2019/09/16

Hello Internet;

This weekend we were able to travel down to Moncton with the Vardi Puppet House for its first full-scale show, outdoors, with the puppet theater. The School of Atlantic Ballet hosted it’s first to annual Kreativ Children's Festival at the Aviner Center. The festival featured the students of the school, local singers and children’s authors.

I would also like to thank Naomi and Dustyn of Solo Chicken Productions for their time and their creation of “Meatball the Cat” which was performed at the Festival as well.

Dustyn and Naomi. Vardi Puppet House. Kreativ Childrens Festival. Moncton. 2019

Dustyn and Naomi. Vardi Puppet House. Kreativ Childrens Festival. Moncton. 2019

-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/06/27

Hello Internet;

Today I‘ve continued working on hand puppets again. All the heads need bodies. I brought some broadcloth for the bases and have been sat stitching the gloves. It took a few times to get the size right.

Vardi Puppets. Laura-Beth Bird. 2019

Vardi Puppets. Laura-Beth Bird. 2019

Aside from that, I sent a few hours printing and filing the scripts from this year. I like to keep my work in black binders in our den. It’s a preference of mine to have the work in hard copy.

2019/06/26

Hello Internet;

While it pours of rain outside, I have been inside painting and staining the puppet theater. I’ve stretched fabric over canvas frames in preparation for the shadow puppets and I'm trying to find a trailer to bring it downtown. The end is in sight as I get ready to load in the unit for July 2nd.

Vardi Puppet House. Laura-Beth Bird. 2019

Vardi Puppet House. Laura-Beth Bird. 2019

I am excited to have some time to just develop work with the performers of solo chicken productions. I’ve spent so much time painting and building that I haven’t taken time to play. This is the ultimate glory of residencies and thank God they exist.

Vardi Puppet House. Laura-Beth Bird. 2019

Vardi Puppet House. Laura-Beth Bird. 2019

-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/06/25

Hello Internet;

Exciting news! Next week we are in residency with Solo Chicken Productions! Here is the official press release:

SOLO CHICKEN PRODUCTION’S and GREY RABBIT THEATRE COMPANY

Announces: Summer 2019 Fredericton Arts Alliance- Artists in Residency

the coop is excited to announce that it will be partnering with Grey Rabbit Theatre and the Fredericton Public Library during their one-week tenure as Artists in Residence at the Soldiers Barracks Casemates as part of the Fredericton Arts Alliances annual Summer Series. From July 1-7 2019 the coop and Grey Rabbit will be in residence at the casemates and will work collaboratively to create a children’s shadow puppet show centered on the FAA’s theme of trees. As part of this creative partnership the Fredericton Public Library’s Children’s Department will be hosting a poetry workshop led by Fredericton Poet Laureate, Jenna Lyn Albert on Thursday June 27 2019 where children will be encouraged to write poems about their relationship with their favourite trees. the coop and Grey Rabbit will use these poems as the creative catalyst for a short new shadow puppetry show. Grey Rabbit is a new theatre company in Fredericton that focuses on puppetry and the coop is excited to partner up to see where this relationship can go! Both companies look forward to working in the public eye and sharing their craft and process with tourists and locals alike. The public is encouraged to come down to the barracks to visit the casements to watch the artist’s work, and join in the discussion about what tree’s mean to them! There will be a presentation of the completed work at the Fredericton Public Library on Sunday, July 7 2019 at 2:30PM.

This project was made possible through the generous support of the City of Fredericton, The Fredericton Arts alliance, The Fredericton Public Library and the Government of New Brunswick.

Google image search

Google image search

-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/06/17

Hello Internet;

I have had a fantastically productive day. It's 11 pm and I’ve just put down my paintbrush.

The Vardi Puppet House has even more flowers now, and I have 8 puppet heads built with a cheesecloth layer done. It may not sound like a lot written down, but it took all day.

Vardi Puppet House. Laura-Beth Bird. 2019

Vardi Puppet House. Laura-Beth Bird. 2019

-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/05/31

Hello Internet;

I’ve managed to get the stencils started on one side of the Vardi Puppet House. This side is the door. The red pigment is bright and hard to cover, so I'm sponging white latex paint into the stencil as a guide. Then, I'm using high-quality acrylic paints (richer in pigment) to do the designs. As always, time-consuming work.

Vardi Puppet House. Laura-Beth Bird. Grey Rabbit Theatre Co.

Vardi Puppet House. Laura-Beth Bird. Grey Rabbit Theatre Co.

The dragon’s skin is also now dry. It will get a base coat of green and then I will begin adding in all the small details with the high-quality acrylics. There are faster ways to do this, but unfortunately, the aesthetic of the work is really important to me.

Dragon. Laura-Beth Bird. Grey Rabbit Theatre Co.

Dragon. Laura-Beth Bird. Grey Rabbit Theatre Co.

-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/05/23

Hello Internet;

Today I've continued to work away at puppet building. It’s a slow process. I really liked my dragon from Animotion, so I’ve decided to give him a hard skin and paint him properly. I could have left him with the hockey tape construction, but I really want him to stand up to use and abuse by performers. This is also the aesthetic I’m going for the Vardi Puppet House. The puppets all need to look alike.

Laura-Beth Bird. The Vardi Puppet House. Grey Rabbit Theatre Co. 2019.

Laura-Beth Bird. The Vardi Puppet House. Grey Rabbit Theatre Co. 2019.

Hard skin is made from cheesecloth and glue. It's made by cutting the cheesecloth into small squares and soaking it in glue. The cheesecloth is 2 layers thick and crosshatches across the surface. The skin should be 3-4 layers thick overall. After that, you place layers of tissue paper on in the same crosshatch pattern. This is time-consuming, but it makes the object bomb proof.

-Laura-Beth Bird