AndyToad

Altered State

Posted in mask, process, Studio by andytoad on June 2, 2015

A set of fantastic Khōn dance masks recently came through my studio.

altered masks

altered masks

I was asked to alter the masks so they could be used in the new stage musical Waterfall which is based on the Thai novel Behind the Painting by Sriburapha.

The masks, from Bangkok, Thailand,  were quite small and had to be enlarged to fit bigger heads. Vision was also difficult in the originals so I lowered the sight lines to the mouths and added mesh to improve vision. It was quite inspiring to explore these masks up close and learn about how they were created. The four originals I received were likely created for rituals and placement on altars – probably never meant to be worn. Nowadays these masks are manufactured and sold to tourists but I’ll admit that I felt the pang of guilt , Western guilt, as I altered these traditional objects from another culture.

original masks

original masks

alteration plan

alteration plan

photo from the book - Khōn Mask: Thailand's Heritage

“The altar is set for the Krob Phra Pirarp rite by H.M. the King” photo from the book – Khōn Mask: Thailand’s Heritage

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Holiday with Cthulhu

Posted in andytoad, mask, photography by andytoad on December 24, 2013

Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s brilliance and his most charming creation Cthulhu – Here is a series of photos created with my friend Adam for the holidays.

Yuletude Greetings from the Elder Things and Deep Ones!

Eggnog

Eggnog

 

Group Action

Group Action

 

Mistletoe

Mistletoe

 

 

 

 

©

Posted in andytoad, mask by andytoad on November 27, 2013
© AndyToad

© AndyToad

Cryptid Miscellanea

Posted in andytoad, costume, drawing, mask, NYC by andytoad on August 22, 2013

Earlier this summer I was asked by illustrator Bil Donavan to take part in a mythology themed drawing night at the Society of Illustrators.  It sounded like fun so I gathered together some of the creature costumes that I’ve created over the past few years and took them to over to the Society. Working together with three models I created a motley crew of fantastic beings that were then drawn by the illustrators in attendance.  Such fun! It was such a great experience to see my designs come to life and be rendered in pen, ink, watercolor…  – with such amazing illustrative talent!  Below are a few images that were graciously shared with me by the artists.

Illustration by Clifford Faust

Illustration by Clifford Faust

 

Illustration by Clifford Faust

Illustration by Clifford Faust

 

Illustration by Joan Chiverton

Illustration by Joan Chiverton

 

Illustration by Clifford Faust

Illustration by Clifford Faust

 

Illustration by Stefano Imbert

Illustration by Stefano Imbert

 

Illustration by Clifford Faust

Illustration by Clifford Faust

 

Illustration by Joan Chiverton

Illustration by Joan Chiverton

 

Illustration by Joan Chiverton

Illustration by Joan Chiverton

 

Illustration by Clifford Faust

Illustration by Clifford Faust

 

The Minotaur modeling    photo: Bil Donavan

The Minotaur modeling    photo: Bil Donavan

 

Illustration by Stefano Imbert

Illustration by Stefano Imbert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Man From the Sea

Posted in andytoad, collaboration, costume, mask, performance by andytoad on August 15, 2013

Photographs of a costume recently made with Baxton Alexander.

Costume and photography collaboration with Baxton Alexander

It came from the deep to watch the sun set       photo: Andytoad

Shells skirt and mask

Shell skirt and mask       photo:Andytoad

Old Man From the Sea Mask

mask detail       photo: Andytoad

The Stealing of the Kine

Posted in costume, dance, mask, performance by andytoad on February 2, 2013

Last week in Philadelphia, in the Conwell Dance Theater at Temple University, Wolf-in-Skins (a dance-opera I have been designing with co-creators Christopher Williams and Gregory Spears) had it’s avant-premiere showing of act one. My costume designs for the opera’s supernatural characters made their first appearance on stage. Many thanks to an amazingly gifted cast of dancers and singers who transformed and transported us to netherworld realms.

