Building Under the Canopy

We’re in the midst of refurbishing old objects and building new ones for Under the Canopy, which Arts on the Horizon will produce in February. After a workshop production last summer, we learned a LOT about how babies respond to objects and what kinds of things capture their attention best. Here are a few photos of us at work as we build umbrella birds and caterpillars, ladder trees and butterflies.

Supplies waiting on the worktable.

Supplies waiting on the worktable.

Pieces for the umbrella bird, waiting to be glued on.

Pieces for the umbrella bird, all cut out and waiting to be glued on.

All glued or sewn on, now waiting for bird tails.

All glued or sewn on, now waiting for bird tails.

Amy and Genna at the worktable.

Amy and Genna at the worktable.

Genna trying out placements for the bird tails.

Genna trying out placements for the bird tails.

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Necessary Evil Chores: Organizing Paper

Haven’t done one of these in awhile! I’m cleaning out the studio today, so here is a project that I put off for, oh, maybe a year and a half–organizing our stash of construction paper.

construction paper1We don’t use it very often, so my habit has been to just buy a new stack if we need some and I can’t find the previous pack. Mixed in with all this, I found pieces of rubber foam, cardstock and a few blank puzzles. Hopefully I can keep it all separate from now on!

construction paper 2

Necessary Evil Chores: Organizing Paper

Too much paper!

Too much paper!

As we continue to build paper puppets for Cabinets of Kismet, the materials have started to overflow and as a result, the first floor of my house was rapidly getting submerged in scraps. Genna and I spent part of President’s Day getting it all organized by color and weight.

Genna sorting our many scraps of handmade paper.

Genna sorting our many scraps of handmade paper.

All nicely organized by color and weight, ready to be turned into puppets and set.

All nicely organized by color and weight, ready to be turned into puppets and set.

 

 

Store Spotlight: Fragers Hardware

Buying materials at a regular hardware store when you are a puppeteer is a process that can be awkward and frustrating. The fact is that you are often buying items which you are going to use in an unconventional fashion, and occasionally it is hard for hardware store people to accept that. Add to that the fact that I’m a woman, which apparently makes the employees of some places (cough, Logan Hardware, cough) automatically assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve gotten strange looks in many different hardware stores around the city, except for one.

Fragers Hardware

That is Fragers Hardware, a landmark of Eastern Market that has been in business since 1920. They are located at 1115 Pennsylvania Ave SE and occupy three distinct buildings–a hardware store, paint store and equipment rental store. Whenever I go to Fragers, there is always someone free to answer questions or give advice and when I explain that I am a puppeteer looking for materials, they nod and say “Oh, cool!” They always have what I am looking for, or are able to order it easily. If you appreciate stores where everyone is given time and consideration, make this your source for hardware in D.C.

The hardware room, where we spend lots of time searching for that perfect size nut or bolt.

The hardware room, where we spend lots of time searching for that perfect size nut or bolt.

Aisle full of supplies for puppet projects or home repair.

Aisle full of supplies for puppet projects or home repair.

We think this sign is entirely appropriate!

We think this sign is entirely appropriate!