Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Collecting Quest Keys

Whenever putting together production sets, I have a main stay of things scattered around my house, piled and packed into every nook and cranny that get gathered up as props for Galleries, Exhibitions, Performances, Storytelling Events .. whatever I happen to be Directing, so our home is our studio. I don’t work from home ... I live in my workplace.
But to get new inspiration, as I have blogged before, I love to trawl Boot Fares, Flea Markets and Antique Centres. This weekend we went to the one in Newcastle Emlyn. It’s ever growing and over the years has expanded but is still very reasonably priced being much cheaper than  Cardiff Markets. Having said that the stock doesn’t change over so often so I tend to go only if I want ideas ...

This visit ... I saw a lovely old radiogram with a brass horn .. but it was £475.00 which although is reasonable because there were also hundreds of 78’s with it and it was fully working, it is way out of my league .. but it reminded me of 2 things in my house (somewhere) that would conjure up the same effect .. I have an old radiogram cabinet with nothing in it. Well, I say nothing, it was converted like so many other pieces of furniture during the war, into a sort of office cabinet .. I love it because of the utilitarian history it depicts ... the base of the cabinet must have fallen out and has been replaced by the bottom of an orange crate and the  chalk written fruit prices and shop logo are still faded into the wood on the underneath ... very charming indeed!

 So I will use this cabinet and save myself a few bob! Also I have His Mater’s Voice Dog, a copy of one, which I bought in a flea market in my twenties. So if I sit him beside the cabinet it will conjure the idea of it being more than it is .. and then I’ll buy a much cheaper table top record player ... I saw one at a boot sale for £50 but didn’t buy it, I could kick myself now but it was the principle of it being that much at a Boot Sale ... lesson learnt!

Another inspiration in the Antique Centre? Beautiful welsh woollen weave blankets. Definitely want to include one in my set somewhere. I actually live in a weaver’s cottage but it hadn’t dawned on me to include this in the production even though it is quite literally right under my nose. Where I live only exists because in the 1800’s Woollen Mills built overcrowded accommodation for the workers. It is a very important part of  West Wales history ... so Dai will have to be cold in one of the story lines and handed a blanked made from the sheep  that he counted in the fields as a child to help him sleep ...

They were stunning blankets, but priced @£115.00 each! I can’t afford that, but it reminded me that (somewhere) I have a really old welsh woollen blanket, worn and tired, that we found in the loft when we renovated our place, and thinking about it, this will be perfect for the dishevelled Dai, wandering down towards the 39 steps at St.David’s Cathedral as part of the film shoot booked for June with the dancers from Arts Care Gofal Celf and the actor Simon Morgan Thomas who will be portraying Dai.

Oh, and I also have a lovely bright yellow cushion made by an upholstery shop in Llandysul. She recycles old worn blankets and re-invents them into new things like scatter cushions, purses etc as well as hand crafted & beautifully restored upholstery. So I can use my lovely cushion as well.

Now then, I bet you’re thinking ... did you actually buy anything at the antique centre?
YES! Off course!

I bought a walking stick for Dai Plastic ... He can drag himself out of the sea on his belly with this stick as he crawls into land during the first flimscape, from the troubled seas, vexed by The Mother of all Mermaids (will be thinking of a name for her soon) ... I think I will take a relevant line from the production, a lyric or stanza and pyrography it into the wood ... pyrography is a very hot soldering iron type pen that has different nibs and the heat burns into the wood. I bought mine as a  special offer on eBay. It’s not that easy to do ... I pyrographed  a slice of tree with our Studio Name and the wood was too hard so I kept bending the nibs ... hopefully Dai’s stick won’t be too hard but if it is, I’ll just write on it with a Sharpie Pen instead.

And I bought a KEY! But not any old key, although old is exactly the right word to describe it, but the key to the Quest ... Dafydd's key to The Dragon Tree!

Isn’t it GORGEOUS ... just imagine what door it used to open?

And then I thought it would be rather nice to use old keys as the little gifts that I’d like to leave in large glass bowls for the audience to take home with them. I’m thinking old keys, shells, stones etc, laced with ribbon and Fusion Inspire Tag again with something from the production on it, and my website address, or this blog address, or both.

The idea comes from a place in my heart where I wanted to give YOU a gift (because YOU will be my very special  guests) and the other audience members  a keepsake to remind  them of the production and its’ messages.


So when I got home I’ve gotten straight onto eBay. I can’t give keys like the one I’ve bought cos it was £6.50 but I have currently got bids on lots including many little keys, old antique padlock keys. One lot has 30 of them. I thought it was worth taking a punt and seeing if they come in. Will keep ya posted folks! Or maybe I won’t and you’ll find out when we meet  during the Fusion Inspire Tour in January and February 2013.

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