“Crafted: The Art of Making is a web series project that sprung into my head at a film festival. I have a continually growing interest and enthusiasm for crafts and the idea of making things by hand. In particular, how I could capture this on screen in a novel way and bring it to an audience artistically. I want to create films that championed ‘makers’ and beautifully showed their skill, without it having to be described. This series of films features no interviews, no narration and no music. Purely observational in style, detailing the various stages in the creation of an object, whether it an art or craft.”
Jacob Hesmondhalgh, Filmmaker
About the artist: Jan Zalud, puppet maker
Prague, where I was born, is dotted with puppet shops and theatres. Puppets and puppet-making seem to be part of the culture, and maybe that helped me to choose my path. It’s hard to know what came first – my fascination with wood, and what can be made from it, or my love of puppets and all things moving, such as automata. Obviously, the combination of the two wins every time.
When I started making puppets for the theatre, a majority of them were marionettes operated by traditional string controls. Other styles I made have included glove and rod puppets, bunraku/table top style puppets, and even some shadow puppets. Although a large proportion of the theatre puppets and props I have made have been for the Little Angel Theatre, I have also done work for, among others, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Treasure Trove Puppet Company, Theatre Rites, Theatre de Complicite, PuppetCraft, Almeida Theatre, and Simon Buckley Puppets.
About the filmmaker: Jacob Hesmondhalgh
After graduating with Kingston University with a degree in filmmaking, I started working on film sets, initially as a runner, and developing my portfolio as and when I could. Now, I work with various businesses to create promotional films and online content as well as producing work for art galleries in the north of England.
These ‘Crafted’ films I weave into my spare time, but the reception from them has felt really positive. I’m hoping to finish one at least every couple of months. I’m currently working for Lakeland Arts and their MOLLI Gallery will be expanding and adding two of my films for permanent display, one of which came from the first of these Crafted projects, set on Oak Swill Basket Weaver, Owen Jones.