I had my camera with me during the dress rehearsal. Here are some photos of my costume designs for the race of the “Fay.”

Gwrgi, Bleiddwen, Gwyddrud and Gwydden (Matthew Flatley, Kira Blazek, Jordan Isadore and Steven Zarzecki)

Gwrgi, Bleiddwen, Gwyddrud and Gwydden (Matthew Flatley, Kira Blazek, Jordan Isadore and Steven Zarzecki) _  photo: AndyToad

Llaethwen, Llaethenwen and Maiddwen (Chelsea Retzloff, Caitlin Scranton and Andrew Champlin)

Llaethwen, Llaethenwen and Maiddwen (Chelsea Retzloff, Caitlin Scranton and Andrew Champlin) _  photo: AndyToad

A pack of wolves and hounds

A pack of wolves and hounds _ photo: AndyToad

See more photos here.

 As for the future of Wolf-in-Skins, we will continue working on its second act this year, and the complete dance-opera is slated for debut in New York City in 2014. More info as it develops

Behind the Scenes

Posted in costume, dance, mask, process by andytoad on January 13, 2013
Detail from a fitting. Photo Andytoad

Edward in a fitting. _  Photo: AndyToad

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Happy Halloween Hurricane

Posted in 5 minute photo, andytoad, mask, photography by andytoad on October 31, 2012

Rebekah as a Death Bug  _  Photo: AndyToad

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Lupine and Canine

Posted in costume, mask, process, Studio by andytoad on August 28, 2012

In the studio sculpting wolves and hounds for “Wolf-in-Skins.” _  photo: AndyToad

Watermill Center Residency with Christopher Williams

Posted in andytoad, costume, dance, mask by andytoad on July 5, 2012

Watermill Center   _   photo: Gregory Spears

Recently I returned from a week long stay at The Watermill Center where I was in residence with Christopher Williams and Gregory Spears working on our upcoming “dance-opera” Wolf-in-Skins. During our time there we worked to further develop the choreography, music, and designs for Wolf-in-Skins. Watermill provided an enriching experience, an awesome opportunity to be amongst my collaborators for an extended amount of time and to focus on our work. In an amazing space. (Thank you Watermill!)

The Knee at Watermill Center   _   photo: Gregory Spears

In my studio space at Watermill  _   photo: Gregory Spears

The Watermill Center’s large collection of world masks, objects and photographs offered me much inspiration as did exploring the library’s vast book collection. I spent the majority of my time at the center sketching, planning and refining the costume designs for the race of The Fay and The Hounds of The Fay (both played by dancers), and the Ellyllon (played by opera singers).

Friends in my studio  _   photos: AndyToad

The sacrifice totems  _   photos: AndyToad

Some sketches by AndyToad

Ellyllon shapes by AndyToad

In conceptualizing the costume design Christopher and I have set some guidelines for the look of these primordial characters. The Fay come from a time of mystery and elegant magical craft whose history has trickled down to us through myth. The time of the Fay roughly corresponds to our geological time period known as the Stone Age.

The Ellyllon are very ancient elemental entities, older than The Fay. The Ellyllon are the storytellers, the voices guiding the narrative. They are Shapes and shadows in the process of forming and un-forming.

The aforementioned races exist in a time prior to human mastery of fabric and tailoring. The Fay and Ellyllon “garments” are more hide and skin-like – shells, vegetation, skin, bone, teeth, amber… organic and manifested in unknown ways.

Costume Textures   _   photo: AndToad

Hound mask in progress  _   photo: AndyToad

Christopher with dancers Matthew Flatley and Caitlin Scranton  _   photo: AndyToad

Wolf-in-Skins in progress showing  _   photo: Jake Schlichting

Wolf-in-Skins in progress showing  _   photo: Jake Schlichting

Observing a hound in progress  _   photo: Jake Schlichting

Hound in progress  _   photo: Jake Schlichting