With 15 years of scenic art, building and creature painting experience under his belt, Joe Blanck is a passionate and accomplished painter and maker. Joe is now running his own studio ‘A Blanck Canvas’ in Coburg North with a team of amazing makers. And now in 2016 A Blanck Canvas is creating large scale installations and puppets for events such as Cirque Du Soleil, ICC Cricket World Cup, Summersalt Festival, Future Music and the Jurassic World Exhibition.
In this episode of Thingmaking, Joe talks about his love of gooey materials. Silicon, latex, and paint are used to design, sculpt and create props and puppets large and small. Joe generously shares his process of working with materials with us on thing making and also on his Instagram page ablanckcanvas.
Felipe Reynolds has worked internationally as a Set and Costume designer for Opera, Theatre, Dance and Television. He has designed and fabricated the current touring show for Circus Oz” But wait there’s more” and recently designed a Giant Inflatable Stage for the Opening Ceremony for the Asian Cup and a Giant Inflatable Puppet for the Cricket World Cup. For 7 years he worked as the designer of inflatable components for large scale animatronic creatures for Creature Technology Co. and Global Creatures. Developing and making puppets for such world acclaimed productions as Walking with Dinosaurs Live, How To Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular and the World Premier of King Kong the musical. Most recently he designed and made an articulated inflatable body for the Bear mascot for the Sochi Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Radio City Music Hall, Lady Liberty Puppet for the Heart and Lights show to open 2015.
In this episode of Thingmaking.net he talks about how he uses the latest interactive technology to make his work immersive, tactile and graphic.
For more on Felipe Reynolds and his work head to http://www.airena.space/about/
Sam Routledge is a director, puppeteer and creator of contemporary puppetry with a strong record of innovation in the form. Currently Artistic Director of Tasmania’s Terrapin Puppet Theatre, he has created leading works that have successfully toured around Australia and internationally. In this episode of Thingmaking, Sam talks about his interest in things that are not quite puppets. Pictured here with his production, I think I Can, Sam describes his love of things uncanny, things that sit at the intersection between machine and toy and how technology can be used to play between the human and non human.
Peter Wilson has worked across all forms of puppetry over the past 39 years. He is highly regarded for his contribution to the changing face of puppetry in Australia. The list of his achievements is too long to fit in this blog post but can be found on his website http://pwilson.com.au/biography/
In this episode of Thingmaking, Peter reflects on the changes he has seen in puppetry and how some things still stay the same. Excited about large scale projects he is working on overseas, Peter talks about the importance of training in puppet theatre, his disappointment at the discontinuation of the VCA puppetry program and how he began working in puppet theatre almost 40 years ago.
Here independent puppeteer Dan Goronszy talks about how the paper from rejected rental applications adds to the quality of a puppet theatre performance featuring content around ideas of housing security. Dan has worked with a range of puppets, both large and small and with audiences of all ages. In this podcast of thing making, Dan compares working in large arena spaces and the intimacy of performing in her grand caravan.
It is always interesting to talk with an artist whose work spans the breadth of possibilities in the puppet theatre. Ken Evans is one such person. As one of the founding members of Australia’s Handspan Theatre and more recently as co creator, along with Rebecca Russell of site specific performances, Ken is a leading designer, director, puppet maker and performer and teacher. In this podcast of ThingMaking, Ken talks about painting with images on stage, the differences between working on site specific projects and in a black box theatre and the magic of animating the inanimate.
link to a film on Steam by Dean Homicki can be seen here
More links to the work of Rebecca Russell and Ken Evans here
Tim Denton is an accomplished mask maker, puppeteer and performer. In this podcast @thingmaking.net, Tim talks about the ways he uses various materials to create the masks and puppets he makes. He has even used magarine to carve out his designs!
You can view more of the work Tim Denton and Annie Forbes at http://www.aboutfaceproductions.com.au
special thanks to The Biologists , Moonlight Receptor for the intro and outro music.
Danny Miller is a Melbourne- based puppeteer and Maker. He sometimes makes puppets from old fence posts. He is also a vintage toy aficionado. When I talked with Danny he was back from touring with the hugely popular show, Walking with Dinosaurs. He has operated puppets on stage using both voodoo controls and hands on techniques. In this ThingMaking podcast he talks about what it is like to grow up in a creative family and his process of using materials to make marionettes like Nigel (seen above).
Scott Wright-Artistic Director of Erth Visual and Physical Inc. talks about how the company got started in 1990, how they are still experimenting with new materials and new collaborations. Scott talks here about his passion for the genius of Nick Cave, his curiosity with the creativity of children and knowledge of things prehistoric. Listen to how Erth developed their thing making process from using Tyvec to Kevlar- a super strong synthetic material.
This audio podcast is with puppeteer Jhess Knight. Jhess is a Melbourne-based puppeteer and puppet maker or “puppet-smith”. Trained at the London School of Puppetry, Jhess has a wide skill base, making and operating various styles such as marionettes, shadow, glove, rod… and even giant festival puppets. I ask Jhess about her puppet making process and she talks about how coffee and tea come in handy… listen to find out how.
You can find out more about Jhess and her Trash Puppets at: