Finally, I've finished the bed for The Grimstones! I'm so pleased with how it turned out, especially that quilt, which looks so old, and yet looked so bright and fresh just last week when I pulled it out of my sewing machine. Happily coffee, an iron, and a lot of black hand-stitching changed that. It was hard enough coming up with the idea for the quilt - I could only envisage remnants of dark red, purple, maroon and black stitched together, but I've already created something like six patchwork pieces with that colour scheme and I really wanted to branch out from it a bit. Finally it came to me - muted browns and greens with a touch of blue.
My challenge, in creating a bed for The Grimstones, was to make one that could fold up flat and fit inside the box that my puppets live in, but can be put together very quickly onstage, in front of the audience. I didn't want to have any backstage "preparation" for this show - I wanted the audience to see everything. A method of putting together a bed that would hold well, but wouldn't require any work with a screwdriver (too slow) was rather a pain to devise. My first attempt resulted in a very rickety bed which was no good at all. A builder who works for my dad had an idea though, and bought a few pieces including the magnetic clips that hold a cupboard closed, and attached them to my base. Ta da - the bed now holds beautifully.
I began by painting it black, but it just didn't look right. I remembered the paint job in one of the mansions in the movie Corpse Bride (I've been pausing these kinds of movies to look at details in the background and analyse how they were painted) - hues of grey. I glued cardboard curlicues onto the bed, and painted it with several layers of paint, ending with the hues of grey. Then I sanded back parts of it, and it looked just how I wanted.