Tuesday 6 June 2017

Voice of Claymation

I was a little girl when I first discovered 'Wallace and Gromit'. It was magic. If it didn't exist then I wouldn't be where I am now. I would probably have found my artistic outlet in a design agency in London or be illustrating books. But I would not work in miniatures. So that's how much influence it had on me.

A few days ago we lost Peter Sallis, who had given Wallace his original voice. He died peacefully at the age of 96. A talented, brilliant actor who made the only speaking character of the duo so remarkably endearing and funny by the smallest utterance.

Sorry to blog about something so sad, but I just wanted to say something here to honour Peter Sallis and then also point you towards a much better tribute by Nick Park here.

Thank you all. I'll post something else soon.
claymation, clay animation, wallace and gromit, nick park, caroline mcfarlane-watts, miniatures

Thursday 1 June 2017

A Strange Dog, a Flood and a Man...

A strange dog, a flood and a man walk into a bar....

...no, not really. This Welsh proverb sounds like a joke at first glance. I like it and since this blog post is about something Welsh, I include it.

"Three things it is best to avoid - 
a strange dog, a flood, and a man who thinks he is wise."
~ Welsh proverb.

If you're disappointed and wanted a joke, scroll to the end of this post for my standard joke I tell in pubs. Few enjoy it as much as me.

This post is about my design process and how I arrive at something I am happy with.

Almost two years ago I designed and sculpted a Welsh witch character called Mabyn Mossback for 'Good Witches Bad Witches'  and showed her here on this blog. 

This was the initial sketch.

I had to include a sheep because Wales and sheep are inextricably linked. I had the sheep led by a leek on a string (naturally) and gave her a traditional Welsh stovepipe hat and red wool shawl. Also, she's knitting. I was never convinced this was the right design though...

Here's her sheep.

So a year later (April 2016) I found time to sketch her again - still riding her white ram and dressed mostly the same. This time I added an umbrella and a mushroom to her hat. It still wasn't right for 'Good Witches Bad Witches' so I shelved her again and worked on others.

This was the watercolour sketch.

This year I sold her since she never quite belonged to the 'Good Witches Bad Witches' world.... she was detailed and nicely made, but the design didn't work for me. I re-imagined her, this time without the leek on the string... and this time I suddenly realised that of course her ram had to be black, not white. I kept (but changed) the Welsh stovepipe hat and red wool shawl. I kept the umbrella. But this time, I designed her not riding the ram, but sitting in a modest cart, pulled by the ram. The cart is carved like a Welsh love spoon. Balls of wool sit packed up at the back of her cart. 

Here's the design...

And here it is as a better sketch...

Check back at this blog soon as I'll share images of the new sculpted maquette... the finished Mabyn Mossback (Welsh witch) and then in a few weeks there will be a video all about making her at the Tall Tales Productions YouTube Channel here. Please subscribe to the channel if you're interested in watching me work and stay tuned for tutorials to be added this year as well (that is, if interest is there!)

A glimpse at her and her ram...

And finally, my joke.
Two chemists walk into a bar. Bartender asks "What can I get you?"
The first chemist says, "I'll have a glass of H2O."
The second chemist says, " I'll have H2O too."

The second chemist dies.        tall tales productions, caroline mcfarlane-watts, cs mcfarlane-watts, animation, stop-motion, scale models, miniature models, miniaturist, concept maquette, maquette sculpting, sculpting figures, character design, laika, tim burton design, aardman, miniature characters, mackinnon saunders, peter lord
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