Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Take home a little piece of the workshop

Some of you will remember that i started this puppet a while ago but never finished it. Well good news is here! I found myself with some unexpected free time yesterday and i finished him off. And even better i am pleased to announce that he is on ebay as of NOW!

If you are a puppeteer or you are a collector and would like to own a "one-of-a-kind" 20inch boy puppet then bid away :)

It's the first puppet i've ever sold on ebay... so i hope somebody sees it who likes it. If it goes well i will be putting more characters up there for sale.
All the best folks - Dave

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Newbie Tuesday!

Last night i was very excited to put the finishing touches on my first ever character with a moving eyebrow mechanism. I learnt a lot about what to do and what to avoid... in all the character had 3 sets of eyebrows made for him until i was finally happy with the result. This is a landmark character in a couple of ways really, firstly due to the eyebrows but also because of the fur. I bought this purple fur fabric in a tiny fabric store in Brighton last summer, it's about 4 inch long pile. This is the longest fur i have ever worked with... it was great fun but very messy (despite my best efforts to be tidy!).

"Newbie" as he is known at the moment (it's a phase they all go through) is a single handed human arm puppet - made specifically for a solo performer. This means there is no second hand hanging around waiting for a second puppeteer. Newbie is made for a right handed puppeteer.

Take care folks - Dave

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Upstaged update

Things are moving on slowly with the BBC3 Upstaged project. There are only 90 contestants so far (correct at time of writing) yet it takes forever to get your material approved on their web site. Needless to say this has been frustrating for many of the performers who are waiting for their content to clear. Those who were fortunate enough to get their videos cleared first are receiving good viewing figures on the site... whereas those whose videos took longer to clear are receiving very few views. It strikes me that the BBC didn't do too much research of other video hosting sites as because the video content is actually quite hard to navigate. There are three options for filtering the videos: newest, top rated and most viewed. That will only serve to propel the people with lots of views even higher up the chart... but hey, that's life i suppose. I guess as a regular YouTuber i take for granted the many search options: most viewed, most discussed, most rated not to mention the fact that you can filter by sort (comedy, entertainment, travel, blogs, education etc etc). The thing that made me laugh most was i posted my pitch video on YouTube the same night as on Upstaged, it took 14 hours to clear on Upstaged and only 14 minutes on Youtube - lol

Brand new characters will be coming to you from the workshop very soon... i am working on a very exciting project at the moment. It's my very first character with animated eyebrows. I will post pics in the next couple of days.

all the best folks - Dave

Friday, 25 January 2008

UPSTAGED pitch video

Well the UPSTAGED website is live and lots of people have started uploading their pitch videos etc. Well i am no different, please take a minute to check out my pitch below.

I am not holding out much hope of getting through to the next round because nothing in me wants to go round begging for people to vote for me... it just seems tradgic. If you want to check out BBC3 and the UPSTAGED project please do, but if you don't i won't be the least bit offended :)

take care - Dave

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

BBC3's Upstaged

I heard about a BBC3 show called UPSTAGED which is happening online on the BBC website and their TV channel BBC3. Basically it's a talent/popularity contest where the winner wins £10,000. It seemed like a good enough idea to me so i signed up today. If you want to check out my profile on their site you will find it HERE! I will be uploading a pitch video shortly, but i need to decide my final plans before i do that.

That's it for today really, check out the site if you get the chance...

all the best - Dave

Friday, 18 January 2008

Diddy is Finished!

The sewing machine was fixed yesterday and in no time at all Diddy was completed. I'm really pleased it all worked out so well despite the unplanned interruption in the middle which could have really knocked me off course. Diddy is the smallest puppet i have made at only 12 inches in height, but he makes up for it in having bundles of character. I really like his colourful and open face.

I made him based on a couple of photos i found on the internet... but having learnt from my lion puppet i remembered not to worry about being too lifelike but to concentrate on the key features. For me this was made easy by using a simple technique which we all used to use at school - tracing! I loaded the photo into Microsoft Publisher (don't ask why i use it... but i use it for everything) and used the line art tool to trace the basic shape of the Puffin. This automatically edited out any complex and unnecessary features (shading etc). It was a great way of working out the essence of the character without going into too much detail and making the project too hard. You can see here the sketch that i made up is realistic but quite cartoony.
I am pleased to have him finished and look forward to showing him off in future :)
Take care - Dave

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Brief Techy Update

Hi folks - really sorry i haven't posted in the last week. I will probably be posting this weekend with pics from my latest project. This is just a brief update to say that i have added two new features to the blog. Firstly the YouTube video bar in the bottom right. This video bar automatically updates with my latest crex81 videos, so if you're not the sort of person that uses YouTube you can catch all the latest vids here instead. Also "Hello" to all the Facebookers out there! I have added a live update from my Facebook page. This is just a bit of fun, but if you're a regular reader and you have a Facebook why not drop me a line - it'd be great to hear from you! (same goes for Myspace - the link's in the side)

That's it for today, the puffin is 90% complete so i will post pictures soon.
Take care - Dave

Friday, 11 January 2008

2008 has been a crazy year... and it's only the 11th!

My year started on a bad note - my trusty sewing machine decided to break again! It's with the menders at the moment and i am chomping at the bit ready and waiting for it to return so i can finish off my latest project (a puffin). I have been talking to people about it and they all ask - "why a puffin?" to which the only honest answer is "why not?". Whilst they are loevly birds i have no particular emotional tie to them... i just liked their colourful beaks i think so i decided to make one. Below is a video i made in the heat of the moment about the sewing machine.

I will pick up the sewing machine next week if all things go well. Since then my week has been fantastic. I have recieved some really encouraging emails from people who have been watching my YouTube videos as well as having been contacted by two TV networks who are interested in using my puppets on their channels! So even though i have only lived 11 days in 2008 i have already decided this is gong to be a good year!

all the best folks :) Dave

Saturday, 5 January 2008


Vernon is the name chosen for the new character. Check out the video below to see him in action. I'm just checking in briefly today to say whilst i have started another new character i have managed to break my sewing machine yet again so it amy be a week or so before it gets finished unfortunately. I will of course keep you posted with any updates.

All the best - Dave

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Out with the old...

...and in with the new year!

Happy New Year to everyone (and anyone) who reads this! So in a mad dash of creativity before 2007 ended my wife and i decided to make one last puppet. Because time was against us we decided to make another wolf but in a totally different colour scheme and with different furs. It was a great challenge which was very enjoyable and kept me up until 2am 3 nights running but Vernon is now complete! You can see his head here (on the left). I had managed to pick up the beige fur really cheap in the local market by chance about 3 weeks ago so i was thrilled it turned out so nicely and also that i got a chance to use it. You can see from my expression i was pleased with my achievement... this photo was taken at about 2am Saturday morning and i hadn't got to bed yet - i'm not sure if i was more pleased at having finished the head or the fact that i was finally going to get some sleep. The next photo is a full body picture of Vernon, he is a human arm puppet.

2007 was an amazing year for me... full of highs and lows. However i can't help but be positive about the steps forward i have taken in the past year with my puppet building. Characters like Vernon were the sort of character i used to aim for but never achieve, but times have changed and thanks to help from some great friends (Dave Privett, Phil Fletcher and Harry Barrett to name a few) i have realised my ambitions! This one triumph is of course not the end, but it is a great first step along the way. I look forward to a fantastic '08 and hope to be bringing you more great characters very soon!

All the best - Dave