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Folk Arts Class: Making Your Own Crankie

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 10.41.23 AM Click image to watch Ellen Gozion’s Pretty Fair Miss Crankie

Sundays 3pm-6pm Feb 12th – April 2nd  (no class on March 12th) 

Adults and children aged 13 and above,  $75

A cranky is a moving illustration, a scroll supported within a windowed box whose images progress by turning a built-in hand crank. If you have a story, folk song or message to illustrate, this magical medium is for you, regardless of your skill level. Experienced artists and novices are welcome. Participants my work alone or with a partner/others.

Materials for class work will be provided, including the paper, parchment scroll and enough basic materials to complete a Crankie. Additional materials may be deisred by the student This will be discussed at the first class.  

What’s a crankie?

It is a hand-turned illustrated scroll in a doweled box or frame used to tell a story. It is a sort of moving panorama, and it got its 20th century name from the verb to crank (coined by Peter Schumann of the Bread & Puppet Theater), or maybe the object crank. Turning the crank on the dowel advances the frames of the illustration.

Though there are many ways to make a cranky, what they all have in common is that they illustrate a spoken story, a song or a tune; they may also silently illustrate a narrative, poem or other message. Some crankies are used with shadow puppets, though these will not be addressed in this class.

Objectives: To make a mixed media illustrated scroll to tell a short story or to accompany a short song or tune. You may use one class period to make a sturdy cardboard frame for your crankie, or you may use one of the instructor’s during the course and build your own frame outside of class.

Skills Required: An interest in visual art and/or storytelling singing is all you need! Participants should be comfortable working with their hands and working independently, and will be encouraged to experiment. While image-making is important, advanced composition and drawing skills are not required, nor will they be taught. The goal is to have fun and to be creative in making a visual story.

Ellen will give demonstrations and an overview on the use of various mixed media — paper cutting, collage, drawing, painting — and will coach and help to problem-solve throughout the six-weeks as needed. Crankies may be front-lit or back-lit. Ellen will demonstrate the differences between the two, the different media for and aspects of each.  for videos and more information

 Register Here by February 9th


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