About a week ago, myself and 16 other artists signed up for a 3-day Molding & Casting workshop, offered by Festival Stop Motion Montréal.
The workshop was held at Sial in Laval, QC, where they ever-so generously supplied us with the space and materials we needed in order to experiment. If you're a stop-motion nerd like me, it was a serious candy store.
I jumped on this opportunity to improve my puppet making. Everything has to be planned out: from the mechanics of movement, to the functionality of the materials being used. It was entirely too cool to learn tricks from the top people in the trade. I wanted to expand my knowledge on and work with silicone and plastics. I was very much in my element here.
Day 1: Sculpture Basics
Laurent Canniccioni from Jako Lanterne (Mtl) spoke to us about sculpting techniques and character design. He had us sculpt our own versions of "Hobo Joe" and a pair of hands... as if we were hired to do so at an animation studio. A complete dream!
I was secretly relieved that we didn't have to come up with the character ourselves
Hobo Joe and I got along.
Day 2: Mold Making
The following day, Kathi and Patrick Zung from North Carolina spoke to us on how to prepare a mold for silicone. We also learned how to properly mix the silicone compounds together.
This was a day full of questions, with some trial & error. It felt like a science lab and we were all pretty giddy.
I couldn't wait to see how my head and hands were going to turn out.
Day 3: Casting
The last day was probably the most challenging.
Patrick taught us how to properly cut open our silicone block molds by creating keys that allow for better casting. Silicone takes a great deal of strength to pull and hold apart. It was particularly difficult to create these keys, by cutting through the mold with a scalpel without damaging the shape of the head. But we did it! Look at all these different Hobo Joes.
This was honestly an amazing workshop.
Delicious lunches, new friends, and a whole new set of skills.
Thanks Éric and Festival Stop Motion Montréal!
For 2018- I will be introducing a new pair of puppets... and monthly episodes! Stay tuned.
Follow @grandchannion for updates until then.