Preparing my workshops


As you may have read in the workshop section, I’ll start teaching animation next week. I’m going to offer workshops for children and I got involved into two school projects for next whole year which is just great. I don’t want to use my DLSR with the kids (which are about the age of nine to twelve) so I bought a DV camcorder, the Panasonic NV-GS90EG-S. I also bought some simple desk lights with moveable arms (at Ikea’s) and several StikFas at Chromacolor. All Girls do like shopping… Somehow…

I like tools and workshops…

That’s why I built a simple wooden puppet similar to that we used in Bristol today for the kids which is easily to modify. But mainly I want them to work with clay and perhaps cut-out animation. The premises are quite simple so I have to make a lot of compromises. For example, we have to work on normal wooden tables, so no screws or magnets could be used. I’ll let you know how it went. I’m also going to take some pictures during that week.

Here is how I build the wooden puppet:

First I draw a sketch of how it should look like. This gives me an idea of how small or big the single parts should be. Then I cut the elements from round and rectangular pieces of wood which I got from the Do-it-yourself shop. (Except the hands and the legs; I bought those at an art and crafts shop, they’re quite cheap) I sandpapered them so that there are no sharp edges left. I used aluminium wire I bought (again from an art and craft shop) and twisted two strands together so they would be stable enough for some time. The last part was glueing it all together. I drilled holes in all parts where I want to fix the limbs in, but be careful: because the wooden pieces are so small it’s important to fix them tightly while drilling, otherwise you really could get hurt.

Some How-To pictures for making a wooden animation puppet

Glueing it all together with a glue gun is a very simple solution. It’s not the most professional way but this is not about professionalism but about fun with kids. If one wire has been broken, you could carefully (I said, carefully!) heat it up with a heat gun, get out the broken bit out and replace it by a new twisted wire. Thanks a lot to Arril Johnson who suggested this to me in Bristol last summer… It’s almost over an year now that I went to Bristol… Beloved Bristol…

Why is it so much more easy to work for other people than for yourself? My own project is delaying more and more and the things I do for others work pretty well… Perhaps it’s much easier to fail other’s expectations than your own… There’s an old saying, too, that cobblers children have no shoes… Hm…

05. July 2009 by Jessica
Categories: Stuff | Tags: , | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. I wish you the best of luck!

  2. Same goes for me, I also wish you a lot of fun!
    (Kids can be fun… sometimes)

    About the expectations: I think it’s harder for you to fail other people’s expectations. It is just that you demand so much from yourself that you put so high expectations on your own.
    (And yes, I have been taught about the fine line between cobblers and shoemakers; as a great-grandson of a shoemaker, I was always delighted when the old man started his tools, sewed and hammered, content to make yet another pair of shoes in his small workshop in the back. His grandchildren enjoyed wearing these shoes.)

  3. Have fun!! and good luck.


  4. Hey guys,

    thanks a lot!
    Actually, it’s working quite good. – I think I’m going to post the results at the weekend.

    Leo, these are some interesting facts about you ;)