Today is animation day. We decided to go with the dresses that are more similar to the original sculpture (calmer colours, less decorated) rather then the ceremonial dresses. The dolls are now getting ready for the big day to come!
Santa Ana's hair is covered with a *manto*, so it is only Mary's hair we need to worry about. A whig was bought in Oaxaca and Monica started applying it on Mary's head. Monica worked and worked with the hair, combed it, cut it, hairsprayed it and she was not very happy with the quality.
She decided that real hair is better. It took a bit of convincing: "You have so much hair... it will not be noticed...."
Clothes need to be made for Santa Ana and Mary. Luckily... Juanita is able to work with us again! Last time we had the leasure to work with Juanita was in November 2009.
We deciced to make two versions of the dresses. The decorations of the ceremonial fabrics are a bit too big for the dolls. Church dolls are usually around 1.30 m and our dolls are 51 and 36 cm high.
The conundrum is: which tradition to follow? Dressing the dolls in ceremonial fabric (starch colours, heavily decorated) or to make dresses that resemble the orginal statues (calm colours, discrete patterns)?
I went to the store and showed the image of Santa Ana and Mary. It appeared that there was an entire section of ceremonial textiles for dressing up Virgins, Madonnas... I over-estimated my Spanish and ended up buying too much fabric (the expensive, ceremonial ones). Even though he tried to sell as much as possible to me, the guy seemed to take fancy and whispered to me: "I am just writing down one meter of this... and not more than 2 meters of this one").
The next layer of paint is adding skin tones. Monica and Armand are skilled painter. Geska is getting to work with preparing the dresses.
Preparations for painting the head. Wish you could feel the smell of cedar wood and paint!
Remember that we had the opportunity to influence how the future welcoming arch of Zegache would look like? An offer from the Presidente of Zegache that we promised to get back to in a week.
We decided upon a shape that mimicks the facade of the church. The cupolas on the sides are taken down and put in front of the arch as chapels!
After that we started preparing some green tomatoes for the feast!
The visible parts is the head and the hands - the feet are not visible and the body is covered by clothes. The torso requires a female shape and the lower part of the body supports the dress.
Hardly a couple of days have passed and the assets for the puppets are starting to get real shape! Lao is doing the head of the patrona and Che is working with the hands. Christian will prepare the lower part of the puppets which are fixed (means no animation, no walking that is).
I am preparing the joints using the classical steel balls + plates + rods system for maximum flexibility and precision.
The artisans have never worked wit animation puppets and their work with figurative shapes (cherubs, faces) is recent. What talent!
Finally we are ready to start our work with developing animation puppets with the artesans of the community workshop. They are highly skilled wood carvers (some of them being real sculptors I would point out) and what we have to decide is the scale of the dolls in order to know how big heads and hands to work with. Smaller is more convenient although it makes the carving harder.
We decide on a 51 cm high Santa Ana and 36 cenimeter high Virgen Mary.
Sweet name of Christ (Dulce nombre) is the second patron saint of Santa Ana. Yes, it was pointed out for us once el Presidente suggested to build 2 chapels.
I headed back to the church to make a photo of him for later use. We will be animating this dramatic figure and what a dramatic posture and promising movements - it is as if this motif begs for some motion!