Archives for posts with tag: blog

box voll

Today was a holiday for the Dedes, they stayed in their suitcase in the art cupboard. Not their favourite place, but I like to keep them in the dark. I am worried they will fade too quickly when they are exposed to light all the time. At the moment I am revising old material and I am planning a few ebooks with Dede stories. The first one up will be the “Super Dede Competion.” This was definitely one of our highlights on the blog. Does anyone remember it?

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halloween

Hermit’s Web was the first public appearance of the Dedes, and someone recommended I should write a blog to keep track of their progess. After the book was published the story continued here. The blog really helped me to find out, what I am doing. To be honest, the puppets don’t have much bite. They are funny in a very subtle way. Sometimes I might be the only one who gets their jokes :). For me it is all about understanding where people come from and how they tick. I don’t care if others deem the puppets silly. I love them. They are a brilliant tool to keep me sane.

This picture was taken on Halloween two years back. I am not a big fan of Halloween, but obviously the Dedes are. (Note: you certainly guessed it, they are all wearing masks with my face on it. Pretty scary!)

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This week is probably the busiest week I will have all year. It started off on Monday with finishing one puppet workshop. I had done a six week course at Toi Ora, an art trust that works in the mental health sector. This is definitely the area I want to move into. Unfortunately the course didn’t quite work as I envisaged it. I liked the students and the settings, but there were also areas that weren’t sitting right, though I think my blog isn’t the forum to divulge what didn’t work. In the course the participants made their own characters and came up with the story and we celebrated the uplaod of our little film with a red carpet event. It’s a very short film, so we only had a very little red carpet.

And here  is the film

lost puppets

Out of the blue, Devil showed up. And can you believe it? He had Lizzie and Lil’Sculpture in tow. Phew, what a relief. But at the same time, everybody was very, very angry with Devil as he obviously knew all along where the two missing puppets had been hiding out.

Surprisingly, Sunny played totally cool now and said he knew all along they would not have met with an untimely end as the sturdy polystyrene man will outlast any Dede. But having observed him all week, I believe his change of mind only came after ArtistatExit0 pointed out that Lil’Sculpture’s distant cousin, the plain polystyrene coffee cup, will last for two hundred years. Right!

Everybody else stormed towards Devil and wanted to know what happend. Devil, back in a confident spokesperson mode announced he found himself a new job. From now on he will be the spokesperson of the trash puppets in the neighbourhood. Over the last two weeks the three of them had nutted out what they will to do in future. Life under the regime of Magician was too dangerous for trash puppets, so they had to set up their own union and run their own workshops. They have invited a very special guest to their next workshop and it will be on Saturday the 22 Feb in the studio…

“Hang on,” Magician interrupet at this point. “The Dedes have a workshop on the 22nd, the studio space is taken!”

“No it is not” Devil replied calmly and produced a booking sheet from under his robe “Here, see for yourself, we have made a booking for the space, where is your’s?”

At this point Mouse turned fire-engine red and said under her breath “I wondered where the booking sheet had got to.”

exhibition2

I am back to normal! At least that is what I think :).

Unfortunately I have to own up to something. I actually don’t have any images from opening of the exhibition itself. I took a few pics when we finished setting up and a couple just before the guests arrived. This time I couldn’t afford to employ someone to photograph during the event like I did when I had the book launch. I noticed the gallery people were taking photographs though. I will ask if they can give me one to publish on the blog. Otherwise I will take some next Sunday when I will be at the Gallery all day and I am expecting a little crowd.

The image today shows quite nicely how the set up works. The puppets are placed on plinths in the middle of the room and as artworks they are back to their “No Body” status. The heads sit idly on their custom-made stands.

The images on the wall are from the blog and the text accompanying the image is placed below. I focussed on shorter pieces that tell a complete story so the visitors don’t have to read too much if they don’t feel like it. But by reading even just a few snippets they still get the idea of the puppet world. If you have followed the blog for a while you can make out the image where Sunny copied the artwork of ArtistatExit0, and by doing so created our mascot Lil’ Sculpture. Next to it is the image of the puppets doing a dharna on my doorstep. In all the pictures the puppets wear their robes and really come to life.

I have had a lot of very good comments about the presentation of the blog and my vivid imagination. I am not sure if the latter is a good thing, but I’ll take it as a compliment for now.

