Friday, May 4, 2018

Michael deMeng's Altered Alice On-Line Class

Michael deMeng's Altered Alice On-Line Class

In 2017, Michael deMeng offered an on-line assemblage class called Altered Alice.  What is cool about this version of Michael on-line is he has very specific suggestions for making each character in the Alice tableau.  Normally it is hard for me to stay inside the box during any workshop but this time I decided to buckle down, pay attention and try to follow the suggested process. 

Here is the course description:

"Let's take a trip with Alice down the rabbit hole and discover a world where logic and reason have been turned upside down and, contrary wise, downside up.  This workshop will explore the unusual cast of characters that inhabit Wonderland as we create them as well as the world in which they dwell.

Part One: The Wonderlanders - The first portion of this online class focuses on creating a variety of the characters from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  We will be using a combination of everyday found objects, clay, wood and paint to reinvent these Wonderlanders.

Part Two: The Rabbit Hole Theatre - In the second half of the class we will create a stage for our puppet thespians to enact the various scenes from the books.    The stage will consist of a block or wood or shallow box.  We will construct trees to frame our stage as well as layered cut-out back drops to create a tunnelled effect.    Of course, we will also be transforming these backdrops and with yummy alternate-worldly effects using paint a variety of painting techniques."

Let us start with Part Two first.

The stage is made out of a box into which are fastened the supports for the "curtains."

The trees are the downstage curtains.

I made the back curtain out of muslin and paint.

Here we have my completed Rabbit Hole Theatre.

Now let's move on to The Wonderlanders.

The Queen of Hearts

Of all the characters I made, this one was the least satisfactory when it was done.  Not only did I feel like the construction never got to the point where it was interesting, I feel the same way about the painting.  Here is the process:

This figure started with a pedestal from some planter and the top of an Avon bottle.

I papered up the inside for support.

The painting begins.

The painting is done.

Gardner Cards

I decided that if I was going to make the Gardner Cards I would follow the book's joke and make them spades.  

Cheshire Cat

This character is basically sculpted from Aves Apoxie Sculpt over some aluminum foil. 
My boy cat, Biakabutuka, served as the model.

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee

This pair found a home on a wood table leg.  Like the cat, they were basically sculpted from Aves but this time over some Tinkertoy parts.



The Caterpillar

The Caterpillar was jumped kicked by a hose.  After that, it was game on.

The Hookah

The Mad Hatter

Got to start this guy with a head and a hat.

For his body I selected a perfume bottle.


For Alice I wanted to give the impression of her in the hole.

The White Rabbit

For whatever reason, this character turned out to be my favorite.  The odd thing for me is I also think it looks the most "craft" like.  But, it has charm.  

I do not like to share too much of the "teaching" in these on-line workshops in order to avoid undercutting the profit margin of my teachers.  But I had to share the idea behind The White Rabbit here to show you what value there is in taking a course from a teacher who can inspire creativity like Michael deMeng.

My thanks go out to Michael deMeng for another great on-line workshop experience.  

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