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What is an Armature?

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An armature is like a skeleton (sometimes made out of wire) that can be bent and held into certain positions. As a movable sculpture it can be used to make stop-motion animations. Guest Maker Anisha Deshmane visited MAKESHOP on August 16th to explore the process of making armatures with our visitors.

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We used steel wire and pipe cleaners to make the skeletons and cotton stuffing and colored masking tape to give the skeletons some shape and form. Most kids and adults made human shaped figures but there were some animals made too. There was a baby chick, a pig, a dinosaur (made by me), a bear and a super hero unicorn.

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This ostrich-like bird (pictured above) was probably my favorite thing made during the whole day. There was a visitor from England who spent quite a lot of time fashioning this bird and then decided to leave it for others to enjoy.

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Now onto the stop-motion aspect of this activity. We used a webcam on a pair of helping hands (our own makeshift tripod) to take pictures of the armatures and then played the pictures back through our own stop-motion program. Little kids had fun just waving their characters up and down in front of the camera but a few older kids and parents spent a little bit longer precisely moving their armatures a little bit in between each photo. The end products were amazing to watch.

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This was a fun workshop to be a part of. Anisha brought some new ideas into something that we do all the time in our space. We typically have some form of stop-motion available for visitors to explore in MAKESHOP but making our own characters is something we rarely do. I would certainly do another workshop like this again.

 

-Kevin

Kevin is a teacher by trade. He loves dinosaurs, sloths and magnets.

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