A Blanck Canvas is an Australian creative multi-disciplinary arts manufacturing company. From big ideas we design, build, and perform large-scale illuminated works for major events, theatre, and public spaces.
Our expertise in producing highly specialised large-scale creature puppets and illuminated installations, has seen us regarded as Australia’s leading puppetry designers, renowned for our exceptional designs, quality, and product useability.
We work with clients of any nature, from multinationals to local start-ups. Whatever it may be, if you can imagine it, we can create it!
The Playground is our large community bayside performance space, operating from its beautiful heritage-listed location within Seaworks Maritime Precinct.
Launched in 2020, the space acts as a community arts hub for performers, puppeteers, musicians, and locals to immerse themselves into A Blanck Canvas’ world. At The Playground, we hold all-ages puppet workshops, large-scale theatrical performances, community events and a hire-able blank slate for your own creative offerings.
If you are interested in hiring The Playground for an up coming workshop, theatre space, or just somewhere to rehearse in with all the bells and whistles, enquire here!
A Blanck Canvas was established in 2013 by award-winning multi-disciplinary artist and creative-genius Joe Blanck.
From street artist to scenic artist, to creature designer and Creative Director of a globally recognised company, Joe has over twenty years of industry experience. He spent six years at Creature Technology Company on productions such as Walking with Dinosaurs, How to Train Your Dragon, and KING KONG before founding A Blanck Canvas and A Blanck Canvas Productions.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, his passion for fusing traditional puppetry methods and blending them with cutting edge technology and larger than life exhibits, gives audiences around the world the opportunity to expand their imagination and experience interactive and magical works.
Joe leads a team made up of Australia’s most skilled and respected industry creatives. Builders, engineers, SFX professionals, costume designers, sculptors, graphic designers, and speciality performers.
See our team here.
Without sounding boastful, we can pretty much create anything you can dream of- this is what drives and excites us! As an extremely creative team coming from every walk of life, we see beauty in all our clients’ visions, whether they be big, and lavish, and vivid, to something smaller, and softer, or mysterious.
We don’t work with creative constraints. There is always room for more than one style of art, which is why we are lucky enough to persistently adapt in making new and unique styles of works. Whatever you can imagine, we will always deliver amazing results.
Our capabilities include, but are not limited to:
- Design and Consultation, including Digital concepts
- Engineering design consultations
- Scalable puppets (small to large-scale)
- Animatronic puppets
- Chassis based puppets
- Inflatable puppets or suit puppets
- Suit puppets
- Marionette style puppets
- Rod puppets
- 3D printed puppets
- Costumes and prosthetics
- Roving performances
- Stage sets & props
- Public installations
- Inflatable installations
- Robotics and coding
- Custom soundscapes
- Programmable lighting designs. Projection, pixels, etc
- Facial recognition exhibits
- Scenic painting
- Virtual Reality Design
- Venue fit outs
We work with all types of mediums such as foams, metals, wood, fabrics, plastics, electronics, mechanisms, paints, and vinyls. We are continuously researching and testing new materials, finishes and technologies that can be applied to make your project cutting edge.
First things first, its helpful to share with us some references, whether that be a sketch, a picture, a photograph, or video, and provide us with a small brief on the project in mind.
What will it be used for? What do you want it to be able to do? Where is it going to be located or performed? Are there any technical requirements?
From here we can work to create something that fits withing your budget and deadline.
If you aren’t too sure about what you want, that is fine too! Being the imaginative creatures we are, we can work with you to design and create a stellar concept.
This a tough one to answer, as nothing we create is a one-size-fits-all type of scenario.
We are however, a one stop shop! Our workshops and studios have pretty much everything needed to create the works and capabilities mentioned above. This means from the early stages our Project Managers can create a timeline (and a stick to it) and coordinate with our in-house specialists to execute the projects within your deadline.
For example- A smaller suit puppet like Rainbowcorn may take anywhere from 4-12 weeks depending on materials used, while something larger and more complex that involves lighting and intricate mechanisms like the Guardian, may take anywhere from 10-18 weeks.
It is important to keep in mind our building times largely vary depending on what materials and finishes are used. We are flexible and are always happy to work within difficult time restraints, however we prefer to have at least a few weeks to design and finalise your project before the building stage starts.
We work with a collaborative approach and like to keep you updated throughout the process of any build, including sending samples and sharing progress photos or videos of what is happening behind the scenes so you can watch the works come to life.
First up, we utilise a range of programs to develop visualisations and concept designs. This may include the use of Adobe suites, Z Brush, Solid Works, Tilt Brush, and Cinema 4D. We then 3D print a scaled down version of the design to review, and begin to create protypes for testing, which will help you understand the overall scale and capabilities of the subject. Keep in mind, during this phase we focus on designing quality works that are fit for purpose, have longevity and are ergonomically user-friendly. If the subject is based on a creature, we will also spend time studying their movements, researching deeper into the way their skeletons and joints move.
During the design and construction phase we will work closely with you to ensure the brief is on track and to incorporate mutually agreed innovations that may evolve or emerge during the design or build. We collaborate with our in-house departments to harmoniously integrate and achieve milestones, while performing ongoing testing and custom development of the works.
Lastly, we will hand over the works for you to show off in all their glory! The type of handover looks different for everyone, depending on your project’s requirements. We can provide puppeteers, stage managers, lighting specialists or minders for performances, or we can train preferred staff of your own in puppet maintenance and performance.
We will also provide you with construction methodology if necessary, such as engineering certificates, and other technical requirements. For most projects we will provide you with a complete Handbook, covering the basics, maintenance how-to’s, electronics guides, and any other relevant information.
We have high experience in packing and shipping air and sea freight, as well as domestic truck transportation, often making custom-made puppet stands, and crates for storage or logistics solutions.
Again, this is a complicated question to answer, and that answer will largely fluctuate depending on what materials and finishes are used, and the scale and complexities of the project.
We employ many creatives and strongly support the Australian arts ecosystem by paying our staff a fair and competitive rate. We also use local suppliers and outsource to local creatives if the project requires it. We adhere to Australian standards, and though you may get works built quick-and-cheap overseas, know that we employ the best of the best, and by having the best gives you the kind of premium service you won’t find anywhere else!
Get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to guide you through your project whatever your budget.
Our primary workshop is in Coburg, a creative and vibrant metropolis located in Melbourne, Australia. We are about a 20-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD, as well as a 20-minute drive to Melbourne’s primary Airport.
Our large community bay-side performance space; The Playground is located at Seaworks Maritime Precinct.
Absolutely and yes! We regularly work with international clients and have completed many major new projects for clients all over the world, as well as sending over our existing puppets to perform or hire.
Modern technology makes it easy to work together over long distances and we have trusted shipping and freight partners we regularly use.
We can send a team overseas to bump in, oversee, or train locals, as well as perform specific works.
Anything is possible!
We sure do! We have a minimum 4-call for any given performance. Our fees include performance and rehearsals (if necessary), bump in and out, performance staff, admin, insurances, and hire fees.
We will work with you to tailor the experience you envision, and can provide performers, puppeteers, minders, stage managers, security, sound and lighting technicians and COVID marshals.
View what puppets are available for hire here.
For all other hire enquires please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst we already have our core team, we are always looking for talented creatives!
Please forward your CV with relevant experience to email@example.com