Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Japanese Dancer Mia, made by Anne Palmer

A visual account of how 'Mia' came into being under the hands of Anne Palmer. The first doll made in my studio by someone other than myself.  Mia is turning out to be beautiful.
'Mia',  made by Anne Palmer
(Her Kimono is still to be finished)
A few months ago I announced here on my blog that I had made the decision to teach puppet and doll making in my studio. To concentrate on 'all-things-puppet'. At the time I had no idea how this was going to work, if anyone might be interested. Little did I know that I would receive requests for puppet making classes from people who did not even know I was teaching... 
The word must be out in the universe.

Anyway. Anne Palmer was the first to complete an eight week long course, although she still has to finish her doll Mia's kimono. The second class (of three students) has started, the third one is already booked. (Classes run for one and a half hour per week, for 8 weeks, with plenty of work to do at home.)

I just LOVE to see the individual characters emerge. 

The very early stages of what became to be Mia
Anne came to my class with Margaret, (who was unable to continue half way through). Anne's aim was to create a Japanese dancer, based on a poem she had written:

Flying crane on a Japanese kimono

I could be this bird
whose movement across
the warp of time
is more real
than my thread-bare 

I could just be,
free from
sophisticated knots
that tie and dye me
in stringy metres
starched and subdued.

My poems would zing
like the crane's daisy-chain legs
following the ghost
of my bird-body
traced by a skilled hand 

in some grand design.

© Anne Palmer 2017

The character is starting to emerge
stuffing the body
As Anne's doll was going to be attached to a painted screen, we decided that there was no point in adding strings to make a fully workable puppet. We chose a stuffed, and wired body, and added syringes in the back in order to attach the doll to the backdrop. An experimental way, but it worked!

Mia against the Japanese Screen,
which will have painted panels,
felt panels
and the words of the poem written on it.
creating some beautiful hands
Mia, will be holding a fan in one hand, while her other hand portrays a gracious movement. 
I think Anne made a wonderful pair of hands.
ahh... a bit of a rest in the studio before class!
As the facilitator,  it is wonderful to see the connection that is made over the weeks between the maker and the emerging doll/puppet. Often there is a bond between them. Between the two worlds. Or perhaps between the outer and inner world of the maker. A mysterious adventure into the unknown.

Anne opted to keep the facial features white, with a hint of rouge, and very distinct red lips.
And created a 'bodysuit' for under the kimono.

almost ready to see into our world.
I ask new students not to have a fully formed idea on what their puppet/doll should look like. The puppets have a habit of come out the way they want. 

The ability to let the creative process happen  is key to a fun adventure, and successful outcome.
Proud mama Anne
This Japanese Dancer is at this stage sill awaiting
her kimono, but the fabric has been chosen
and the design created.
I look forward to see Mia as fully finished doll. With Kimono and fan. As well as the Japanese themed backdrop with the painted panels, the felted panels and the poetry.

What an incredible multi media project.

Well done Anne!

Further reading and links:


Therese Doherty said...

I love how you mention the bond between two worlds, the outer and inner. I think that is the magic of creative/spiritual work. And that poem is beautiful.

Corina Duyn said...

Thanks Therese.
I agree, that is the magic of creative work. It is a truly wonderful experience.

And yes, the poem is beautiful.