Designing the Scroll

Tips for Designing the Scroll

If the crankie will be performed to a live audience, I try to keep in mind, that person in the last row.  An 18" high screen is not that big, so I try to make the images large and salient so that the people will be able to recognize what the image is.  It doesn't mean that you can't have  detail, but the images should be recognizable from a good distance.

I use Google images A LOT.  Not only for examples of images, but to get ideas for scenes.

Video Replay and Getting Feedback

VIDEO REPLAY - While I am working on a scroll, I load it into the crankie box and film it.  If you are still working with a big roll of material at one end of the scroll, then this might not be possible until you cut it from the roll.

Watching it on film helps you take a step back and get a sense of what the audience will see. It might also give you other ideas for the images on the scroll or changes you would like to make.

GETTING FEEDBACK - I like to have a few people watch the crankie to get their honest feedback before I perform.  Did they laugh in the right place?  What did they respond to?  What did they like best?  Did they not understand/recognize any of the images/parts of the story?  Do they have ideas/suggestions?  I find all of this feedback invaluable.

A WORK IN PROGRESS - I consider all the scrolls I have made to be works in progress. I may go back to a scroll that I performed years ago and make some changes and additions before I perform it again.  My skills are evolving and I do enjoy editing the scrolls. It's like revisiting an old friend. 🙂

Here are some examples of planning sketches from various artists.

This sketch was shared by Katherine Fahey, papercut crankie artist from Baltimore. This is an idea sketch for her crankie "Pickett's Charge"
This story board was shared by Dejah Leger, paper cut artist from Seattle.
This cute miniature was the planning sketch for a crankie by Valeska Populoh. The full size crankie was performed at the Baltimore Crankie Festival in Jan. of 2015.
I use journals, to capture my ideas and keep them in one place. In this case, the scroll is accompanying a Scottish Gaelic song. I have the translation taped in the journal and ideas sketched and written beside the verses. When it came to REALLY planning, I taped some scraps of paper together and did more sketching and writing on the long strip.

This page was created in 2014, updated 2019. Sue Truman ❤