Sunday, May 10, 2009

Claymation history exhibit

Coming to the Oregon historical society next week (Thursday the 14th) through September of 09. Will Vinton gave a talk to a couple hundred people on RSVP night and has presented lots of images, props and artwork that he's saved and tracked down from over the years. They're running ten small monitors and one huge monitor with various DVD animation compilations of films, TV specials and commercials as well as the creative process from the 70's through the 90's and there's fifteen sections with four thousand square feet of exhibit space. I was asked to come in for a couple of weeks to clean up and repair characters as well as "Recreate" my old workspace from the 1980's, so that's been quite a walk down memory lane. I'll try to post some pictures later but it's a pretty cool exhibit and something worth seeing in person at


Blogger jriggity said...


sooper cool dood!


3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, who's been screening my dreams...

7:31 PM  
Blogger Webster Colcord said...

Thanks for posting that, Tony - I think I'll check it out with my boys this weekend. -Webster

9:15 PM  
Blogger Tony Merrithew said...

Yes do that Webster, there might even be a clip of you working on one of the video clips but I'm not sure.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went yesterday, the exhibit was really cool. The standout was Tony's reconstituted work bench. Lots of Vinton secrets sitting there!

I'm trying to get clearance to come back and shoot some footage and take pictures for Animateclay.

One thing I had a question about, is what the rabbit in the zoot suit is made of- well, the zoot suit, not the rabbit. It has a really waxy look, definitely not clay. It cracked, whereas the other puppets didn't. If I had to guess, I would say Sculpey- but that would have made it a display maquette, as opposed to an animation puppet. Any idea what he was made out of or what caused him to crack?

12:45 PM  
Blogger Tony Merrithew said...

Yeah the zoot suit is made of colored sculpey. It was kind of a display maquette gone bad but still makes a good desk prop. It cracked because the armature is metal and it shifts and contracts at a different rate than the sculpey can tolerate.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, cool.

I noticed the aged clay in the case :) Distinguishable by its flatness and greater size. If you still have bars of that clay, I would really like to buy them from you. It would really help my latest short, which is the most demanding and complex thing I've ever attempted in clay.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Andrew Glazebrook said...

Cool stuff !!! :)

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick question-

Were those puppets that shiny and waxy looking when you animated them?

I want to "age" Van Aken clay because I already have a bunch of it, but don't know how to go about doing that. The consistency I really like is Pongo, I almost bought some from John Lemmon Films, but the shipping cost more than the clay itself. I'm going for a waxy look.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Tony Merrithew said...

The puppets weren't quite that shiny when animated. The sculpts get shiny as they sit around for a while and the oil comes back to the surface.

I don't know how you can age the clay unless it's already old. My supply is 20 year old clay so it's a bit shiny.

The only way I know of to make Van Aken clay look more like Pongo is to run a flame over it with one of those scientific bottles , alcohol torch.

6:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home