Saturday, 27 September 2014

Marionette Gallery 17 - The trouble with women

Yes for me carving and creating women marionettes is not easy. Man, well you just churn them out and everybody will appreciate the character. With women characters you just have to get it right. Let me show you some of the early versions and the struggle it took for me to get to a nice, not over the top, convincing female character. After all these years I assume with my latest production to be finished, Beauty and the Beast it is about right. You will have seen them in other blog entries.

This curly black haired beauty was one of the first ones ever to see the light of day. You will be able to see from where the strings are attached, she could sway her hips. Nice little effect when she comes on stage. Though not a sustainable character for a show I thought. To over the top and a few technical hitches.
Here is a female character I created for -Fading memories-. With the apron, the idea was the housewife of the 30s, to fit into the script. Ponytailed and bright eyed, made for the show and I would have to think where else I could place her for another stage experience.

The resolute grandmother worked well. Maybe just another memory of my childhood appearing during the process of creation. She had parts in a variety of shows, Russian? Not really, all women wore head scarfs in my childhood, yes things change though she looks quintessential grandmother to me. For today a gray haired pair of cyclists might be appropriate? For each character it is hard to come up with a strong personality, convincing looks not to much over the top and not to flat. Believe me there were a lot that ended up heating the house.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Marionette Gallery 16 - The veteran in a wheelchair

War is a messy business. The heroes are dead and the survivors continue with mental and physical scars that come home with them. Growing up in the 50s there were enough WW2 veterans you could see in the streets. In wheelchairs like my grandfather, not the fast zippy hightech ones of today, but cumbersome vehicles of wood and steel. The old prosthesis and crutches left a legacy with me. Years later this figure emerged. Covered with the old blankets one hand missing and half the face gone. Or is it only a symbol for the inner pain? The fingers make the victory sign, still alive and wont give up.
Technically it is a rod marionette and it can be wheeled at enormous speed across the stage. As the wheels turn the hands go back and forth it conjures up a multitude of emotions in the audience. He was part of Fading Memories, a show of forgetting and not forgetting. Though wanted to put him in some standard role so he gets more acting time for himself.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Marionette Gallery 15 - Early creations

These two figures are some of the early creations of mine. My carving skills were very much in the beginning of their development and I started with a wood turned head form. That three dimensional shape got modified by adding the nose and carving into it. Looking at it now, the hands look rather crude though with a certain charm on their own.