‘The Creature in the Egg’ a dark puppet fairy tale:
‘The Creature in the Egg’ was a project I completed at university. The story is pretty preposterous and involves a little girl being trapped in her bedroom for many years, then being devoured by a hideous monster who hatches from a mysterious egg plant growing from a hole in the wallpaper. My tutor kept reading into it saying it could be about suicide and beaten children… but really I just wanted a reason to make a gnarly, sad eyed monster puppet. A scrawny, gormless little girl puppet and a child’s bedroom, cluttered with dusty toys and old books. I was really inspired by old Czech stop frame animation artists whose work is all pretty dark and strange; Jan Švankmajer’s surreal version of Alice in Wonderland and Jiří Trnka’s atmospheric puppet fairy tales are just superb.
The puppets are made with wire structures filled with tinfoil then covered with a type of polymer clay called milliput. I spent months crafting this into tiny boils and moon crevices for the monster’s rocky skin. The girl’s hair is made from black wool I frizzed up with a nit combe and her clothes from old fabric bought at a car boot, so all incredibly DIY and hands on. Though saying this, I am really pleased with the results and am forever impressed with a string puppets ability to convey such character and life. The puppets were photographed beautifully by my fashion photography friend Tom Selmon, who managed to make them look like a crackly 1920’s theatre production which is exactly how I envisioned them.
One day I aim to actually make a puppet film with all this, it would be a shame to let the 20 page storyboard go to waste. But the filming might prove difficult considering my milliput formed monster is so heavy that you can barely hold him off the ground for more than five minutes, let alone get him to move in a convincing manor without knocking something over.