Plarning Away

I’m still waiting on my supplies to ship so I can finish the From Pattern to Puppet series we began in early April.  However, on that commercial break. I’ve been working on another project: Plarn.

What is Plarn, you ask?  Simply, Plarn = Plastic Yarn.  (Not the world’s most clever pormanteau, but it’s functional.)

How do you find it? You make it!  I make my own plarn by reusing plastic grocery bags.  You know, the kind we love to collect and save because we’ll reuse them, but most likely the end up thrown away or, hopefully, put out with the recyclables.

So how do we get to here?

A multi-color mismash ball o' plarn.

Come with me. I’ll show you! 🙂

Inspiration Station: Eric Boyer and Human Scale Studio

All I can say is WOW — I am absolutely STUNNED by the beauty in this article from Etsy on Eric Boyer and his wire mesh scultpures, both in the photographs of his work and in the lyrical, witty and approachable way he writes.

Beyond perusing the wonderful photographs of his work, the biggest takeaway from this article for me was inspiration:

I grew up with an art teacher dad who lavished us kids with cheap materials and liked to ask tough questions: […] ‘Let’s try to comprehend infinity.’  […]One of the most valuable things I have learned is to give myself permission to experiment. Whenever I visit another artist’s studio, a museum, or a gallery — any place where people are creating new things — it’s a reminder not to get in the rut of assuming I know how to do things. That petrifies the creative mind. Try something you know you can’t do just to find out why. Limitations can be myths for us to shatter. My favorite all-time mantra: suspension of disbelief.  You don’t have to have belief, but you do have to stop roadblocking yourself with doubt and knowledgeable pessimism.”

Talk. About. WOW… 

Thanks, Eric, for inspiring and sharing.

Eric Boyer/Human Scale Studio

Puppet Pandamonium

This has been a crazy few weeks.  Between all the items I balance in any given week, I’ve had the wonderful surprise of two different individuals coming to my website, checking it out, and emailing me to order puppets.  I now feel like a bona fide artisan. 🙂

My puppet class I teach is ending next week for the semester, and while I won’t get my weekly dose of teaching and hallmark moments from “my kids” until July (for a two week summer camp) and then September (for the next 10-week semester), this semester’s class has just amazed me with their talent, creativity, optimism, and downright joyful exuberance. I am truly going to miss them in the down time, but luckily most of them have promised to be in the next class, too.

Spring 2012 Puppet Class at the Tusc Co Center for the Arts - Setting up for a video shoot for the final for Puppet class, "Let's Talk about Letters"
http://www.tuscartcenter.org

I’ve been lucky enough to have 2 different opportunities for them to go “fuzzing.”

Let me define “Fuzzing” — one of my students and I have taken the idea of performance art / street art and mingled it with puppeting to bring you “Fuzzing” — or the art of bringing the puppets to the people.  Sometimes it’s formal, like the past two events I’ve taken the kids to.  We have gone to two local community areas and set up a table with our puppets and basically talk to whoever stops by, young and old, let them try the puppets, explain who we are, what we do, basically do meet-n-greet.  (I think it’s important for the kids to be able to give back to and interact with the community.)  Formal or informal, it doesn’t really matter.  Sharing puppets with the community is really just about spreading joy.  And who couldn’t use more of that?