Sunday, October 14, 2012

Articulated fish

I never can seem to stay away from fish for long, can I?

Its funny how one idea triggers another and on and on it goes til you're far down another rabbit hole discovering something new.

As a child I spent hours, no, more like days at a time, creating little worlds out of cardboard and empty boxes.  Theatres, complete with backdrops, changes of scenery, and populated by character of all kinds who I would then make up stories for.   I don't think that part of me has ever really left.  There is something satisfying about working on detailed pieces, complete with movement that brings me back to childhood.  Scissors, paint and paper fasteners all whisk the years away.

Articulated figures have been around for a long time and are the basis for a common 'jumping jack' which dates back to Egyptian times, that is often seen at Christmas - an articulated figure usually operated by pulling a string to make his arms and legs flail up and down.   I don't know which rabbit hole opened up this thought path again, but it did open and I wondered if it would translate to fish. 


These three local fish are a prototype that have possibilities as something more substantial, or perhaps as a unique card or a traditional print sheet that could be downloaded, cut out and put together.  None are true to size but all are similar in length of about 10 or 12 inches.   They were sketched on paper first then transferred to 200lb watercolour paper.  A heavyweight paper is required to be substantial enough to allow piecing by the miniature paper fasteners (or brads as they seem to be called these days - do you know paper fasteners are banned in some places?)  Movement is at the bottom jaw, pectoral fin and tail of each fish. Watercolour washes created the form and colour and some additions of pen were added.

I'll be working on more varieties of local fish/shellfish and looking at other options for use.  Meanwhile I'd love to hear your thoughts on them and if you think they'd fly - or in this case swim - as a product line.


Sue Pownall said...

What fun fish and I think your printed sheet idea is great.

RH Carpenter said...

How clever and fun! I think they would swim :) Not sure how you'd use them - just offer them, as is, perhaps with a watercolor background to place them on?

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

What a coincidence this weekend I went to a Paper Cinema production of the Odyssey. It was pure magic.

With the detail of these maybe they could be used within an educational context? I could also see them in use as a mobile - large scale and interactive.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Sue, I may try a couple in sheet form and see what the response is.

Yeah, I'm still working out ideas for them Rhonda, lots of options to explore. They are rather fun to make.

The show sounds fabulous Lisa, imagine the work going into it.

Yes educational could be an option then they would need to be printed onto something substantial like thick card, similar to jigsaw puzzle board perhaps.

A mobile...great idea too. A sea of spinning fish. :)

Christiane Kingsley said...

I can imagine them swimming in the air...I remember seeing articulated birds in wood hanging from the ceiling etc... the wings reacted to air movement, but I am sure you could find a way to make the fish "swim".

A very interesting idea.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

paper fasteners are banned?? o.0

i remember playing with toys like this as a kid, was fun and we did have a go at making are own, wonder where they are now?....

the colouring on the fish is perfect, looks real enough but still colourful to appeal to kids

Jeanette said...

Yes, I'll have to work on that Christiane.

Yes, paper fasteners banned due to injuries...rolling eyes...