The Goblins of Labyrinth Celebrate the Birthday of Jim Henson
by Jeff Brown for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)
Inspiration Piece: Labyrinth (film)
Inspiration Artist: Jim Henson
My project was built over the course of a few months using some of every material provided. Many different techniques and tools were used.
Main Stage - The main stage is glued cardboard and rigid canvas board. Some pieces of the wood blocks were glued to the bottom as supports. The frame image from the instruction booklet was cut and glued to the front. The walls are planks of wood that were roughly chiseled to get the stone texture, then cut to size and glued. The heads and hands holding the shelves are sculpted chavant while the shelves themselves are cardboard glued to foam. The flagpoles were sanded into shape from the wooden dowels using a Dremel. The flagpole base is a piece of wood. The flag is dyed canvas sanded to look worn and held on by dyed rope. The candles are rolled cardboard with hot glue melted down the sides. The wick is a piece of wire. The candle holders are small pieces of wood, cardboard, wire, and a halved plastic pellet on the bottom. The benches on either side are cardboard and rigid canvas board glued to wooden blocks. The clock frame is layers of cardboard. The numbers are wire bent with pliers and glued on. The movable hands are Sculpy held on by a piece of wire with a plastic pellet on the end.
Music Box - The drum and arms that move the hammers are cardboard. The patches are cut wood planks. The rust is glued sawdust. The drum rotates on a piece of wire. The rivets on the drum and base are halved plastic pellets. The base is cut plywood held by wooden brackets cut from a wood block. The crank is wooden dowels with holes through the middle on wire. The handle is wood sanded to shape using a Dremel, and the end cap for the handle is a piece from the top of the glue bottle and cardboard. The hammers are wire bent into a complex system with balls of Sculpy baked on the ends. The keys are cut and shaped from hardwood. Each one was sanded to perfection and tuned to the perfect key using a computer program. They rest loosely on strips of card board on plywood slats, held in place by loose fitting pieces of wire that sit in holes on the underside of the keys.
Goblins - All goblins have wire armatures and some have foam bodies. Their heads are sculpted chavant or Sculpy. Their hands are Sculpy. All their sleeves, pant legs, and shoes are made from shredded paper glued together. Their clothes are dyed and glued canvas. The helmets are strips of paper coated in glued and formed around a ball shape and left to dry like Papier Mâché. Rivets are halved plastic pellets. Hair is made from dyed rope. Party hats are cardboard with rope or canvas string.
Blue Armor Goblin - His helmet decoration is pieces of rope. The cup he's holding is a small piece of wooden dowel with a hole drilled down the center. His armor is cut pieces of glue bottle with halved plastic pellets for rivets. The barrel he's sitting on is two cut planks of wood. They were wrapped around a cylinder then soaked in water to soften. Rubber bands were slowly added to taper the ends, then held and secured with wire. The bands are cardboard and the top is a circle of cut wood.
Large Spear-wielding Goblin - The horns on his helmet are sanded wooden dowels attached with wire and glue. His shoulder pad armor is the top of the glue bottle with halved plastic pellets glued to it. His skull knee and wrist decorations are Sculpy. His belt is cardboard and the armor plates dangling from it are pieces of glue bottle held by rings of wire. His spear and shaft are a sanded wooden dowel. The spear head is attached with dyed rope and strips of dyed fabric.
Crazy Sword-wielding Goblin - His elbow and knee armor are Sculpy. His chain-mail armor is actual chain-mail created by painstakingly attaching rings of bent and cut wire in a precise pattern. His sword handle is Sculpy and the blade is wood.
Party Horn Goblin - The horns on his helmet are strips of paper. His shoulder and back armor are pieces of glue bottle. His party horn is Sculpy and the mouthpiece is a piece of wood and a strip of paper.
Hungry Small Goblin - The horn on his helmet is melted down and shaped plastic pellets.
Small Rope Hanging Goblin - The small horns on his helmet are wire and the 'rope' he's hanging from is a piece of painted wire.
Accessories -The cake is foam wrapped cardboard with hot glue melted down the sides to look like frosting. The candle is rope twisted and glued around a piece of wire. The table is cut pieces of wood and the handle on the drawer is a ring of wire. The bucket is slats of wood glued around a circle of wood. The rings around it are cardboard with halved plastic pellets. The handle is a piece of wire and a sanded piece of wooden dowel with a hole through the center. The metal cup/stein is cardboard and the handle is wire with rope wrapped around it. The long sword is wood with a cardboard and paper strip handle. The kitchen knife is pieces of wood. The small shiv is wood with a wire and dyed canvas handle. The eye lichen is made from plastic pellets on the ends of wire, covered in chavant. The mossy texture was created by gluing tiny pieces of cut up rope to the whole thing.
In 1990, the goblins from Labyrinth were quite distraught over the passing of their creator, Jim Henson. Instead of mourning the loss of such a great talent, they got to work building a grand music machine. Every year, without fail, on September 24th, they thrown a party to celebrate the life of a brilliant and talented man. They have a raucous good time and at 9:24, they turn the crank on their masterful music player to wish Jim another happy birthday. I like to think he's listening...