Monthly Archives: September 2011

crab legs specail !!!


Some of you may be familiar with the winning turner prize entry of 2005 called shedboatshed by Simon starling. If not well the name kind of explains it. It started off with a shed which was then taken apart made into a boat ( and if I’m correct sailed it down a river or something ) and then turned it back into a shed. well anyway this is likened to my afternoon, I started out with the crab legs made up alike so. ( this was to make sure they went together right and the correct measurements ect.








I then took all of it appart








then applied glue where needed and put it all together back together again








ShedBoatShed !!


Birth of the Night sparrow


The night sparrow puppet is now finished and standing ( free standing!!! ) in all her glory along side her sculpt and also the sculpt of the spoon crab ( next to be made into a puppet ). The legs and feet were fairly easy to make.

The legs are simply wire covered with plasticine connected to the body using k and s , and the feet I made out of super sculpey ( another kind of fimo type thing that you sculpt and then bake in the oven to harden.The key to the free standing is nice large feet! ( you’ll see this in quite a lot of stop motion characters generally as the bigger the feet the more stable they are able to stand. ) The trick is to try and get a balance of big enough to let the character stand but not so big they look too goofy ( luckily the night sparrow is a strange character anyway so it doesn’t really matter if her feet look a little large.

After I made the feet and legs , I started sculpting the arms which are meant to be attached to and on top of the wings , The problem I had was that the wings – because I had made them quite delicate – could not support the weight of the plasticine, so I have had to remake the wings and arms. This time I made the wire frame of the wings and then using super sculpey I sculpted the arms and hands onto the wings and baked them. So the wings wont actually bend but they should be able to move back and forth with a bit of leeway of wire Ive left between then wings and the k and s ( covered by Plasticine )

I then went on to fill the wings in using the same technique as before glueing them to cling film and using glass paint.

And this is the finished product!

When I say finished product its really more like first draft, what will happen is once I’ve made all my puppets I will start doing some animation tests with them and then tweek or redo parts of them to perfect their performance.

Creating a monster


The Night-Sparrow puppet is now coming along really nicely, in real life she is getting more and more freaky looking (more so than the sculpt I think its the eyes ) (( definitely the eyes ))

The eyes are the standard eyes that come with the standard armature ( the metal skeleton inside ) and they look like this.








Here I have started to sculpt plasticine eyelids around the eyes its amazing how this instantly seems to create character and mood.

I then went about sculpting the head which has a small ball of silver foil inside to bulk it out a bit , but mostly consists of plasticine. I have the head sitting on a thin bit of k and s ( bronze tubing I was talking about the other day ) so it is rotatable.




Last of all I got the last bit of my k and s through the post today which meant I could attach the wings to the body.








And than is my night sparrow almost complete , I just need to sculpt her arms and make her attachable / detachable wire legs coated and sculpted in plasticine.





Finally some of the supplies I ordered have now come meaning I can now get on with some stuff, however as I am still waiting for some stuff . I have taken to setting up a work station in the lounge while people are out. see below 🙂

I have now started some of my puppet making , starting with the night sparrow.

This is going to be the main body of the Night sparrow, its made from a material called hot set which is basically the same kind of idea as fimo – a moldable sculptable modeling clay that hardens once cooked in the oven.

I also used square brass ( known as k and s ) tubing at the bottom and also just below the neck ( see photo at the bottom you should be able to see two small squares ) this is so when I make the legs and wings I can add a smaller size of brass tubing which will be fixed to the ends that will slot into the larger bronze tubing in the body. The main benefit of this is if while animating a part brakes you can easily detach it, mend or make a new one and re attach it without having to re make the whole puppet.


Below is the wings being made. They have a wire frame which is glued to cling film using pva and then painted with glass paint. This one is a bit of an experiment for me. So far it seems to have worked with the effect I was looking for however they could prove quite delicate which will become tricky when animating.










That’s it for now as I need to get on with doing rather than writing : – more soon 🙂



please mr postman


well a short update 🙂 I am waiting for the postman to deliver my drill , 3 fixed components for my armature for the crabs leg and some fake fimo type stuff so “Bristol safari” can go into drive again. Thinking about it I really should of planned this and ordered the stuff earlier, but that’s a lesson learn for next time ( thinking of which I should probably spend a bit of time tomorrow planning and working out what I’m going to be needing so this doesn’t happen again) luckily I have been working today anyway so that’s not been to much of a waist of time ( as all this and living business costs money )and a some of tomorrow and all of wednesday I’m meeting friends and family so hopefully bu=y thursday my stuff will be here and I’ll be ready to crack on 🙂

sorry its been a bit of a boring post this time round but here is a video of an owl dancing to can’t touch this , to make it all better


Llama’s and Crab legs


Just a short post today really as although what I’ve done took quite some time, unfortunately there isn’t a lot to show for it.

The first thing I’ve done is start researhing Llama’s and drawing them, trying to get a good hand on the shape of the animal. This is reference for what is at the moment my final creature for this project.  I was originally going to have a 4th character/creature but I decided I just didn’t like that one , it did’t seem as strong character wise as the others ( if I like how this project goes then I’l most probably end up doing more)

any way here is my page of lovely llama drawing references







I’ve also been doing a lot of working out for my crab leg armature ( yes I”m still fiddling around with that ) yesterday I took apart my gerbil armature and split it  into the parts I need for my crab legs, all  I need to do now is cut the steel rods to attach everything together and buy 2 fixed components for 2 separate joints ( don’t worry if your not sure what that is , basically there are 2 small balls in a ball and socket joint ,which means you can get a double jointed action from the joint. If you replace one of those balls with a fixed component then you get a single jointed action like you get at your elbow or knee)

here are all the bits sort of in place ( if it just looks like a table of bits, don’t worry, it is , it all works in my head though which is the main thing – as long as I’m right.)


The Night-Sparrow


The Night-sparrow is another one of my characters I have started sculpting for my project “Bristol Safari”. I have to warn you now though , The night-Sparrow is quite creepy , it is no spoon crab. Ever since I got to sculpting the head – the face especailly – has a kind of eerie orah about it. Could just be me I suppose but the spoon-crab is definitely a little nervous of it too.

Anywho the process is very similar to that of the sculpt of the spoon crab , I took my reference from my drawings and research and final design and went from there. Starting off by raiding my mum’s kitchen draw again for the silver foil which made the body. And then stuck in the wire arms and legs and fixed it all together with epoxy glue.

Then Just as I did yesterday I just started Sculpting from the feet up with tiny tiny bits of plasticine.




















So there you have it the ultra rare – never seen before – Night- sparrow , watch this space for the fire cracker!