In case you were wondering, the fear of ventriloquist's dummies is called automatonophobic (which by the way includes the fear of wax dummies and automatons like Zoltar and fortune teller). I can understand how ventriloquist dolls could illicit terror and trepidation; typically they are a bit creepy looking. Remember Anthony Hopkins in the film Magic, whose dummy seemed to have a villainous will of its own? Well, in this class, I'm not sure you'll walk away with a self-aware dummy but you will learn how to make deMented dolls capable of flapping their jaws. Due to the time of year (Dia de los Muertos) I thought we'd add an extra twist ... you be transforming your dummy into a Calavera ... a skeletal Day of the Dead character. You start with a mannequin head, doll head, bust, taxidermy item, etc., and then using various found objects you will adorn and transform them into something rich and strange. Most importantly, your bizarre creation will be rigged so that it has the power to speak ... hopefully not on its own.
Want a bit of phobia-inducing inspiration? Here are a few films in which dummies come to life: Magic, Dead of Night, Devil Doll, Dead Silence, and Twilight Zone episodes: Caesar and Me, and The Dummy.
- Arrive & Settle: 8:30 :: Time for students to arrive, settle in.
- Class Segment A: 9:00-12:00 :: Class time with Michael who will demonstrate and guide the 1st part of class.
- Lunch & Stroll: 12:00 PM :: You can choose to brown bag it or take a stroll to one of the many hip and artsy eateries in the historic Artist's Village in Santa Ana, like The Gypsy Den, or Memphis at the Santora.
- Class Segment B: 1:30-4:00 PM :: Class time with Michael who will guide the 2nd part of class.
- Show & Tell, Clean-Up & Depart: 4:00-5:00 PM
STUDENTS SHOULD BRING:
- Doll head, bust, or mannequin head to work from. It should be hollow. Warning: glass or ceramic heads pose risk .. .they have the potential of breaking. It can be dealt with but if you go this route you may want to bring a plastic, wood or paper mache head as a back up. Also make sure the head is large enough so that the inner mechanism will be able to go inside the skull.
- Aves Apoxy Clay 1 lb or more (best way to track this down is directly through the company: www.avesstudio.com)
- Variety of other found objects that might be interesting additions to exterior of the head. Items like watch parts, gears, old toys, typewriter parts ... just about anything, really. You want a variety of shapes and forms.
- You should consider a base for you dummy to rest on.You may be bringing a head that has something that works as a base. If not: this be anything from a block of wood, to a pedestal base, to a hubcap, to candle holder, to a tequila bottle. What you choose as a base will depend on the size of the head you bring.
- Paintbrushes (a couple small detail brushes, and some cheap brushes (1/2 inch to 1 inch in size)
- Wire a couple of different gauges
- Basic Tools ... pliers, scissors.
- Dap Kwik Seal (white) or Molding Paste
- Paints: Acrylic (Golden brand; preferably fluids – the tubes and jars will work too, the colors are the key)
- Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold
- Carbon or Mars Black
- Pthalo Green blue shade
- Dioxazine Purple
- Quinacridone Crimson
- Pthalo Blue
- E600 Adhesive
Optional Supplies that Students May Want to Bring
- Heat gun
- Dremel with cut off wheel
- Upholstery string
- Optional Paints
- Kroma Crackle
- Van Dyke Brown
- Anthraquinone Blue
- Micaceous Iron Oxide
- Michael will have a limited number of original art items on hand for sale.
- Due to limited class size, the spot for this class is transferable but payment is non-refundable. Please read about this policy in our Studio Policies.
Please read class policies for Studio CRESCENDOh here. By purchasing this class, you are agreeing to abide by the class policies.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Michael deMeng is artist, author, teacher. Learn more about his work at www.michaeldemeng.com.