K is for.....Kachinaphant!

Hurrah! Less than a week into the Kickstarter campaign for the Elephabet Book, and I'm thrilled to be at 40% of the way towards my initial publishing goal!!

Today I'll start to introduce some of the characters I've already made that starred in my Kickstarter video. First, I brainstormed about possible K words to use. I want the book to be educational, fun, reflect my love of words, and I really enjoyed the explorations I did on each letter. Here's the top contenders I wrote in my notebook, just for fun.
As you can see, Kachinaphant was the one I decided would be best for the letter K.

I decided that I will make at least two elephants for every letter of the alphabet. This is, in part, because the stop action video will be more fun if there's a few examples for each word. It's also because I each letter takes some research and/or imagination and it's hard to limit it to just one. Even if every one doesn't make it into the book or the animation, it will be available for sale on my Etsy site later on.

The portmanteau Kachinaphant was coined for the amazing dolls created by Native American artisans--Kachina dolls. I found a fantastic book at my local Library that focuses on dolls in the Hopi tradition and found several sources of inspiration. Reading about the traditional figures within this genre directed me towards a few of my favorite characters.

The Hano Clown.

This is a character who has been reinterpreted in many different ways, but always wearing black and white stripes, and frequently is seen eating watermelon. He is one of many clown, jester or trickster characters, and sometimes goes by the name Koshare or Koyaala.

I decided to call this guy Hanophant.

Another figure that appealed to me was the corn dancer.

And I also loved the deer.

This is the largest of all the figures I've done in this series--stands about 8 inches high. I expect this piece will be $150, and the others will be slightly less. These were definitely some of the more time consuming figures I've made so far, but also the most fun with all their history, colors, and accoutrement. It also gave me the idea to put an index in the back of my book that will explain the origin of all the words and hopefully inspire people to learn more about each one. I would have loved to keep making Kachinaphants, in fact, but it was time to move on--there's 25 more letters to do! I'll come back in a few days and tell you about the letter T, which is for Topiariphant!

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