Meet Our New Protagonist: Ilona

Now that we’re finally wrapping up our eight-month-long production of The Girl and the Fox I can start leaking some more tantalizing details of just what the new film is all about. First off, I’d like you all to meet our main protagonist: Ilona [ee-loh-nah]. She is a nine-year-old girl who lives with her parents and siblings in a cold, lush forested region. Ilona takes after her mother in appearance, but after her father in fervor and tenacity. Having been brought up as the daughter of fur trappers, she is unafraid to brave the dangers of the wilderness alone. But as we’ll see, it can sometimes lead to trouble.

Here are the two main model sheets our animators and painters used during production:

Ilona’s character design was inspired by a number of sources, most notably Alysha’s concept designs for her fashion line this year, but also by the work of the Australian artist Ghost Patrol. The original idea and story was driven by this theme of children and woodland creatures in cold weather, with a flair of mystical qualities interwoven throughout. Her clothing and features had to be a perfect balance of an old-fashioned hunter/trader society while still making it apparent she was a girl, especially with that hood on for most the time. The tiny skirt helps a lot.

The design style also is an evolution of some of the elements used in Duck Heart Teslacoil, specifically the simplistic facial features, such as black dot eyes and single-line mouth. Much of this was adapted to keep the character design simple, since we needed to make it easier for a larger pool of animators to draw her. Still, Ilona can show a wide range of emotions and poses. She was certainly the most difficult character I’ve ever had to design for a film, but I’ve been happy with the results and hopefully our audiences will be, too.

A Little Recognition

Every year Purdue University has a juried exhibition Westwood, the President’s home. Out of the 34 pieces on display this year, three were mine. Last Tuesday I got to attend a reception where I took pictures. Pictured here is “Overlooked.” Also on display were the “I Like Bike” shirt and a weaving. I am incredibly appreciative that Purdue has such fantastic opportunities for young artists to display and sell their works. This is the first long-term exhibition that I’ve gotten to be a part of and hopefully there are many more to come.

Base14 Heart Everyone

Here at Base14 we like to celebrate the holidays just as much as everybody else, and what film better commemorates the spirit of of Valentine’s Day than our own Duck Heart Teslacoil? I mean, it’s got the heart right there in the title! So in honor of Valentine’s and to officially launch our newest merchandising subsidiary, Base14 Greetings, I am proud to present the official Duck Heart Teslacoil Valentine’s Day Greeting Card! Absolutely free! Just follow these six simple steps:

  1. Download the .pdf file.
  2. Print page no. 1 on a letter-sized sheet of paper.
  3. Print page no. 2 on the reverse side of the same sheet.
  4. Cut out the greeting card along the indicated crop lines.
  5. Fold the card along its spine.
  6. Give it to someone special!

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! :)

Kissy Kiss

I can’t help it, I have to give in to my feminine instincts every once in a while. So in honor of the holiday that celebrates everything girly and eeewy gewy cutesy in this world, I give you the ‘kissy kiss’ necklace. That’s right! What is more absolutely precious than these two little cherubicly plump figures smooching on a necklace? (Except for maybe this.) Either way, there’s no debate about it. This one’s a keeper.

All the charms were handmade and hand-painted by yours truly, as per usual. You might be asking, “Where can I buy it?” And your answer is: You can buy it in a beautiful dream world where I have enough time to mass produce these gorgeous pieces instead of memorizing the differences between various types of togas.

Patchwork Fields

There is something so absolutely charming about textiles. They seem the have endless possibilities and yet their tactile qualities make them so easy to relate to and enjoy. Yet as much as I admire the art form, I still have a lot to learn.

My most recent piece is an attempt to further familiarize myself with applique and embroidery. I have recently been fascinated with topography so I based this piece off of aerial views of Indiana. I hand dyed all of the fabrics to achieve color consistency and pattern diversity. I attempted to build up multiple layers through the combination of applique and reverse applique techniques. I accented the piece with charming emroidery stitches that reminisce of a sweet and simple rural life. (See closeup)

Our Favorite Furniture Company

If you want something done right sometimes you don’t (necessarily) have to do it yourself. Here at Base14 we are very luckily acquainted with a skilled craftsman who can turn all of our furniture dreams into a reality. John Kupferer (a family affair) specializes in one of a kind pieces. His work was “green” long before it became trendy, using antique and reclaimed wood whenever possible. The coffee table and futon below are my most personally beloved pieces (especially since I fleshed out the original designs.) Also pictured is the ingenious book/staircase that was designed for me my freshman year of college.

These are just a few of the pieces from this under-appreciated craftsman. Needless to say, his endless patience with my many crazy furniture ideas and his skill in turning my cardboard models and sparse dimensional diagrams into beautiful, functional pieces of furniture continues to amaze me.

Not to mention the fact that they all dissasemble for easy moving.


So, I bet you’ve been wondering why it’s been a while since my last post. The reason is because I’ve been working non-stop on this new series of handmade silk scarves. Each pattern is hand drawn through a gutta resist dye process. The color is then painstakingly painted on using a liquid dye. (The red scarf alone took over six hours to add color to.) This process is followed up with steaming, rinsing and finalizing.

The series was created for a Donald Hall exhibit that will open at Purdue next Thursday, November 5th. The scarves are in response to the line “beautiful terrible sentences unuttered” from his poem ‘Without.’ Like many, I know all too well what it feels like to lose a loved one to cancer. This series of scarves follows my reaction to Hall’s poem as I personally related it to recent events in my life.  Each one travels deeper into my interpretation.

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