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March 2017

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ass head mask

Creature Symposium: Day One, Part One

This year's symposium is hosted by the costume program at Ohio University. OU's graduate program offers concentrations in Costume Design, Costume Production, and Costume Crafts, and with its "triple-threat" faculty of Holly Cole, David Russell, and Kjersten Lester-Moratzka, it's really become the place to go for an MFA if you want to do creature crafts, walkarounds/bigheads, and macropuppetry. Also assisting with the symposium are OU grads Brandon Kirkham and Marit Aagaard, as well as several other former and current students and colleagues of the hosts.

The first day of the symposium consisted of a general overview (including the survey of their mask and puppet collection, photos of which i posted earliers) and some initial lectures from Holly and David about their respective workshops: foam construction and Veraform (thermoplastic mesh) construction techniques. Then (after a delicious prix fixe lunch at a local Middle Eastern restaurant) we all split into two groups and began working!

I've got time to post some photos and overview info on our first workshop--carving matrix sculptures in blue insulation foam, for the purpose of making Veraform heads! This workshop was led by David Russell, and our subject at hand was rabbit heads. (I gather Mr Russell recently made something like 40 rabbit heads for a production of The Velveteen Rabbit so was now intimately familiar with this particular head shape for the purposes of teaching large groups.)


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Flying pigs!


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David Russell talks about interior mechanisms on this giant dragon head


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David Russell illustrates the interior support of a donkey mask


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Matrix sculpture from which the donkey mask was created


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Donkey mask detail shot


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Head matrix for grumpy old professor macropuppet
(Here you can see pattern label lines/marks for construction guides.)


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Grumpy old professor macropuppet head


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Foam carving workshop setup on the OU mainstage


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Demos for foam-carving lecture, including rabbit taxidermy forms in the foreground


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The worktables with stations for head-carving await!


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Stacked foam layers set up with a pattern for carving


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Reference patterns for carving my rabbit head, attached with T-pins.
We transfered markings with tracing wheels and markers.


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Amy Page of UNC-Chapel Hill uses a utility blade to begin carving into her block


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Tom Bernard of California Polytechnic uses a rasp to abrade his rabbit head sculpture


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It's getting there! This pic shows the advantage of the glued/stacked layers
in creating reference lines for planar sculpting.




Okay, i've got to head into campus for Day Two now, so the second half of Day One (foam construction) will have to wait til later!

Comments

This is great stuff--I'm learning a lot just from your progress photos.
Thanks!
wow!! that looks like so much fun