During the Christmas holidays part of our Art team got together and made a research trip to the Kovachevtsi village to meet some real Kuker. We wanted to see how the masks and costumes are made, and to get some inspiration for the characters and artwork in The Golden Apple.
A lovely family hosted us and showed us a variety of bells, chans, hlopki, various masks and costumes. Even the cold day didn’t stop us – the temperature outside was -10 degrees, but we knew we were on a mission :-)
The bells were really impressive…
Everything is hand made, and each bell has a unique size, shape and sound. They are very heavy (the average weight of a single bell is about 6 kilograms) and require a thick leather belt and a strong person to wear them.
We were honoured to have our hosts wear the costumes and show us some of the rituals.
The animators and designers were absolutely fascinated and took tons of reference photos, videos and sketches. They are using the materials to develop new characters, get inspired for new locations and to further enrich the fantasy world of The Golden Apple.
Special thanks to our guides and lovely hosts – Mitko and Eli (not to be mistaken with the Mitkos and Elis from our own team :-) )