Peter Slight, Gingerbread Zombie fabricator

spideys habitat

The splendid Peter Slight was the curator of last year’s Puppet Challenge here at the Artlog, and can be seen above pointing out the last known whereabouts of his arachnid friend, ‘Spidey’. Peter is in the process of making models of Gingerbread Zombies, inspired by characters from the picture-book of Hansel & Gretel I’m currently working on in collaboration with Simon Lewin at Saint Judes’s Prints. (See drawing below.) Peter’s models will help us promote the book at its launch. (And who knows but that enthusiasts might be able to purchase a Gingerbread Zombie of their very own, if Peter can be persuaded to make some more!) The figure will be finished in an epoxy material, which is how Peter made this Krampus figure for me.)

Here he writes about the process of making.

Progress report so far: 1) I decided to make a paper template of the figure (as though he is lying flat) and then ‘trace’ around its outline with coat-hanger wire. (This seemed like the simplest approach, but will also make the model extremely robust – by my models standards at least.)

2) I was then able to bend the figure into his ‘pose’ and stand him up on a rough tump, to see how it would look. (I left wire trailing from his ‘grounded’ foot to act as a secure fixing point. This also allows him to stand on one leg in a more dynamic pose whilst still be very safely attached to his base)

3) After some adjusting to his pose, I filled in the space/cavity within the wire figure with pieces of polystyrene.

4) After double checking everything fitted into place and filling in some of the larger gaps with smaller pieces of polystyrene. All the polystyrene pieces were glued into place.

After doing my initial sketch by taking elements from several of your designs to create a kind of composite figure, I decided that it looked too much like my own interpretation of the theme and not enough like any of your own designs. So I started a second gingerbread man based on your lumbering ‘karloff’ one, and this will be as close a facsimile to your own sketch as possible.

Since taking the photos, I have started carving the figures and tumps in earnest. They are progressing well. The shape and method of construction has made them surprising easy to make (so far)

Peter Slight January 2015

35 thoughts on “Peter Slight, Gingerbread Zombie fabricator

  1. Pingback: Peter Slight and his Gingerbread Zombie Workshop | Clive Hicks-Jenkins' Artlog:

  2. I do have my suspicions that Mr Hicks-Jenkins may have signed some sort of devilish pact, in order to get access to “Eine Naturgeschichte von Untoten Kuchen”.

    It could be that he is attempting to distract Shellie from informing the police, whilst he helps gather together the combined forces of the undead cakes and confectionery that we now know are out there.

    I think Mr Kipling – and other cake makers of the world – should be placed on high alert!!

    I refer you to my “It’s Alive” video link posted at the bottom of this page, as to what we might be dealing with when it comes to the seemingly ‘innocent’ painter, who watches over us all at the Artlog.

    Methinks he doth protest too much!!

    • Oh Shellie, you of all people know how those naughty Arloggers urge me to ever lower depths of depravity in their pursuit of cheap thrills, and I am a martyr to their wishes. I fear my career is largely over. I might as well accept that my reputation from now on will be that of a cheap schlockmeister!

      No need yet to inform the police, though I fear the moment will come. As for Phil Cooper, Peter Slight and Sarah-the-Curious-One, they really have turned out to be the unholy trinity of fandom! I rue the day I took them in. Their malign japes have infected my old guard. Even the previously dependable Zoe Blue appears to have joined their gleeful mocking! (See below!)

  3. Eine Naturgeschichte von Untoten Kuchen?
    If that’s not a title befitting a serious artist, i don’t know what is!
    i have to say that i’m with phil on which scientists are worth listening to, haha.

      • Peter will be interested to know, I feel sure, that we have a young Huntsman spider named Herbert who is reincarnated in our house several times each year since the time a visiting 7 year old girl (not unlike Gretel in disposition) thwacked him on the toilet wall. She came out expecting high praise for her actions, loudly proclaiming what she had done, but the collective Watson faces told a different tale. Poor Herbert returns each year in various sizes, with the same cheery and humble expression on his little grey face. We put him in the garden. (Away from the chickens 🙂

        • I fear exactly the same thing occurred at our seaside cottage, where we’d happily co-existed with a spider the size of saucer for many years, until a friend, the artist Charlie Burton, kicked it to death. I saw him strike out at something, and afterwards found the poor thing splattered against the wall. It had never done anyone any harm, and we greatly missed it thereafter. I don’t know what species it was, nor how old it might have been, though there has never been a spider of such impressive size since it was so cruelly dispatched. I have a soft spot for spiders, and I have never killed one. When spiders take over the world, Charlie is going to be in big trouble, but I’ll be set up very nicely thank you very much, as they know my reputation!