The image below shows two of my life-savers racing around setting up drinks and nibbles just before the guests arrived. It illustrates the size of the puppet heads. One comment I get quite often is that people assume the heads are bigger. But they are glove puppets after all. Most of them are between 12 and 15 cm high.

exhibition3

I also updated my Characters page today. I had to take mug shots of all the new puppets for the exhibition anyway. But as you might know, I don’t want to get to close to the newbies. I abstained from writing their short description, even though some of them are really pushy and want to tell me their stories :)

sunny artwork-1

I have to eat humble pie again. I had underestimated Sunny big time. He was working very hard yesterday and really surprised me by finishing his work the same day. In the evening he very proudly called me to the front door and presented his finished sculpture to me.

Oh gosh…! I was speechless.  You have to excuse me, but I am not impressed by what he has done. Yes, it is a cute little figure, but it is a total rip-off and he obviously didn’t understand the original art he copied at all. I’ll tell you where he got the idea from:

A while back we came across the blog  ArtistatExit0 by Albertus Gorman. I knew that Sunny loves the figures and the stories of the blog, but I would never have thought he stoops so low and copies the art. My sincere apologies to the artist for Sunny’s naughty behaviour. I admire Al’s concept and I well and truly love his artworks.

I take my hat off to Albertus and so should Sunny. For ten years now the artist has been visiting the same spot at the Ohio Falls and collects rubbish to turn into new works of art. Sometimes he arranges the rubbish by type  (eg rubber ducks, or signs, or tail lights) and photographs the items. But what I enjoy the most are the river-polished Styrofoam figures  he creates, then photographs and posts with wonderful environmental stories on his blog. He makes the figures in a makeshift outdoor studio (a place that might be destroyed by natural forces or humans by the next time he visits). The figures are often left in situ and he watches what happens to them over time. But what am I telling you? Here is the link, have a look for yourself. You need a bit of time, though. There is heaps to see and read, and I hope you are as excited about it as I am.

Thanks Albertus for your great blog (hope I got everything right here) and I am looking forward to your next post :)

devil news

For most of the Dedes it was very hard getting up this morning. Admittedly, this is the case most days. But today it was particularly difficult as they were working hard to tidy up the house yesterday. They are not even half way there. Worse, the house is in a bigger mess than ever. Luckily it is a long weekend and they have an extra day to finish their chores. Understandably, breakfast – which they had on some already packed boxes – was a very quiet affair today. That is, until Devil came running in, barely able to hide his excitement.

“We’ve got a message, we’ve got a message…” He sang and danced around. You might remember he is responsible for the Facebook page and it is all new to him. Of course everybody looked at him and waited. Then he told us this morning he found a lovely message from Cape Town on Facebook.

“Where is that?” Lou, the puppy asked. “Shush,” said Smuggy

“It’s in South Africa, Lou! And I think it is our first official friend there. So it is quite something”

“The blog can be read everywhere in the world, so what’s the big deal?” Smuggy pointed out. “Cut the crap and get on with the story.”

Devil took his time. He enjoyed having everybody’s attention. “But… wait there is more, the young women didn’t ‘find’ our blog… she got the Hermit’s Web book for Christmas from her aunt and she loved it! She was ‘looking’ for our Facebook page!”

“This is indeed interesting,” Mouse gave Devil a hi-five.

“Thinking of it” Detail piped up, “we never heard back from Arindam, who won the book in the Super Dede 2012 competition! He mustn’t have liked it and is keeping mum!”

“Oh, no, no” Mouse defended our friend from India. “He loved it too. He has send an email to Dietlind privately. I don’t want to disclose what is written in emails, but I can assure you, he liked it a lot. You have to take my word for it!”

“We don’t have all day to pat ourselves on the back,” L’Artiste interrupted the celebrations rudely. “Let’s get on with our chores. Otherwise we will never get them done. I want to knock off at 8 tonight. Miss Viwi continues her interview in ||:::VEGGIETORIA::|| and this time it’s with me!”

devil on facebook

Mouse hasn’t quite recovered yet. She decided to make herself scarce for the time being. Devil had a long conversation with her yesterday, and he reported back to us – while she has stopped crying, she is not ready yet to face the crowd again.

“So what is happening with our Facebook page then?” Socialite asked, more interested in publicity than in Mouse‘s wellbeing. “It is still half finished, isn’t it?”

