I have to say that Jennifer Kidd‘s Obby Workshop in London this weekend was the best creative workshop I have attended. ever.
Now, I’m not going to write a step by step guide on what happened in the workshop this weekend. That would be really unfair to Jennifer, I learnt a lot from her and it was an EPIC value for money! So if this blog post interests you, then you should certainly take a look into her Foam and Latex workshop on Obby and a couple of her other courses too, she does several animation related courses. I’ll leave the link at the bottom of the page as well as a link to receive £10 off your first course. I’m already looking into booking her ‘replacement faces’ workshop in the near future, hopefully with Richard and Jessie too!
I thought Jennifer relayed the process of advanced model making really well in her workshop, especially as some of the attendance had never made characters before and were just curious about stop motion or wanted to pick up a new hobby. Even though she was teaching different skill levels, Jennifer did not make it so simple that us experienced model makers got bored or felt unchallenged…we certainly were, especially on day 2 of the course!
This weekend I used several materials that I’ve struggled to use in the past: 2 part milliput and 2 part epoxy resin. I think when I have tried to use these materials before I have either not used the consistency correctly or not had the patience to mix them well enough before use and that has left the material tacky and eventually caused a puppet design to fail. Jennifer gave a useful tip of mixing talc powder in with the milliput to make keep the material soft and not sticky but still durable when modelling. I know that I am a visual learner and this is why I struggle when watching online videos as I need that guidance of someone to say, that looks right or work this harder before applying etc.
When it came to padding the characters with foam and latex on the second day I did struggle a little. To begin with I was trying to make a little ‘mini-me’. I thought it would be fun to make a model based on myself. I tried to ‘stuff’ the character with small bits of foam but this cause a lot of issues, so I had to use larger pieces to make it work. Once I wrapped the character in outer layers, the bulkiness of the character slimmed down but not by much.
So suddenly my character went from a planned size 12 model to a size 16-18!
I’ll admit though, I have been wanting to make a larger, heavyset character to animate, so I have no problem with this progress. To be honest I’m actually happier that I made this ‘heavier’ character under supervision of this Foam and Latex workshop, as I ended the class with a super lightweight and standing character that gave off the impression of anything but!
One final thing I have to mention is the hands! The Hands! During my second year I tried to make latex hands for my short film Munchies. I had tried the dip-dry process but it didn’t work too well so I made a plasticine set instead. Yes I’ll admit since Tone Death I can make a set of hands pretty well, however I used materials to bind the wires together so it looked as if Christopher wore gloves rather than attempt to make a skin like texture. The technique Jennifer taught us to make these detachable hands was brilliant and I shall treasure it and most certainly be using it for ALL of my character designs in the future!
So thank you for such an amazing class Jennifer!
I will be seeing you very soon for more workshops!
Find out more about Obby:
Get £10 off your first Obby Class by clicking here!
Jennifer Kidd’s Model Making Class Link
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