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2019-05-21

Having a Field Day! Character Design with Jan Ptassek

Imagination is the most important tool for the Cologne Sculptor – Jan Ptassek. With imagination he is able to create new worlds, tiny creatures, and gigantic sculptures. At the Feronia Festival visitors are cordially invited to attend his workshop “Character Design – Having a Field Day,” in which participants will be taken on a journey through their own imagination. From unusual models and materials participants will form their own original character heads and, at the same time, gain an exciting insight into the world of figure construction.

Jan Ptassek has worked as prop and stage designer on over 50 films

He began his studies of theater design in 1993 at the Baden State Theater in Karlsruhe. Three years later he completed his diploma exams in Berlin with top honors in Germany. After that, Ptassek worked as sculptor and stage designer at the Opera House in Bonn, as a freelance artist in Düsseldorf. In Ludwigsburg, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich he supervised numerous film projects. He also gathered experience from abroad in Jordan, Switzerland, New Zealand, and in the USA. In Los Angeles he studied at the Henry Alverez Wax Production, learning how to create intensely life-like wax figures.

In 2004 he opened his own atelier in Eitdorf near Cologne. Since this time he has worked for ad agencies, film productions, museums, architect firms and colleges. His work can be seen in more than 50 films. As prop and stage designer for feature films, he creates large sets, individual components, and special props.  Ptassek is most widely known for his set work on Fatih Akin’s Film “The Cut,” for which he created meter-high imitation stones in Jordan. For the film “12 Meters Without a Head” he designed an imposing skeleton. For “Paula” he sculpted a rendition of Rodin’s bronze sculpture “eternal idol,” and for “Pettersson and Findus” he created an entire backdrop of ice and snow.

Acclaimed Projects of this Prop and Stage Designer

Jan Ptassek has worked on numerous feature film productions. The most well-known productions include:

  • 2018 Babylon Berlin
  • 2016 Fog in August
  • 2015 Pettersson and Findus 2 – The Best Christmas Ever
  • 2015 Paula
  • 2015 The Lion Girl
  • 2013 Nymphomaniac
  • 2013 The Cut
  • 2008 Desolate Pines
  • 2006 Krabat
  • 2005 The Perfume – The Tale of a Murderer
  • 2000 The Shoe of the Manitu
  • 2000 Saturday
  • 1999 Anatomy

Ptassek has contracted sculptures for Bela B. Felsenheimer, Thomas Gottschalk, Roland Emmerich and ex-Kraftwerk musician Florian Schneider. In his studio he created large sculptures for “Art Under Construction,” diorama figures for the National Art Gallery in Bonn, as well as for the Ludwigsburg Institute of Animation. One of his largest sculptures was the Sixt-Giraffe-Installation at the Düsseldorf airport. Until 2016 he taught at the Media Design Academy in Düsseldorf. He has also taught at the international Film School in Cologne and at the German Opera on the Rhein, sharing his extensive knowledge and expertise on the subject of “sculpting.”

Workshop “Character Design – Having a Field Day”

At the Feronia Festival participants will be introduced to the field of figure building and character design. In this hands-on workshop, visitors will learn how to develop ideas for characters and figures from ordinary, every-day objects. After capturing these ideas in drawings, participants will then transpose their creations into clay.

Having a Field Day! Character Design with Jan Ptassek