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Ambacht in Beeld Opleidingsdagen 19 & 20 september 2024
Ambacht in Beeld Festival 21 & 22 september 2024
NDSM Loods, Amsterdam-Noord

| Sculpting with Worbla

Matt Jackson - Zaterdag 24 september & Zondag 25 september
NDSM Loods
3 uur
€ 75
Zaterdag 24 september
Zondag 25 september

Working with WORBLA


Learn how to use this non-toxic thermoplastic to make sculptures.


Puppet-making / doll-making is a tradition that dates back to the origins of artistic creation. People have have always been attracted to making reproductions of their family, community, or even deities. The objects are then used in performances, as decoration, or in ceremonies. The only thing to change over the years is the material, and even then many have remained in use for millenia.


Leather, paper, and wood are all wonderfully natural materials to work with, but sometimes the processes take too long to achieve your desired object. However, Worbla is a relatively new material that has revolutionized the sculpture world. It is very easy to work with basic tools and it creates a shape quickly that is durable. It is used widely now for props for film, masks, puppets, and is a new favorite for the Cosplay community (costumed role-play often portraying comic book characters).


Worbla might be a plastic, but it is certified non-toxic and even the smallest scraps can be melted or mixed with others to be reusable. A great option for the eco-minded artist.


In this masterclass you will learn to create a small puppet’s head (or mask) from your own design. We will start by sculpting a basic character from clay using simple wooden sculpting tools. Worbla comes in flat sheets and can be cut with scissors and a knife.  Using a heat gun (een heteluchtpistool) small sections of the material are gently warmed up until they soften and then can be pushed onto the clay surface creating a new skin.  While warm, it’s own adhesive is activated and it sticks it to itself immediately. Once cooled the Worbla can be removed from the clay base.


The final result is very light, very strong and easy to paint and add decorations. The same techniques can be applied to flat sculptures in relief that can become a piece of jewelry or armor for a costume.


Minimum age: 14 years, English or Dutch spoken


Matt Jackson is a professional puppet and mask-maker for film, theatre, and the fine arts with over 20 years of experience. He works on commission and also produces his own performances and exhibitions.   Select creations are used by the master puppeteer Kanroku in Osaka, Japan; the Ulrike Quade Company in Amsterdam, NL; La-Nef Théâtre in Paris, FR,  and many more.


His personal research is in the use of organic/non-toxic materials and methods. An awareness of sustainability in the arts also inspires him to work with “found-objects” that give an element of surprise to the design process.


Matt regularly hosts professional courses in fabrication at his studio in The Netherlands, and has also taught at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (Charleville-Mézières, France); Le Centre de la Marionnette ( Belgium), and the Central School of Speech and Drama (UK).



Worbla for the masterclasses is generously supplied by Art Supplies On Web.



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