Silence in the Woods



Forgive the silence at the Artlog. The reason is simple. Right now I am consumed with completing the Hansel & Gretel Toy Theatre Kit for Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop in Covent Garden. It’s quite a complicated job, designing something not only beautiful, but that also works in terms of being relatively simple to cut out and make. This morning I’ve been writing the assembly instructions and I don’t think in my life I’ve felt quite such a burden of responsibility for making words clearly convey meaning. (I recall all those cut-out toys of my childhood that went horribly wrong because the instructions misdirected me!)

But the silence is largely due to being unable to share the images I’m producing, because the people at Pollock’s understandably want to keep the design under wraps until the launch. Everything has to be a secret until then.

But I can tell you that there will be plenty of scenery by way of back-cloths and cut-cloths, with kuchen-cottages, gloomy kitchens, blazing ovens, haunted woods and confectionary galore. Moreover this production should satisfy the most ardent toy theatre enthusiasts with the number of characters I’ve managed to fit in into a small space, including – apart from the usual suspects – the Witch’s Cat, a friendly Duck, some Gingerbread Men and a couple of Monster Trees.

Scissors and glue at the ready!

12 thoughts on “Silence in the Woods

  1. Dear Chum. knowing how far back in time Pollack’s is in your heart I can only imagine the feelings you are carrying, I hope the glee is there too…I’m sure it is, huzzah!
    B xxx

  2. This sounds like so much fun, this theater. What an accomplishment! As far as writing instructions, I am feeling for you. I spent a good bit of my office life writing manuals, and I also did instructions for a craft book some time ago in which I contributed a project, creating a house portrait from fabric. It’s a skill to be able to do this kind of work, and very taxing. Your builders will appreciate your care!

    • Thank you, Claudia, for your vote of confidence. I thought I was doing OK until my partner Peter said he didn’t understand my explanation of ‘scoring’ card to facilitate a neat fold, and suddenly I was questioning the meaning of even simple words! Oh my!!!

      • Yes. One thing instruction writing can do to you is make you realize how imprecise we usually are in communicating. No room for those gaps and ellipses of conversation. Then you start paying attention to your own conversation and continually refining or explaining and people’s eyes glaze over and…see, it’s happening! I love your work and I look forward to see this project when it is public.

    • Happy to have your help in this respect, Anita. Right now the artwork is giant-sized and has to be scanned and reduced before we can test it. I made a rough prototype of the design at the outset, but that’s developed quite a bit as I’ve progressed, so checking it all will be vital. Of course I’ve measured like crazy throughout the project, but it’s the way of such things that I’ll have made some miscalculation that will require correcting before we can sign off for production.

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