Alas! Poor Yorick…. I made him myself, Horatio…

Hello, my name is Isabelle, and in case you’re wondering who I am……..I am a summer co-op student contributing my creativity, artistic skill, and passion to this year’s summer camp.

That’s right, folks! Just like the foils, Hamlet’s crown, and Old Hamlet’s armor, Yorick was handmade by a crafty, creative, and artistic member of the Hamlet summer camp production team. Of course Yorick couldn’t have been made without the inspiration from the outstanding actors of the show, and the supportive SIA staff. Just in case anybody here is curious, here is the process on how Yorick was made.

First off, like all handmade projects from scratch, Yorick started off as nothing but a roll of wire. The wire is to be bent, shaped, and put together into a frame to give the skull its shape. It was a painful process for the hands, as it is required to precisely bend the hard, thick, and pointy wire into the desired shape. Furthermore, the wire is also slippery and hard to tie in place. However, with the help of masking tape and some strands of thin wire, the wire is easily held together to keep its shape. This is an important process, as the wire frame needs to be as accurate as possible for canvas cloth to lay over it smoothly. The details such as the skull’s eyes and nose holes also need to be clearly marked out, so it would show up clearly when the cloth gets draped over it.


Isabelle & Yorick, phase 1 - wire

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 1 – wire


Next off, as most of you may have already guessed….it’s time to give Yorick some “flesh” (well….the wire acts as his bones…). A sheet of artists’ canvas is to be draped over the frame to make it look like a skull. Although this may sound easy….it really isn’t…. Since the artists’ canvas is hard and stiff, it is hard to get it to lie smoothly over the frame, therefore it must be accurately cut into the shapes of each gap to follow the shape of the frame. Afterwards, the pieces cut out are then to be hot glued onto the frame to cover up all the holes (except for the eyes and nose, of course!)


Isabelle & Yorick, phase 2 - canvas

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 2 – canvas


Now that Yorick has the shape and appearance of a realistic skull….he is ready to star in the famous graveyard scene. No wait! A skull that has been buried in the dirt for several years, obviously doesn’t look that clean and perfect. It’s a little too perfect… it’s time to destroy it a bit……….well…not actually destroying the hard work put in to it, but to define it. So some acrylic paint is used to paint on the skull to give it a dirty and aged look like it has truly been living in the dirt for many years. Last but not least, Yorick needs teeth, so we took beads from a necklace that looks like teeth, painted them, and glued them to his mouth. A fun fact about this is that we have debated on whether Yorick should have teeth or not, because hygiene was poor during Shakespeare times. Laboni jokingly suggested that Yorick must have had dentures, but Michael said that there were no dentures during that time. Then I suggested that Yorick must have starved to death after he lost all his teeth. So, I went with a little bit of both ideas. I decided to give Yorick some teeth, but with a few missing to show his aging.


Isabelle & Yorick, phase 3 - paint...and teeth!

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 3 – paint…and teeth!


And…..finally……Yorick is done and ready to star in the famous graveyard scene along with the talented actors of the teen camp.

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