Saturday, February 25, 2012

Around the bird feeder

We feed the birds all winter – seeds and peanuts – breadcrumbs and suet. We have so many kinds of birds coming to the garden feeders that it’s hard to keep track of them all. 

We had no idea that we were also feeding the faeries until I saw this small flock of them on the peanut feeder. Who knew they liked peanuts! 

They are becoming quite bold. I caught this cheeky one staring in the kitchen window. She obviously saw me looking at her.

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!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Archive Photos

I was tidying my studio the other day ( rare indeed) and I came across a folder of photos that I hadn’t seen in years! Lots of Dark Crystal photos and some Labyrinth ones as well. Since we are going to be introducing both films in the next two weeks, I thought it might be a nice time to share some more of these archive photos with you all. 

Jim Henson gave a huge masked ball in New York the Spring before we shot Labyrinth (which we shot in the U.K.). Brian and I got to test out two of the masks we were making for the ballroom scene and I’m wearing a dress I had made for this ball in particular. It’s turned up in Brian’s paintings since. So - this was pre-Labyrinth Ballroom, but with that scene in mind. 

Here’s a picture of the two of us in the Dark Crystal workshop in Hampstead. Brian is looking really bemused but I have no idea of what we were looking at. I expect there were many moments like these! 

These three photos are of some of the Dark Crystal creatures. It’s interesting to see them on a plain background, by themselves. They are so beautifully made and the detail is just astonishing. In the film, of course there is really no time to study any of the creatures that flash by so quickly. I don’t know for certain who made any of these - it wasn’t me!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Heard a Little Noise

I heard a little noise outside the kitchen door this morning and I looked out to see what it was. At first I couldn't see anything, but then I looking down I saw this little fellow on the doorstep. He climbed up to the window ( the very dirty window!) and knocked on it with his spoon. He obviously wanted to come in, so I opened the door and in he ran. I watched as he sniffed the air and then climbed on to the counter by the stove. He pushed and pulled cans and jars around to make steps for himself and then he climbed up and dipped his spoon into the soup I was making. It seems that this was all he wanted, and he left shortly after. The weather is SO cold right now, he probably just needed something to warm himself up. At least he brought his own spoon.