“Don’t worry” Devil said, “I have offered to take care of that and I kept the ball rolling.” And then he showed us what he had done with instructions from Mouse. He is feeding the blog straight into Facebook. The others were reasonably impressed, except for Foreign Correspondent who had to point out that Mouse accused him of rehashing this blog on his German site. “So, what are you doing on Facebook then? Isn’t that just another form of recycling?”

“I am going to put some background images up. Like us in context. You know, us hanging around the house and things like that. And I will show some images from the studio – Dietlind permitting of course! We could have our beauty competition, once I figure out how to do it. Don’t worry, Foreign Correspondent, it will be different. But give me time! You know I am a bit of a Luddite.”

They were all very excited about the prospect of communicating with friends once they have some. Then they looked at me and Devil asked: “Why don’t you have a Facebook page? You could share us with your friends.” I shook my head. “As if I didn’t share you with my friends already!” I said, reminding them that there is not only this blog here, but also a book and postcards and a calendar. And I can’t stop talking about the Dedes anyway. “I am starting to drive my real friends bonkers” I said with a smile. “No, I won’t have a private Facebook page!”

What the Dedes are doing is their thing. I won’t interfere, but I am starting to worry about the time they spend on the computer. I hardly have a chance to use my own laptop. First there is Mouse, who does all her administration on the computer, then Foreign Correspondent who translates the blog into German and now Devil started this Facebook thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if L’Artiste wanted to have a LinkedIn presence next.

screening

Mouse and Devil had asked me to set up the laptop on the living room floor last night so that all the Dedes could see what Miss Viwi had written about them in ||:::VEGGIETORIA:::||. There is certainly more space in the living room than on the kitchen table, never mind that I wanted to watch a film on TV…

It was just like a premiere for a big screen film, bar the red carpet. They all gathered around the laptop and Mouse had brought up the Word Press Reader so they wouldn’t miss when Miss Viwi published her post. Then it appeared – just as promised – at 8pm our time: The first thing they saw was a picture of Devil in the hammock. The Dedes burst out laughing and Devil was quite embarrassed to be shown in this laid back position. He immediately said it sends the wrong signal. He is not usually that idle.

“There is no pleasing some” Witch said “At least there is a picture of you, so be happy for a change.” Secretly, I was quite grateful for this remark.

“So what does the post say?” Socialite called out, the poor thing was standing in the fourth row and couldn’t see a thing. “Read it out to us Mouse!”

Mouse started to read it out, but in German. “Hang on,” Foxy Lady said “I’ll read it out and translate it as I go for our English spreaking friends. Mouse, would you be so kind and take notes?”

And so Foxy Lady started again:

{dedepuppets | first Act}

A rainy day in December + a pile of old newspapers + a childhood memory = an art project (with heaps of art terms)

Today |:::  VEGGIETORIA:::| welcomes venerable guests from New Zealand. Miss Viwi is conducting an interview with the artist Dietlind Wagner and a second artist who is one of her works. One artist is prerequisite for the other artist’s work – ??? In several acts I will entice you away into the world of Dede puppets.

[The idea]

It was Christmas 2011 and on a rainy day the artist wanted to tidy up her studio when she came across a pile of old newspapers. “All of a sudden this idea of hand puppets sprung back to mind” tells Dietlind Wagner about an idea planted by her mother in childhood. “Mum spoke often and lovingly about a devil hand puppet she had created once. So  the idea of giving hand puppets a go was with me pretty much all my life.”

[The first puppet – Devil]

dietlind: „Of course the first one had to be a devil. He turned out beautifully, despite I had  hardly any experience with the medium. And as it didn’t stop raining, I just continued.”

miss viwi: In the meantime there are 40 puppets, do you have a favourite?

dietlind: „I can’t tell, but Devil being the first puppet, will always have a special place.“

[technique/material]

40 characters have been created to date. These are real hand puppets made from papier mache and the heads are between twelve and eighteen centimetres high, with a weight of around 30 grams, but they are extremely strong and won’t break. Special features are build around a cardboard skeleton.  The faces are collages from magazines.

