Sunday, 26 January 2014

Marionette Gallery 7 - The blue one

The world of movies is taking over our imagination and people think about Avatar. Though we talk about blue blood and mean aristocracy. This figure developed slowly with the parts in my workshop for a year or so. One day, looking at it, it all fell into place. Certainly he had to be blueish and wear a suit. Somewhat alien and otherworldly, contrasts his businesslike outfit. Even though he could possibly walk I decided he floats from place to place, just a good hand width above the ground. His first part was in Titanic where he played in a dream sequence as the accountant of Jacks father. Do look forward to have him appear in other roles for surprise and amusement.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Masks in Australia - German Summerschool

 Hey where are the puppets? Well this is another branch of my activities.

For a week January I was invited to give a workshop for the Goethe Institute Australia Summer School in Canberra. The theme was German Traditions. Well there are certainly a lot of them as Germany is rather regional. It came down to two very different festivals St Martinsfest and Krampus. Check them out on youtube there is lots!! Both are celebrations during the winter month in Germany.  The participants created a lantern and a mask as well as a costume during the week. It culminated in a fantastic procession at night with candles lighting up the lanterns and each Australian Krampus version introducing him/herself to all the other participants. There were lots of brilliant results, laughter and enjoyment and the photos only show a small section of the created works though will give you an idea.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Marionette Gallery 6 - The bird

Hi everybody nice to be back. Bit late as I am currently in Australia, more about that in another block. Let me introduce another member of the team today. A no name character and in the unfortunate position of the role as a sidekick for many shows. Pleasant and agile I like to bring this bird in to breakup a scene or as for Rumpelstiltzkin, add tension and surprise. For the performers it might be interesting to see the control and I will make a blog entry about variations on it later in the year. This bird just has the cute factor and the ohh and ahhs of a younger audience are certain.

Monday, 6 January 2014

30 years!!

30 Years Strings Attached in New Zealand!  To celebrate we organise a tour throughout New Zealand from Bluff to Kaitaia. Certainly there are a lot of memories as I have worked in schools that are sadly no longer there. Closed, sold and merged with other schools for many reasons, the population shift north is also changing the face of all of New Zealand.  Witnessing the changes this country went through in those 30 years was phenomenal on all levels, though exciting and thrilling as well. 

                                This photo - copyright to the Press Newspaper Christchurch New Zealand
This first photo was taken by the Press Newspaper in Christchurch accompanied by an article headlined The Master of the Marionettes. 

This second one is a recreation 30 years later in my dining room.  Spot the many differences and have a day with a Puppet Master in Wellington.

Took a while, dug the glasses out, somehow they survived. Repacked puppet boxes to find the three beggars, part of a number of plays including the Hans Sachs Fastnachtspiele. Pose in the same way, put on the same smile... didn't realise that recreations are more difficult than thought. For space reasons lets not start with all the stories that could be told. Enjoy the year and catch up with us somewhere in New Zealand or overseas.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Marionette Gallery 5 - grandma -

Like I mentioned before all the carved characters are individuals that work together for a show. Like you produce actors that you assemble for a production. Frequently I carve and create away in the workshop and do not know where this new creation will end up playing a part.  In the end you have a more interesting combination of characters. Although creating women characters is more difficult for me. Males and monsters are easy, maybe because I am male, women take more time and are tricky. Which does not mean there are non. Today I thought I introduce one of my leading ladies. Lets put age before whatever, and show you my 'grandmother'. She worked in Mustava and the Kauri Giant and Titanic as well as minor roles in other productions. You might think she looks homely but she certainly is a no nonsense down to earth character. She is in the running for the productions of 'Frau Holle' a Grimms Fairytale that is in the planning stage. The story has an all female cast which will be a bit of a challenge.