          Flies now… well they’re another matter! I am a committed slayer of flies!

  4. If Peter produces more of those figures then they are going to be very covetable indeed; I warn all other Artloggers I have very sharp elbows, it could all get rather undignified and there may be photos in the press that make those Black Friday scrambles look like a picnic! I’ve now become so perversely enamoured of the zombie gingerbread men that I was quite upset to see one getting split in two by Gretel – I hope the zombies get her and eat her brains.
    It also has to be said that Peter has fab hair, I’m not surprised Spidey took up residence.

    • Haaaaaa! That’s the ticket. Sharp elbows win the day! This could be amusing to watch!

      Gretel may be giving her thwacking some welly, but my Guide to the Un-natural History of the Gingerbread Zombie maintains that she’s basically lending the critter a hand in the procreation department. All those exploded fragments are going to crawl away and make tiny Gingerbread Zombies that’ll grow into big ones… not that they have to be big to bite. You could get a vicious dermabrase from all those teeny carnivores! Gretel’s Arnie Schwatzenegger approach to the problem may be helpful in burning off some of her excess testosterone, but as is so often the case whenever we try to bend nature to our will, the outcomes can be unexpected. As Jeff Goldblum warned… and I always listen to scientists who look as cute as he… ‘Life finds a way!’

      Pete does indeed have fab hair. Nijinsky once said that if reincarnation was a fact, he’d come back as a racehorse. (And of course, he did!) If I come back I’m coming back as Spidey!

      • I’m with Phil! However, I would like to warn him, when it comes to the opportunity of possessing my very own Gingerbread Zombie, us girls do fight mean…

        Is “The Guide to the Un-natural History of the Gingerbread Zombie” available from all good book stores Clive? There have been some excellent book recommendations at the Artlog, but this one tops them all!!

        • I see that you have already been lamentably influenced by Gretel’s kick-ass ways, and I’m sorry for that. I thought rather better of you.

          The ‘Guide’ is available from several disreputable bookshops specialising in Witchcraft and the Occult, where copies are invariably under lock and key, alongside the more notorious grimoires. It is unquestionably rare, published in 1848 in Prague, city of magicians, cabalists and alchemists, though I fear I’ve misled with my reference to it by the nickname bestowed by international book-dealers. The title is in fact the infinitely more disturbing…

          Eine Naturgeschichte von Untoten Kuchen.

        • Laughing out loud, how I do love the Artlog and I’m so pleased to read that the gingerbread zombie will return a hundredfold – I hope the scene where they eat Gretel from the toes up makes it into the movie if not the book 🙂

          • You may well laugh Phil Cooper, but I’m the one whose previously unblemished reputation as a serious painter is being compromised. I don’t know what I did to deserve such naughty Artloggers. What monsters I have made, here.

          • Oh my!

            I know about the headless jelly babies and the devilish licquorice allsorts, as far as the confectionery goes, but now you reveal there are more suspect baked goods on the rampage.

            I do think all of us innocent Artloggers have a right to know what we may be contending with here!!.

  5. I finally have a picture of the Artlog’s own ‘Dr Frankenstein’, so I need imagine him no more!! I do hope Spidey comes home soon Peter. I read about his disappearance, in a previous post at the Artlog, with great concern.

    What a brilliant job Peter is doing in bringing our fiendish friend to life. I will definitely be putting my name on the waiting list, if they are put into production. No home should be without one. 🙂

    Gingerbread Zombies have infiltrated my subconscious to such an extent that when I saw this Hansel & Gretel illustration yesterday, my eyes immediately went to what Gretel is carrying. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t that a Gingerbread Zombie in her hand, just waiting to be eaten?!! And we all know what happens then…

      • My work space looked more befittingly like a mad scientist’s laboratory until I had a big tidy up over Christmas, now it’s looking scarily ordered, and I can actually *shudder* find things easily (urgh)

        • Peter

          I think you should give yourself permission to mess up your workshop sufficiently to give it that mad scientist’s laboratory vibe, once again.

          Now that you are making a Gingerbread Zombie, using Clive’s ‘Karloff’ inspired design, us Artloggers expect nothng less than full immersion in the character!!

          I am expecting your next post to be something along these lines:

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