perhaps even ship-wrecked!

 

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.

Prospero Head

Prospero prototype head in plasticine. I put on some curly goat horns, but the finished puppet will have twigs for longer antlers. I’m not happy with the eyes, they’re too big. I prefer the designs I did for him with beady black eyes. And of course his hair and beard are missing!

Prospero & Ariel

 This is Prospero striking a Mie Kabuki pose. This won’t happen in my animation as I have made him a musician rather than an actor, but I explored the possibility in a few drawings, It helped me to get to know him a bit better.

When I did these drawings I was watching Bando Tamasaburo’s dance in Wisteria Maiden. It was really helpful to try and capture Kabuki style movements for Ariel’s dance in my storyboard. The backwards bend is characteristic of Kabuki. You can see the kimono sleeves are becoming wings at the bottom.

PROSPERO

I want to make Prospero puppet part-man part-animal. I’ve collected some twigs to make his antlers. I need to get something suitable for his wispy beard.

This seems like a suitable interpretation of the character especially in relation to Kabuki. Researching the essay informed me that Kabuki actors assume the roles of ‘creatures that transcend the boundary between fox and human. It is a world of creatures and creaturism’ (Watanabe, 2006, p.202).

There is also a definite ‘taste for the supernatural, usually in the form of revengeful ghosts, spiteful lovers snakes in human form or women bewitched by foxes’ (Bowers, 1974, p.168).

 

RAPID THUMBS

Shelley Page approved my proposed idea for the Transformation of Ariel into a Harpy a couple of weeks ago. She suggested I did a rapid thumbnail storyboard as soon as possible to work out where I needed to spend most time and effort. I’m going to begin a tighter and more explicit storyboard this weekend, but I just wanted to get the ideas down first… before I forget them.