Vlog #1: Making Clay

Published on 2018-10-09

I forgot to look at the camera sometimes. Vlogging is harder than it looks!

The paper clay recipe is from UltimatePaperMache.com. Will you make a batch?


Hello! It's my first weekly vlog! Welcome!

This week was all about characters. There are about a dozen characters in this attraction, which is a much more dense design than previous Halloween attractions of mine. From the start, I imagined this coworking concept as being pretty cramped, like a real coworking space. I really like the idea of each group being right up against the next, but also they all have their own settings that they sort of willed into existence somehow—if you're looking directly at the skeletons, for example, you may think you're looking at a graveyard, complete with an iron gate, but look to the left and you'll think you're in the loft of an old barn, because that's what _those_ tenants wanted to get their setting just right. I also imagine each group being nearly monochrome, and adjacent groups having contrasting colors—the ghosts, as always, will be in shades of powdery blue, as will their stone arches, but the haggling merchant and their big rolling chest of wares will be greenish, and so on.

Anyway, I've now gotten every character in this show fleshed out with foil, and about half of them have clay on them. The saxophone player is the closest to finished—on that one, at this point, I need to finish covering the foil, then smooth down the whole surface and build up some areas that need more definition, and then carve in some final details and I'm ready to paint. Since they're all made with wire armatures, they're easy to bend into the correct pose. This will crack the clay in some places, but that's easy to patch up later.

This is an air-drying clay whose recipe I found on ultimatepapermache.com—I'll add a link below—and it's really wonderful stuff. It's made from toilet paper, joint compound, white glue, flour, and a few other ingredients; it's workable like bread dough and then dries rock hard, and it's so cheap and easy to make  with a kitchen scale and an electric hand mixer. I really love this stuff.

I estimate another evening or two of work to get all of these characters finished enough that I'll be ready to pose them and prepare a few for animation, at which point I'll start building the sets so I have a better reference for blocking. You'll see some setpieces next week!

That's all for now, so I'll sign off the way I always do in these vlogs. See you on stage!