Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Putting up my exhibition!

When creating my exhibition I wanted to create a Forrest like atmosphere so both my puppets felt perfectly at home in their environment. I wanted a dark enclosed feeling space, surround by natural materials and earthy colours. 

I managed this by creating walls out of brown parcel paper and lengths of skrim hanging from the ceiling. All the walls of my exhibition were covered in the same manor so the entirety of my area was darkened, in contrast to all the white walls of the other exhibitions. 

I then weaved willow into the skrim by hand to create a tree like appearance on the walls, I also covered the floor with leaves collected from outside the art centre so the concrete flooring was no longer visible. Being able to see the floor would've killed my indoor forest illusion. I then placed my deer puppet on a mannequin on a raised platform. I situated the puppet so visitors could walk around the puppet and see it from all angles. This was important to me as I wanted people to feel like they could get up close and even touch it if they wanted, to help them understand the piece. 

I was happy with the space I created, and felt it displayed my work in the best lift possible. As well as showing my capabilities in creating a set like design for my area. Using all the skills I have gained over the past year of my foundation course. 

Monday, 22 June 2015


I created the body of my deer using a simple combination of wadding and loose pieces of canvas I had collected over the years since GCSEs. The face however was more challenging. 
I created the face of the deer using a camping mat. The foam was the perfect combination of both light weight and easy to manipulate. I created a simple pattern, sketches of which are to be found in my sketch book and then stuck different sections of the foam together to make a 3d shape. This was a simple process and was very time effective. 

I was happy with the finished product as it worked exactly how I intended and looked exactly how I had envisioned from the outset. ITS FINALLY COMPLETE!!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The real deal

From creating my prototype out of grey board I had learnt that I would need a more durable material to create the body of my deer. To make it more sturdy and therefore less likely to break or stop working correctly. This lead to me being the only girl in the whole of wickes stood with two sheets of hardwood and a bag of nails and washers in my hand. These materials however worked really effectively as the extra weight of the hardwood meant that the lower section of the front legs no longer needed weighting down at the hoof. As they now functioned perfectly fine without. 

I used my early sketches to choose the colours and paint design on the deer itself. If you put my design work and actual physical work side by side you can see the consistsncys in the work. 
I made no changes to the body suit I had created for puppet at it had worked perfectly fine it all my tests of the work and functioned perfectly. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Tweaking the mechanism. . . AGAIN!

Although the cable to operate the front legs worked, it did need some fine tuning. After attaching the cables in multiple places I found it worked best and the widest part of the upper thight. This meant that the amount of cable that was actually being pulled was quite short and therefore a small pull gave a large amount of movement. Making the deer easy to operate. I also established that on the real version of the puppet I would have to use washers or something similar to keep the joints of the deers legs from wobbling because their was too much room for movement. Once I had figured out the issues with this prototype version I decided to was time to begin the real thing. And take on board all the alterations I had made to the original plan throughout my design process. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The prototype Bambi

I encountered multiple problems when creating the front legs for my deer. The mechanics I wanted to use failed and did not work and effectively as I had thought they would. The back hind legs were joined diagonally to the front legs (this meant when the back left leg moved the front right legs would move at the same time). The wire was not strong enough and was buckling when pressure was put on it in the form of the performer walking. However s stronger material would have meant s heavier material which would've made the puppet extremely difficult to operate and uncomfortable to use. I then had to explore other methods of gaining movement in the front legs. I came up with two alternative solutions. Of which I drew very simple sketches. 

The first solution I came up with was to attach a pole to either front legs, just above the knee. This would mean the performer would operate the front legs using their hands by lifting and pushing the poles in synchronisation with the back legs. 

The second possible solution was to attach cable to the front of the knee. Which in turn would run up through two guides and are pulled by the performer in order to lift the legs from the knee upwards and weighting down the bottom section of the legs so they would move freely but follow the direction of the upper leg. 

After trying both solutions I decided the second was the most effective. Although the poles did work, they made moving me the legs hard work and sometimes caused the legs to move at a slant away from the body of the deer, making it look wonky. I decided that the cables from the front legs were the most effective idea and fitted the cables straight away. 

Friday, 12 June 2015

the owl, drawn on a graphics tablet. .

This was my finished sketch for my owl puppet drawn on a graphics tablet using photoshop. This is one of the first real pieces of work I have created using and tablet and once used to how it worked I fell in love. You canavhieve a whole new depth of colour and different textures when compared to something hand drawn. Not only this but it gives an all together more professional finish to the sketches, something I would be proud to present as part of my FMP. I will continue using graphics tablets in an attempt to improve my skills and learn new techniques when using photoshop.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Sketches, how I want things to look.

Using a graphics tablet I managed to take earlier on designs I had drawn and make them into a more accurate view of how I wanted my work to look. This picture above is a cross section of my owl puppet I created early on in my FMP. This will be a key part of my finished exhibition because it shows the inner workings of the piece that you won't be able too see just looking at it. And therefore shows that a piece of work that looks like it may take complicated mechanics to work is actually a simple series of pulley and a main shaft running up to the Owls head. 

I like this drawing also because on the left it shows how I want it to look visually and shows people how I have followed a plan for the appearance of my puppet and that it isn't just something that happens of its own accord. 

I then did the same thing with some preliminary sketches I had done into the anatomy and proportions of deer early on from my FMP. This also gave me an appearance to strive for when working on how my deer puppet worked. Not just the integral mechanics of the piece. I think this not only mimics the look of the characters from the film bambi but changes it to suit my style of work, so it has my own personal stamp on it. 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Bringing Bambi to life. . .

I'm really pleased with how this puppet is going so far, I have created it out of grey board, therefore it is still quite durable but quick to make and lightweight to use. However the movement isn't 100% the way I want it, I'm going to try attaching the knees of the deer to my knees so the legs are attached at two points not just at the foot. I believe this will give greater control of how the movement goes as this means the knees will stay in line. Another issue I am going to address is that the joints need to be more sturdy as there is too much room between the stopper on the hinge and the leg itself, this causes the joints to wobble. I would like to get rid of this wobble as it effects the look of then movement when viewing the puppet from an onwards angle, however it is not as noticeable from a side view like in this video.