Thursday, 29 June 2017

Working at the New Carnival Company: Part Five!

We've been pulling some early mornings and late nights at the New Carnival Company to get ready for Mardi Gras on Saturday. I've been making very good progress on my peacock costume, which is great as it means I won't be naked during the parade!!! Ooh er!

On tuesday we were all very happy and excited in the morning because the NCC were granted their creative programme funding from the Arts Council! Congratulations NCC! Here's Gina pouring out our celebratory breakfast:
Aw yisss!
Here's me enjoying it:
I worked on my headpiece, arranging the various feathers out carefully before the final Gluing:
Here's a rare photo of me enjoying the feathered headpiece:
In the end I trimmed down that very tall middle feather slightly as it was a bit obnoxiously long(!) and added an extra blue piece in the middle of the base structure. This is what they (in carnival-land) refer to as the 'Rio' style headpiece; e.g. an explosion of feathers!
Here it is finished:
Meanwhile Gina inspected Queen Vic's innards! Here's the giant Queen Victoria puppet lying on her operating table:
I love this picture because you can see all the detail that was put into the puppet - the eyes, inside the mouth and the trimmings and trinkets! Truly beautiful. This is what Queenie looks like inside:
A spider's web of tape, willow, wire and metal! While this was happening I finished off the peacock's 'wings' or backpack (as it's known in carnival-land). Here's a before picture:
And after:
Generally it looks a little more healthy and plumped out. It's hard to see because of all the background noise, so you'll have to take my word for it until I'm able to get a good shot of the full outfit that it looks great!
We also had a visitor on Tuesday in the form of this fella:
A baby pigeon that didn't seem to want to leave us all day!

Wednesday was mostly taken up with the refurbishment of the African Queen costume. Here she is looking a little sad before we started:
I worked with lovely Coral re-vamping her ears and hat. Here's some work-in-progress shots:
We used lovely sequins fabric and fresh foam shapes to replace the tired and tarnished old ones. It's amazing what a difference it made as you can see in the photo above - the old one being on the left and the new on  the right. And this is the African Queen when we'd more or less finished with her:
She looks a bit perkier and more colourful I think. Later on I made a waterfall style skirt out of this fabric:
Pictures to come!

Today (Thursday) I worked on my peacock while Gina and the Equals ladies worked hard on their elephant. First I worked on my codpiece and belt which I made from scratch:
And I also made a feathery tail to go with it (it's upside down in this picture for storage!):
Gina and the gang made fantastic progress with the elephant:
From this...
To this!
That's Mary modelling it who will be wearing it on the day. And all those decorations on either side were hand made today by the team; he's going to look absolutely incredible when he's finished. We'll be working on him tomorrow to finish bits and bobs including his facial features. Here's another picture of him from a different angle:
I can't wait to see him all finished and will be very proud to say that I was there when he was born and that I had a teeny part in making him! (I cut out some of those white and yellow shapes you see there!) I especially like the texture of his skin, the pink lotus flowers and the yellow feathery twiddles coming out of his sides. And his ears. His ears are fab.
That's it for now. I'm still very much enjoying my time at the NCC and want to put in as much work as I can to get the most out of my trip. I'm learning lots about costumes, carnival and Indian culture... did you know that chess originated in India? I didn't!