Category Archives: One-Act Art Play

Stop Motion

21st century kids missed out. They will not have experienced the infancy of television and motion pictures. I suppose every generation “misses out” at some level. I did not experience first flight, my children, if I had any, would know nothing of being one of the first households to have a color television.

It is not really important, in a way, yet it is immeasurably important. These experiences shape our sense of wonder. More than this, they prompt us to recognize human ingenuity and to recognize it in ourselves as well. An idea, we realize,  is always worth exploring. And most of us understand that we must keep in mind not to harm others in the process.

Yes, too much television is not good. We have to go outside and play, and also choose healthier snacks while we stare at the screen. Life is a balancing act, and this includes allowing room for creative expression.

The creative children’s television shows I was privileged to know has a child had a profound impact on me. I loved stop motion animation. Think about this for a moment: We knew we could convey human movement and interaction through fast, subsequent images captured as we moved, but it took wonderful and free-flowing insight to realize that the same method could animate still objects. And to make stories out of these… wow! Story telling was forever transformed.

The creative mind works that way. One idea sparks the next as though it had lifted a rock and discovered an entire world, previously unseen and unknown. Today’s complex computer animation was a huge stretch of the imagination. There must be a sixth or seventh sense in us, like a pilot light, just waiting for a switch to be turned on.

For some reason, this is what crosses my mind every time I make a new batch of Messenger Dolls. And also that life itself is a stop motion animation. We move forward and take steps back; we become absorbed in projects and stop short in moments of doubt; we move, we rest, we hesitate, but the story gets told one moment at a time.

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Blarney & Oratio’s new perch

1104131530-01Meet Blarney and Oratio…

Or is it Oratio and Blarney? Each perched on its box, ready to guard whatever treasure might be placed within. But you could see in their eyes that this, perhaps, was not their destiny.

“I could have been an opera singer,” shared Blarney with his friend one night, while no one was in the shop.

“I studied to be an orator, you know,” replied Oratio. “Diplomas just don’t mean anything anymore, I suppose,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, the human who had created the paper feathered pair (that would be me) noticed something was amiss and felt inspired.

“Do you think we are being demoted?” asked Oratio as the pair lay on their sides one day, after being removed from their respective boxes.

“No. I feel a song coming on,” said Blarney. “This means good change is on the horizon.”

And so it is that Blarney was right and now the birds stand proudly on new pedestals, more suitable to their true nature.


“I feel a speech coming on,” exclaimed Oratio. “Hear me, fellow art forms,” he began. “A new light shines upon us today. We are not objects. We are someone’s vision and someone’s gift.” Then, he paused to contemplate the world from his new perch.

Blarney and Oratio currently reside at Ornament Studio. Both look forward to the next grand chapter in their lives.