IN THE STUDIO
Over the last few weeks we’ve been hard at work along with our neighbor-friend Fred Triplett building The Night Farmer’s cabin set. A couple of walls with windows.
We fulfilled our mason fantasies creating this fireplace from insulation foam! So much fun carving river stones from foam to dress this faux hearth.
Now that the fireplace is primed we now have to apply paint to really bring it to life.
The Night Farmer needed a bed of course - how else is he going to get a good night of dreaming?
Things are definitely moving along in the new studio!
We recently co-hosted a Four Elements themed dinner-theater fundraiser to support build efforts for our next original show The Night Farmer. Our good friends (and super loving advocates!) Francie Field and Janet Pepin underwrote and cooked the dinner portion of the evening. We supplied the theatrical magic dressing a magnificent room at The Patterson School before setting our performers and puppets loose!
So many good folks contributed to make this such a memorable event. Thank you - Andi Gelsthorpe, Carlyn Waller, Cindy Tate, Pat Kincheloe Morrison, Joanna Weintraub, Jenn Beckler, Harold McKinney, Lara Mast, Michelle Dineen, Rob Falvo, Phil Cole, Veronica Toub, Zan Valliant, Jeff Dreyer, Mountainwise and of course The Patterson School Foundation.
Here are photos from the Dress Rehearsal
And here are snaps from the last vignettes of the show - The Wild One. A Blessing of Magic and The Marriage of Art and Nature!
QUESTION - How do you bridge a one-night-only restaurant-style kitchen with a one-night-only performance space??? Why.....with a charm of faeries of course!!!!!
And did we ever luck out with the nimblest, cheekiest and most hard-working faeries in the High Country (well one technically flew down from NY but you get the idea:) They whisked plates hither and yon, entertained the crowd with wit and floral fancy, filled glasses and generally kept the room abuzz with elemental cheer.
Thank you: Jenn Beckler, Kat Dolan, Joanna Weintraub, & Michelle Dineenyou were the crack faery squadron this production so needed (and appreciated!)
Plus props too to Casey of Mountainwise Farm who also helped keep the flow flowing as well as making an amazing appearance as the graceful Lady of the Harvest!
Janet Pepin and her trio of talented cooks rocked the kitchen producing plate after plate of Four Element themed deliciousness. How about a "Dirt" salad for the Earth based course??? Or a smoking ocean terrine for the Water inspired plate? The gastronomic treats flew out of the kitchen all evening and faeries reported that the tables were lovin' each and every bite:)
The Green Man has been knocking on our workshop door for many a moon and it looks like he'll be finally stepping out from amidst the trees in our next production. In the studio Kathy has started work on his dashing cloak fabricating leaves and roots.
Each leaf is a process - and then some! First a pattern is drawn on velvet fabric.
Turned inside out and prepared for stuffing.
Then a matching foam piece is cut to stuff the leaf fabric interior and add three dimensionality.
Wrestle the stuffing inside.
"Forceps please Nurse."
Then sew, sew and sew some more.
Cut threads and return to cloak.
And sew down.
And you're done - phew!
Kath has also been working on a lively and leafy mask.
The mask then receives an unrefined but strong base coat of paint.
Ferns, leaves and assorted botanical ornaments will also be added after a final nuanced application of paint.
Stay tuned as we keep you updated on newly emerging puppets, characters and magical friends.
Where exactly do faeries come from? Enchanted hedgerows? Fissures in the ancient English Ley-Lines? Overactive imaginatons?
Well probably all of the above but certainly Kathy's crafty hands too.
They generally start with the fabrication of limb-lets.
Put in box and set aside.
Ready for buckram and gluey layer.
Apply some paint and dress in fantastical garb.
I never met a bald faery so wispy hairs are a must.
Start with some ribbon. Apply glue.
Smoosh down colorful feathers.
Cut to whimsical length.
Fit to bald pate.
And style to taste.
Now some wings.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
A bit of gentle open-back surgery.
Don't forget ze strings.
Look for these little dudes in Queen Titania's entourage at our next show.
Late last night as a historic snow storm blustered outside, a bleating cry suddenly sounded from our basement studio. A gnome was born! The pint-sized marvel was quickly swaddled and put to bed. But waking this morning instead of the anticipated clamoring for acorn mash or milkweed bottle the little fella just pointed outside and nodded vigorously. He wanted OUT!
The following are some images from his first photo shoot. Can you help us find a name for the little fella?
We love Gnomes and there is a family of Gnomes well under way in the studio.
Kathy has crafted heads, arms and feet and is moving on to their stylish duds. Beautiful suede leather jacket for the woodsy fella.
Accompanied by an equally wild and wooly pair of boots sewn by our good friend and accomplice Tori Cox.
It won't be too long before this sweet half-pint couple emerge fully realized - with a new born gnomelet too, of course!
My wife's imagination is reached through an unassuming door. Outside this door a line of characters waits in line hoping to be warmly admitted to her magical world of puppets. But every so often there is a particularly insistent rap at the door, and on this occasion a many armed rapping. "An octopus!" she announced crawling out of our tent at the Wild Goose Festival. And when we got home, she got to work.....
Step 1 - Transform cheap pool noodles into tentacles
Step 2 - Cover with bright orange fabric skin
Step 3 - Pattern, cut and stitch giant octopus head from foam.
Okay enough with the Steps! Next test umbrella puppet mechanics.
Attach tentacles to over-sized golf umbrella.
Next Cut, dart and glue 120 octopus suckers.
Fit and cut octopus body.
Attach head and you're done....sort of.
There are still a few yards of sewing still remaining and at least 50-100 sequins to be sewn down but who's counting. We look forward to debuting this blazing orange leviathan at our next show - Friday, September 12, 8pm at St. Luke's Church in Boone, NC. Hope to see you there!