Toy Theaters started 2017  - Bird Maidens

These transformation tales occurs across many cultures around the globe - versions come from many countries in Asia, the Middle East, and throughout Europe. When the body of work is complete it will be shown concurrently across King County, WA.  The project will be a scavenger hunt through different neighborhoods, with each toy theater containing a scene from a different culture.  There will be links to an online to a map of the whole project, as well as translations of the tale in each represented language and images of the whole piece.  

The first two prototypes and process shots are below, to see the first prototype, The Peacock Maiden,  click here. The second prototype, The Ibis Maiden, click here.

This body of work is currently on hold due to the pandemic and other projects, but i do hope to return to it and create all 10 toy theaters once I can secure funding.

 

The 2nd prototype is - The tale of The Adventures of Hasan of Basrah, from The book of The Thousand Nights and One Night.

The ibis Maiden 2018
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Daylight view

Feb 2

Transparent and metallic cut vinyl, laser cut Plexiglas, Tyvek, acrylic rods, MDF, CNC routed Marine Plywood, set screw collars, aluminum, battery operated LED lights

installed behind OMSI for Portland Winter Light Festival 2018

Scene and gear box installed

January 31

Transparent and metallic cut vinyl, laser cut Plexiglas, Tyvek, acrylic rods, MDF, CNC routed Marine Plywood, set screw collars, aluminum, battery operated LED lights

full scene

Detail of scene

January 31

Transparent and metallic cut vinyl, laser cut Plexiglas, Tyvek, CNC routed marine plywood, acrylic tubing and rods, battery operated LED lights

above view

January 31

Transparent and metallic cut vinyl, laser cut Plexiglas, Tyvek, CNC routed marine plywood, acrylic tubing and rods, battery operated LED lights

Gear box with cams

January 31

CNC routed marine plywood, screen printed plywood, aluminum, acrylic tubes and rods, set screw collars, battery operated LED lights

scene from below

January 31

Transparent and metallic cut vinyl, laser cut Plexiglas, Tyvek, CNC routed marine plywood, acrylic tubing and rods, battery operated LED lights

 
 

finished scene

January 31

transparent and metallic cut vinyl, laser cut Plexiglas, acrylic tubing, Tyvek, MDF

fabricated scene ready for install.

Vinyl scenery

January 21

transparent and metallic cut vinyl

This part of the scene is designed for back-lighting, so the yellow and blues will glow when installed.  This is currently masked for transport without scratching but it is on clear Plexiglas so when installed it will not have the white behind the shape.

Vinyl scenery

January 22

transparent cut vinyl

These vine trellises will be layered in space throughout the scene and are also on clear laser cut Plexiglas. (like the above image they are masked for transport)

Cams for the 2nd prototype

January 19

Screen printed plywood

These eccentric cams were CNC routed, treated and screen printed. the holes are offset in different directions to allow the Ibis puppets to rise and fall at different rates.

laser cut tests

January 19

Laser cut Plexiglas

These Ibises will cut of opaque white acrylic for the final theater, but they were made of clear to test hanging apparatus, scale, as well as figuring out what parts need to be thickened. Laser was chosen over CNC routing for the ability to have tight corners, intricate detail, and a flame polished edge.

gear box face plate

January 11th

primed marine plywood

CNC routing the face plate.  There will be an acrylic window to see the cams and gears, allowing for access if repairs are needed, but keeping the public's fingers safe.

sketch of the scene

January 14th

Vector file

Assets created in Adobe Illustrator to translate into vinyl and laser cut files.  The colors will shift - this is just to easily isolate sections to separate and process a clean file that can be layered and scaled to the appropriate output format. Some elements will be opaque, transparent, and metallic in the final format.

new gear box elements

January 4th

CNC routed MDF, aluminum collars with set screws, acrylic tubes and rods

The small gear is connected to the hand crank which feeds to the large gear. If people turn the crank really fast this will slow down the inertia in the scene to keep it from jamming up or damaging the piece. Aluminum collars can be locked down on the shafts much more precisely than the hand made triangular collars used in the 1st prototype (The Peacock Maiden seen below). Acrylic tubes will keep the rods from bending and moving out of alignment. All of these modifications are from direct observation of the first piece in public use.

The first theater prototype features a scene from the Chinese version of the tale, The Peacock Maiden.

The 1st Prototype for this body of work premiered at Arts-A-Glow, the Burien Lantern festival in Dottie Harper park in conjunction with their 10 year anniversary, September 2017.

To see 2016 installation for Arts-A-Glow visit Vasilissa the Brave.

 

video and images from the install: