Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finding the Cat Flap

We had a busy weekend taking part in Animated Exeter. On Friday night Brian and I introduced a screening of Dark Crystal at the Exeter Picture House and then stayed for a question and Answer session afterward. It was a sold out event and just great to see so many people interested in the film. The weekend before that, we were in Plymouth for a screening with Q&A of Labyrinth. To witness the perennial life of these two films in both the U.S. and the U.K. is wonderful indeed. 

Last Saturday morning I gave a two hour lecture/demonstration – again for Animated Exeter – in a wonderful, medieval building on Cathedral Green in Exeter. I was expecting around twenty five people, which is the number I usually suggest because it’s easy for everyone to see what I’m doing, so was rather surprised when fifty people filed into the very small, very old and rather dark room to watch me sculpt and fabricate a figure. We found seats for everyone eventually and I stood up for the whole demo so they all could see. It actually worked quite well and from the comments we’ve had both at the time and on the facebook page, I think everyone enjoyed it. I certainly did. I don’t always like my demonstration creatures at the end of a session - sometimes, because I’ve had so little time to develop them, they just don’t come together as well as I would like, but this time, I knew I needed to finish him at home. 

I just completed him this afternoon. As soon as I was finished, he decided that he wanted to explore so I let him go and followed him to see what he would do. He found the cat flap in the kitchen door and climbed through it. Before he walked away, he turned back, looked through the flap and waved at me - then he was gone. I hope he doesn’t stay out too long. I hope he can find his way home again before dark. It’s raining and I can hear the neighbor’s dog barking! 

I’ll be giving another demonstration in Glastonbury at the Avalon Faery Fayre on the 11th and 12th of March (I’m only giving the demo on the 11th). Brian will be giving a lecture as well on both days. We’re looking forward to that. I’m going to see if I can make the new creature ( I don’t even know his name yet) a friend to go adventuring with - that is -if he returns!


  1. Lovely to see the little guy completed. Quite a character !Both Friday night and Saturday morning were amazing. It was a privilege to meet you both and to learn so much from long term heroes of mine.
    I have received the first consignment of Fimo, and I'm picking up a table top oven today. It will be so much quicker making my marionettes this way, rather than carving them all from wood.Watch this space ! Good things coming.
    The most important thing for me, though was to dispel the myth that "you should never meet your heroes, as you'll only be disappointed". I was pleased to find you both charming and sincere. Thank you for signing the book for Freya, my daughter as well.

  2. Ahh...if I had known you were in Exeter I would have come. My parents live in Exmouth but I'm in Hertfordshire. Had I known I would have planned a weekend with the folks. I would have loved to see you guys.

    Sounds like it all went well, though. Good luck for Glastonbury (may see if I can juggle my schedule :D )

  3. I would have to agree! It was a dream come true to meet you both,such lovely people. And my tattooed leg signature is healing nicely! Hope to meet you again one day xx

  4. He is so cute, how funny that he climbed through de cat flap!! You are a master creating such lovely figures!

  5. It was indeed a fascinating and inspiring weekend - just the tonic I needed to get me enthused about making again after a period of struggling with the winter blues. Great to see this little fellow completed and away on his own feet too :)

  6. He is so fantastic! Good lord but you're just so inspiring. I hope one day I'm lucky enough to get to see you work in person.