Monday, September 28, 2009

Cuttin' Capers with Cut-Paper

Not long ago I shared a cut-paper collage of a galloping horse created in 1959 for the fantastic Walt Disney's Magazine.  The overall effect of the piece is stunning, even when viewed out of context from the article it was intended for. 

At long last, here's the illustration in the proper usage. Go Moochie!!

Thanks a heap to my pals Jim Hollifield and Todd Sawvelle for generously bestowing upon me an ENTIRE collection of Walt Disney's Magazine (and The Mickey Mouse Club Magazine AND the Annuals!)  You guys are stellar!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Phantom of the Auction

Last week was something else, wasn't it?   We began by celebrating the 40th anniversary of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion with two consecutive nights of dinners, an art signing and a "Bridal Bash."  Then the rest of the week was all about the D23 Expo (which was surprisingly very good!) at the Anaheim Convention Center.  

Our Hatbox Ghost figure was auctioned on Saturday night, and *wow* was that exciting.  Jody and I only regret we weren't able to personally congratulate the winner, but hope they will drop us a line! We'd love to see how he's finally displayed.  (Might we suggest some blue and green "party bulbs" from Home Depot...)

Before we lay the subject of hatbox ghosts to rest once and for all, we got quite a lot of requests to share some "making-of" photos.  The figure took over 2 months to complete and since we were hustling to meet the deadline, we only managed to document our progress with a handful of shots.

This portrait was taken right after Jody had finished painting the head. (Jody hand-painted the entire figure, including the base and plaque.)  The hairpiece was custom-made from strands of nylon "hair" sewn into a latex band and then "styled" with one of the all-time greatest craft materials, Modge Podge!

I had a lot of fun sculpting a pair of bony hands in oil-based plastilina, which were then cast in resin.  Here I'm grinding out the spaces between the fingers.

The hat was built of polypropylene plastic right onto his skull with brass screws.  A filmy covering of chiffon fabric was sewn over everything, leaving only the resin face, hands, and feet exposed.
The hand-sewing on this project took about a week to complete.

Jody wheeled the figure outside for a final air brush touch-up, and we made a little skirted platform for our ghost to stand on at the Expo.  As you can see, not everybody was impressed.

Lastly, just for fun...  Before securing all the body parts together, we filmed a little "screen test" of the figure with some simplistic animation.  It's actually waaaay more movement than the original 1969 figure ever had, but it was creepy fun to bring him to "life." 


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Master Yale, we salute ye!

Imagineer Yale Gracey and prototype Hatbox Ghost.