Video Project with Little Tybee - Phase 6 - The Elephant

Monday, October 3, 2011

The last of the major marionettes for our video project.

Since the Anglerfish turned out to be so labor intensive, (nothing I do is ever easy), I decided to use a different method when building the elephant. I knew I wanted it lightweight, and after experimenting with some tape and paint finishes on styrofoam, I knew foam was the way to go. I chose aluminum tape, the kind they seal ducts with, and applied it in strips, papier mâché style.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Sculpting the foam - I used two kinds because that's what I had on hand, and the pink stuff worked better for the legs and trunk.


The head and articulated trunk pieces.


The legs covered with the aluminum tape - so shiny!


Close up of the tape pieces.


The head and trunk; after aging with raw umber paint mixed with gel medium.


The pieces aged; drying. You can see my test piece in the upper right hand corner.


The underneath, showing the axles for the legs.


All put together. I added the ears and eyes last. And next I will add all the strings.
The elephant turned out to be more of a baby elephant, which was much better for the scale we're working in, and a smaller elephant was the perfect size when paired with our Wanderer.


The "backpack" or howdah, though technically a howdah is for people and not necessarily luggage, which will be the case here.


The jhool, or textile covering adds cushioning to the howdah. And looks great.


It was suggested by Brock, my collaborator, to add some things dangling on each side and I thought, "why not just pack the elephant full of things, as if going on a journey?" I really like the idea that this may be the beginning of a journey for our characters.


As you can see, our elephant is outfitted with many accoutrements - all packed up for the journey.


More details. I really like this shot.


A front view showing the sehri, or forehead covering. I decided to have the trunk strung up underneath and not controlled by the puppeteer - though it does sway from side to side.


More details, which I think add a lot to the feeling of the piece.


Close up of the luggage etc.


Now onto the small mouse, and all the other props - especially those in the Fortune Teller's tent. And the tents. And the signs. And, and, and..........

2 comments:

Jeremy Mayer said...

Gorgeous, Tom!

akorn said...

Tom. Just browsing here with my son Sam who wanted to know all about how the set and everything was made for Boxcar Fair. I never tire of reading through all this. Amazing detail.

Sam says, "I really liked the puppet show. The set looks really good. My favorite part was the fortune teller. Impressive."

-AKorn

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