Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kickstarter preparation- Shaman puppet being

So, the puppet I want to build for this kickstater project is somewhat vague yet. He is coming to me here and there. bits and pieces... images... feelings. He is inspired by several things.... Last spring I had the honor to participate in a Sacred Plant Spirit Medicine Ceremony. It was such a powerful experience for me. Not only journeying with Plant Spirit Medicine, but the ceremony, the Shaman and the group of people. All of it.  It was so unbelieveable. It was such a deep window into self. That single experience has rocked me for a year. This medicine showed me who I am.  Who and what we ALL are. I wasn't just told or shown this..... I felt it with all my being.

 I am moved to create from this place and inspire others . The actual Shaman from this Plant Spirit Ceremony was very powerful...He sang Peruvian songs(Icaros) during the whole ceremony.  When he sang it was as if he breathed the song out and I breathed the same air in and simultaneously experienced  its sentience. Yes,  sound as sentience. Something I never even considered.. This was so powerful that I wondered about the role of the Shaman, healing, ceremony and song.  This is definitely worth some consideration.  Does the Shaman simply inspire us to heal ourselves? Does the commitment of the Shaman to the ceremony make the participants feel its depth and importance ? The depth and importance of their own healing?....the power we have as self healers. Ceremony becomes a special platform for the experience of healing together as a group...journeying together. I could go on and on! To say the least I am quite intrigued by all aspects of this. 

About a month ago I saw the image below and it really resonated within me..  I originally thought I would be making a Bunraku style puppet (that you puppeteer from behind) but after having seen this image I said to myself  "wow, I think I'm building a medicine puppet!" And thought..."I have to be inside and underneath this puppet". Lo and behold I may do both! I may merge completely with him and then at some point we may have more autonomy from each other and he will appear to move completely separate from me and, of course, of his own accord.

 I am still working on what his head actually looks like....this area is not clearly defined yet. Although here is a really interesting character study....

He came out of a freeform process : exploring pods and twigs, flowers, shells and how they fit together . I was amazed when I saw him taking shape. 

I like many aspects of this study. I love his face. It's a bit walrus and even a bit manatee. Funny enough it came from the sea. It is the butt of some kind of clam shell. When I picked up its brokenness from the sand ...I immediately saw some sort of face...some sort of little aliveness that was recognizeable as alive.
In the above image you can see his eyes.... they look closed if he has gone inside himself. I like that...the Shaman who doesn't need his eyes to see what is truly important. He can navigate with his eyes closed and then maybe periodically he opens his eyes! SO that WE can feel connected to HIM.  I like the idea of him slowly opening his lids and two illuminated ocean blue eyes peer back at you...
Darkly, twinkling,
Wending the way to the Underworld
Unearthing fertile matter
Invoking the sacred Earthworm Song.

The antlers I love too.. I am into antlers right now...and reindeeer.  Not so long ago I read an interesting story of how some think the story of Santa Claus, flying reindeer and pine trees (christmas trees) all came about.  The article I read connected this  fables' source with Sacred Plant Medicine of the Fly-Agaric mushroom. You know, the red one with white spots you see in fairy tales and even Disneys' Fantasia.

It is suggested that Santas' suit was inspired by the colors on the mushrooms' cap. They grow under pine trees and reindeer eat them. It is said that the reindeer are affected by the hallucinogenic properties of this fungi.(humans as well!) This is supposedly where the idea of flying reindeer originated. The Shamans of  Lapland ( region of Finland) are said to have used the Fly Agaric as Plant Spitit medicine and that they are closely linked with this story of the origins of Father Christmas.  Now, I have just briefly touched on this and there is plenty of reading on the web on the subject. True or not...I like the story of it. Very interesting...being deeply intwined with nature. I like stories of ancient rituals and ceremonies. It seems to have been a way for people to gather together, to share in the name of something sacred. 

Here is a fantastical relic.....


I was struck by its velvety surface much like that of an antler. It could be a unique type of antler or even a winglike appendage. hmmm. so many possibilities.

Here are some other studies I did from nature things...these came out while I had the intention of finding the Shaman.....I have to have the intention and then let go....that is,  if I really wanna play with the creative process and allow ideas to flow from that mysterious unknown place in the nethers.

This one was inspired by my sister talking about her newborn and how she could so clearly feel the divinity of this little one. "it" watching itself mirroring its own divinity.

bounding woodsprite

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kickstarter preparation- mini "Divining Lights"

The performance and puppet I am creating for Twig Theatre Kickstarter project will be an evening performance. Not that it can't be done in the daylight, but there is something magical about a gathering of folks and shared experience in the twinkling hours.

The Divining lights sit on the ground in front of the theatre and illuminate the puppet, define the "set" area and create a mystical ambience. They will each have a battery powered light inside. 

A Divining light points the way...
the light we seek emanates from is who we already are.

I sculpted them (Sculpey) baked and painted them. Boy was this fun!   No wonder the Kickstart is taking so long to Kickstart....havin' way too much fun!
 The largest one is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. The full size ones will be under 2 feet in diameter.  And no I will not be doing clay sculpts on the big ones! (Rob!  :))  I just wanted to play with design and Sculpey seemed the best fit. Any design on the big ones will probably be L-200 foam or something of that nature. (something light and non-breakable) The designs will be similiar but simpler. For some reason it is my nature to start more complex and then work towards letting go and simplifying.

Here is some of the process...

Sculpting over dome shape. Got the clear plastic domes at Michaels Craft store.  They are in the baking section: confection molds. I just cut the shapes out.  Each dome is also sprayed with a "frost" spray in a can. (Michaels, jo-Ann's or Home Depot)

after baking, some cracked. just glued and painted

in my room in front of the cart

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kickstarter preparation- mini lantern brackets complete!

Got these pretty little things in the mail yesterday. I e-mailed my mini bracket design out to a friend that has been doing beautiful intricate scroll-saw work for years.  A week later I am holding them in my hand. What a great feeling! Thanks Ed! They are really lovely.

They are wood....1/4 inch thick, about 6 inches tall and about 2 1/2 inches wide

What it will look like with the lantern hanging on the bracket. Next photo here will be brackets truly complete....stained, painted and mounted on the miniature cart with Lanterns hung! Maybe today!

Stained and ready to glue on some hinges

I will cover the hinges with fabric(leather) or something like that will hide them as well as add an "old" feel to the look of the cart. After seeing the way they look on this mini cart I think I am anticipating that the brackets and lanterns on the full size cart will actually be a bit smaller in comparison.  

I love love love it! It looks even better than I thought it would. it is starting to have an old world European-ish feel (at least a cinematic Europe!) ...the Gypsy vibe is comin' through.  My Grandmama was from Hungary.  I've felt for a long time the wandering gypsy in my bones. 

So my thoughts about a a logo....
 I at least want the name TWIG  to appear on this side of the cart. This is the audience side and I want them to know the name of the theatre without wondering.  I'm still working on that ....I think maybe a part of me has been waiting for more of the cart to take shape so i would know how simple or involved to go with a logo or drawing...I'm starting to think the simpler the better now...hmmm.
......more on logo later

Here again is the actual cart in its 5 foot unfinished-ness...soon to be finished!!

Here the backstage doors are open.
                                    Ready for some mystical puppet beings to emerge from behind...