Building with parts of plants, leftover technologies, and mechanical tidbits, stop-motion animator Ainslie Henderson creates unique puppets that take on a life of their own in his work. This video short, Stems, is a bittersweet celebration of their personification, set to music by Poppy Ackroyd. “Everything they do is their swan song” before they go back to being inanimate objects. Via Vimeo:

“I take my time,” says Henderson, who is then quick to point out that the design of the puppets is every bit as important as the way in which they’re ultimately animated. “They should have a kind of ‘aliveness’ even before they move, that way you don’t have to do terribly much in the animating to bring them to life.” When asked if he ever gets attached to his creations, Henderson’s response is perhaps unsurprising: “I cherish them. Even the ugly, or half finished ones get a place on the shelf in my studio. They’re like this weird, constantly growing little family who stare out at me from the windowsill as I’m working.”

Next: Laika’s Head of Puppetry explains how stop motion puppets are made, a few Tinker Friday projects, and Bottle by Kirsten Lepore.

Plus: Ricky Syers and his handmade marionette of Doris Diether and puppets created by Barnaby Dixon.

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