THE CURTAIN CALL CARE HOME – technical
Inspiration for the Curtain Call Care Home residents can be found everywhere: in the street, on the beach, on trains and buses. There is a permanent (and impatient) queue of characters waiting to be made.
The process starts with a series of drawings and collection of photographs that start to build on the idea and details for example, facial expression, styling, clothing etc.
Care Home Residents are currently built in two sizes: half and two-thirds scale. The chief considerations are weight and flexibility to ensure that the characters are portable, can sit and stand and be posed in any position. Bodies and limbs are therefore built on an armature of thick (6 gauge) aluminium wire.
Hands and feet are modelled using 12 gauge aluminium wire so that fingers are bendable and can grip.
‘Skin’ is stockinette fabric. ‘Stuffing’is fibre from old pillows or reclaimed bubble wrap from building sites. I try to use reclaimed materials whenever possible.
Heads are modelled using soft sculpture techniques in a combination of threads to shape the features and create expressions. Skin tones and lips are painted and eyes are glass. Creating a head is a long and iterative process, taking several weeks during which time the character emerges. It is during this time that I get to know the character well and use this knowledge to refine the original design.