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Friday, January 26, 2018


I came by the blog world, just to show some of what I consider the best blogs to a teen-aged violin student who loves to write, and is curious about blogging.... and was reminded of how much I enjoyed it.... got a bit nostalgic, so i'll post some pictures of my latest creative efforts.  I'm recently returned home from 2 1/2 weeks at the Puppetry Intensive at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in Banff, Alberta.  The town of Banff is in Banff National Park, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It's stunning.  And the Banff Centre is built on the shoulders of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain, which sits in the centre of the town of Banff.  Sleeping Buffalo Mountain is a place sacred to the first nations people here. It's a place of power.  

For 2 1/2 weeks, we studied movement, and gesture, and the subtleties of bringing inanimate objects to life.  During this time, we were never allowed to use words to bring life to our subjects.  No language to convey ideas and intentions and stories, other than the language of gesture, of movement, of focus and intent. It was magical.  A little, a small part each evening, of our time, was spent actually creating puppets, and learning the mechanics of their construction.    though I didn't manage to finish anything, I do have a few partly completed things to show for my time:

 This is the first stage of a rod puppet, yet to be paper mache'd and painted.  He's a little over a foot tall.





This one is a mask, used in exercises experimenting with spacial relationships and groupings. That's my hand behind it, for scale. 













 Here is the same mask, along with my 'puppet soul', a soft 'stuffie' used to learn to manipulate objects as we learned to give them expression and gesture, without words.  We walked our souls, interacted with other souls, explored our surroundings through them, and told stories with them, all without the spoken word.  







This fellow has a ball and socket armature in his head and neck, with a rod in the back of his head, to enable it to pivot up, down and sideways, in a realistic way. The wooden rods at his sides are the beginnings of arms, with leather hinges at the elbows. He'll have the cloth body and arms of a small child. He is destined to be an infant philosopher, I think, and tells me he wants curly hair, and a twin sister.  He's a rod puppet, so the central rod is how he is supported.  There will be one or more rods to his hands (when he gets them) to enable his hands and arms to move realistically.  
After 3 weeks away (at a very nice kennel), Maestro was extremely glad to be home. I felt the same way.  

Back to teaching music lessons four days a week, running a boarding house / B&B, and finishing an online course in property management.   And I wonder why I can't find time to finish the puppets.....?!

8 comments:

susan said...

I'm very glad to read you had such a nice time. You certainly were in need of some creative relaxation and the results look as though that happened. There'll be time enough to finish the little guys in process and time for more to join them as well. The pictures are great. Of course, I especially liked seeing the one of you and Maestro reunited!
Take good care and don't forget to pace yourself.
:)

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Granny Fiddler
Nice to see you back blogging again and to catch up with your current projects. Great work with the puppetry which is a challenging art form. I am aware of the technique since my daughter, as artistic director of a mentally challenged adult drama group/theatre, recently completed a puppetry workshop with them resulting in a wonderful output. In case it is of interest here is the website: https://www.dvatheatre.com/
A beautiful dog aptly named by its Maestro master(you know what I mean)
Best wishes

gfid said...

Susan - Blogging is another relaxing and creative thing, one that I enjoy and miss. I'm kind of a slow learner in the 'pace yourself ' department, but I think I can be taught. Maestro does his best to teach me.

Lindsay - I'll check out the website, thanks. Maestro was named by my daughter, at a time when I was doing a lot of musical theatre, as musical director. She was teasing a bit, I think, but the name seems to suit him.... the tuxedo, y'know.

Lindsay Byrnes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay Byrnes said...

H GFID
I remember you telling me a long time ago that daughter of yours was (and still is I presume ? ) a very quick wit - but don't they say those genes are also inherited ?. Nice to see you are doing so well and engaged so fully in life. Did I ever tell you, you are a champion ?
Best wishes

gfid said...

Lindsay - yes, daughter, Raven, is quite brilliant in many ways... I think she's much smarter than her mother, or at least better at making use of what she's been blessed with. I seem to be a slow learner, in some respects... But, yes, life is good. I have the poem you wrote years ago for me on a sticky note in my studio somewhere.... i think i can remember the gist of the last few lines......

seasons of a setting sun
memories of life abundant
much good is yet to come

I've never seen myself as a champion, but you've put a smile on my face in saying it :o)

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clairesgarden said...

just checking in and hope you are well. blogs not really 'the thing' now it seems that facebook is for everybody everywhere. xx