[The tonuge-in-cheek before and after picture]

The artist photographed the first puppets to send an image to the newspaper they were made of. Transformation is a very interesting aspect of the work. Made from newspapers which convey news and stories, emerge new characters which tell their own stories. Stories the artist writes. “You know how it goes: even great stories become old news as one makes new friends with new stories and new insights.” (From the preface of the Dede puppet book ‘Hermit’s Web’).

Originally the plan was to sell the puppets in a local art shop, but when the artist’s friends said how much they liked them, and Dietlind discovered how photogenic they are, she started to write a story, a story in which the Dede puppets are the protagonists…

—– The visit to ||:::VEGGIETORIA:::|| and the interview were a talking point in the Dede World today.
The interview will continue next Sunday in ||:::VEGGIETORIA:::|| at 8 am Central European Time.

“I am very happy” Devil said, visibly chuffed about being mentioned.

“There is nothing new in this interview” Smuggy said, disappointed. “You can read all this on the blog here as well.”

“Shut up you silly thing!” Mouse said. “Miss Viwi has done wonderful job and I am certainly looking forward to next week.” All the other Dedes clapped and cheered.

May I introduce: Dipstick! The new puppet, that’s me – I admit it!… For all my second language readers: no need to look the word up in the dictionary,  once you have read the post you will know what it means.

It was one of those days yesterday – you know what I am talking about – absolutely nothing goes right. Okay, this is not entirely true as “those days” don’t really exist. There are just days, when the negative is unfairly pronounced while the positive fades into the background. I call “those days” puppet days now. The first client set me off…. Never a good start to the day. And it continued until seven at night, when it was time to go home. As it was such a frustrating day, I decided to take some work home… Doh…, How is that for punishment? No really, I wanted to take home one of the projects  where I have free reign creatively. For me that is the best way to relax.

And here the story starts: To take work home I needed to transfer a few files onto – I am a bit of a fossil – a memory stick. The only one I could find had a fault. It still could be read and as the info on it was unimportant I thought I would quickly format it… That will do the trick.

Format… Done!

Oh, You haven’t….!

Yes, I have…

I have formatted my 300 odd Gigabyte external hard drive on which I keep all my personal art projects. It is  a virtual studio and as big a creative mess as the physical one, oh dear! You might not believe me but that is a real account of what happened. I was so exhausted from the day that I didn’t even have the energy to explode – what use would this be anyway?

So, phone call to good mate: “How do I get my files back on a formatted hard drive?”

“You can’t”

“Yes I can, it only renders the FAT unreadable” Thanks to my elephant memory (usually more of a curse than a blessing ), this info was stored away somewhere in the grey matter…

Phone call to hubby: “Dinner will be late!”

So I go on the Internet and luckily find a program on the first try.

Ha, ha – Note! Luck on a puppet day! I have to point this out so not to despair.

So I download and start the program. It takes over 3 hours to collate the information. I let it run, go home, cook dinner, watch a bit of brainless TV, go back to work. Program is just finishing collecting the info. Six more minutes, I can wait for that…

Then it needs to build the file tree and tells me it can take hours. Luckily it is finished in under ten minutes….  All I need to do now is click the “Restore” button. But what does the program tell me after I have done that? “Yes there are files, but the free version of the software can only recover 100 MB.” That’s laughable…100 MB is not even one of my high res layered photoshop files.

So basically it works. I see the file names on screen, but I have to download the full version. 100 NZ$ is a small price to pay for being a Dipstick. So I obtain a code to continue. Shouldn’t take long… Wait for the email…. Code arrives….Copy into box on screen.

Code doesn’t work. The instructions say it can take a few minutes before it is active. So wait….

I try again… It still doesn’t work… Wait…. Try again… Still doesn’t work… Wait…. Try again…. You get the picture. I feel like Homer S – Doooh!

I find a few spelling mistakes in the program while I wait. This doesn’t bode well. Spelling mistakes, in my opinion, are a sign of sloppiness. I hope they took more care of the coding, but now I have paid my $100 can’t do much about it! In the end I download the program again via a link from the code email. Copy the code in here – it works – but it has to re-read the entire hard drive. It tells me this will take over 3 hours. Sounds familiar… I am at Square 1.

I haven’t been in to work yet. I write my posts before breakfast. If you hear a scream in an hour or so, that would be me!

Should any of my students read this post: Yes, guys it happens to me too :)

Needless to say the puppets kept a low profile. They are masters in reading my moods!