For this month’s craft spot we were inspired by the subjects of acclaimed author and artist Jeannie Baker’s new book Circle. Circle follows the journey of the Bar-tailed Godwit bird, an at-risk species of shorebird that undertakes the longest unbroken migration of any animal, flying from their breeding grounds in Alaska to Australia and New Zealand.
Here we’ve created a paper craft zoetrope of flying Godwit birds. Originally developed as a simple animation toy in the 19th century, the zoetrope relies on the persistence of vision to create the illusion of movement, making it perfect to display these beautiful creatures on their journey “flying on and on, for nine nights and nine days, flying without rest” ( Jeannie Baker, Circle).
- 2 copies of our zoetrope template (blank template or template with illustration)
- 1 cd lid (alternatively you could use a cd/dvd at the top and bottom of your zoetrope to create the same shape)
- Double sided sticky tape
- Some oil pastels or other decorative medium
- A pencil and a pen
Recommended Ages: 7 and up
Cut out your zoetrope template and fold along the dotted lines
Use double sided tape to fasten the folded template together. Tape both pieces of the template together in the middle.
If you want to illustrate your own bird, draw or trace the 10 flight movements onto small pieces of paper. The pieces of paper should be about the same combined length and height as the blank animation reel on your zoetrope template. Outline figures in a pen or dark pencil so that they are easy to see when spinning the zoetrope.
Paste the figures onto the template in sequence and colour in the background of your animation. Keep the application of colours simple so that it will not distract from the movement of the bird when spinning.
Tape your zoetrope template inside the cd case.
Cut 2 lengths of string approx. 40cm long. Fold them in half and tie them together at the fold. Stick the ends evenly around the sides of the cd case to create a mobile/spinner for your zoetrope.
And there you have it, your very own simple animation device.
Watch through the slits spinning right and left, as the bird flies on and on…for nine days, and nine nights, flying without rest…