Comments, Questions, Contact

I hope you enjoyed watching the crankies. I would love to hear from you. If you have a question, or if you have a story to tell, leave a comment here. Or, you can send an email to me: stepdancesue at gmail dot com Find The Crankie Factory on Facebook and You Tube. Follow me on Twitter suetruman1 And by all means MAKE A CRANKIE!

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Written by Sue Truman on Feb. 7, 2017
Tii MClane: Hello and that you so much for telling us about your Aunt and the Crankie she made. If you find it, could you take a few pictures or even a video? I am very interested to know more about it and when it was made. Thanks again and hope to hear back! Sue
Written by Tii MCLANE on Feb. 7, 2017
Hi Sue,
I got your website info from Elizabeth. I had an aunt who was into crankies. She made one in particular that was pretty cool... it was her story of going to Scotland to explore her heritage and wondering about her great grandmother. I remember her doing it once for our family. It lies in an cool oldwooden table/bed, but if I remember right she took it out to hold up as she and a helper rolled it out. She was once upon a time a collector of Scottish songs, then later became a visual artist doing found-object sculptures (see photo). She died in 2008 and the last I saw of the crankie we had put it up in an attic room of the family house. I think I will go look for it!!
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Written by Aude Rose on Jan. 12, 2017
Hi Sue,
What a nice, prompt and detailed answer ! Thanks, it helps a lot.
Could you tell me what is the best material (paper ? and if it is, which one ?) to make the scroll. And also which pencil or paint or ink may I use and for what effect (I hope my english is not too bad !).
When you say that making the scroll takes you a couple of month, could you be more precise and tell me how many hours do you spend by day on that work ?

Have a nice day and a playfull crankie time !
Aude
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Written by Sue Truman on Jan. 5, 2017
Aude Rose,

Hello and thank you for your message!
To answer your first question which I believe is 'how long does it take to make the crankie box?' I would say if you have the wood, screws, dowels, hardware all gathered up, AND if you have access to power tools (saw and drill) AND if you have experience making/using these things, then maybe 2 or 3 hours.

However, my husband, who had made six (!) crankie boxes for me over the years, says that 2-3 hours is optimistic. The devil is in the details he says! Plan on more time than that since it's your first box.

If it is not working to make your own box, you could buy a box from my good friend Louis Leger. Google "crankie kit Etsy"

Finally, if you were asking how long it takes to make the scroll (people always ask me that) it takes me at least a couple months, sometimes longer. And then I usually add in more detail after it has been performed once or twice.

Best of luck to you and let me know if you have more questions.
Written by Aude Rose on Jan. 4, 2017
By the way, do you know the name of a crankie box in french ? Thanks in advance, Aude
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Written by Aude Rose on Jan. 4, 2017
Hi,
I would like to make my first crankie. Please let me know how much time it takes to make that one http://www.thecrankiefactory.com/348971243
and also how much does it cost ?
I like to take time to make beautiful things but I would like to have my first crankie ready for my next storytelling in early march...
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Written by Sue Truman on Sep. 7, 2016
Mike Hoyt - Thank you for sending the link to see your crankie!! How long was the scroll and what materials did you use? It's really cool!
Written by Mike Hoyt on Sep. 6, 2016
Wonderful site Sue! as a visual artist that has been hanging out on the fringe of the puppetry world, it is great to see a broad collection of crankie examples. A decade ago I was inspired to make some crankies to archive travel to Korea. I apologize for the poor quality, but here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3OJmYeaKSA Thanks for providing this great resource!
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Written by Zachary Handler on Aug. 10, 2016
I sure will! Thank you so much!!
Written by Sue Truman on Aug. 3, 2016
Zachary Handler, Hello! and thank you for your message. Yes, I was at the Baltimore Crankie Fest in Jan. of 2016. It was pure magic. I was the lady cranking the tiny crankies in the attic of the doll house crankie! I still feel inspired by that visit to Baltimore. You are lucky to live there, tons of great crankie talent in that town.
Anna and Elizabeth coordinated the crankie fest and I would assume they will do the same for 2017. They are on tour right now in the UK. Visit their website annaandelizabeth.com and send them an email when they are back home. Good luck with your first crankie!
Written by Zachary Handler on Aug. 3, 2016
Hello Sue!

My name is Zachary Handler, I'm a visual artist and photographer here in Baltimore, MD. I've been mesmerized by the joy and magic of the Crankie since attending the Watermelon Park Festival a few years ago and seeing Anna & Elizabeth perform there on stage. I then had the absolute pleasure of attending the Crankie Fest earlier this year and was just blown away! SO my father and I are interested in submitting a collaborative Crankie we're working on together to be considered for this year's Crankie Fest 2017. How might we go about that process? It will be wonderful to see your reply soon> Thank you so much for your time and consideration!
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Written by Sue Truman on Jun. 23, 2016
Robert Mouland - Thank you for posting the message. No worries! We will get this figured out! I looked at your website, you do a lot of cool things and crankies will be a great compliment to what you do. I have had a lot of crankie disasters in my time, I could write a book! I will send an email to you, but for the benefit of all, here are some things to consider:

PAPER TEARING - Yes, paper is fragile. Dejah Leger uses paper, glues images to it, then she covers the front with vertical strips of clear contact paper. That not only keeps it from tearing, but it keeps the glued images on.
Another option is using Tyvek. It won't tear and it has some body to it. It stands right up and behaves itself when it is being cranked. But it is more expensive.

SCROLL GETTING CAUGHT - Not sure if you were using one continuous piece of paper or if you were taping pieces together? If the latter, then tape the seam on both sides of the scroll so that when it goes past the tension rod, it doesn't catch.

SCROLL CREEPING UP OR DOWN - Yes, I still struggle with this. I have a round disk on the bottom of the spindles. This gives the scroll a place to rest. If I am cranking, I sit behind the box while someone is narrating, singing, etc. If I see the scroll traveling up, I can release the tension for a second and let the scroll "fall back down". If gravity starts doing it's job and pulling the scroll down I can reach in the box and give it a tug upwards (this happens with the scrolls made of fabric).

One last thing, make sure everything is totally straight and square: the end of the scroll, make sure it is taped straight on the spindle. If you are taping two pieces of paper together, make sure they are perfectly straight.

I have discovered all these things the hard way, maybe something will be useful to you. Thank you for posting the picture. It looks great!
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Written by Robert Mouland on Jun. 22, 2016
Well I tried to do my first, and its premiere was a disaster! The paper kept catching on the inside, tore to pieces and almost caught on fire from the candles! (As was wisely said in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.. a spectacular finish but you can only do it once). Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop the scroll from creeping up and down the spools? I am out of ideas.. thanks!
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Written by Sue Truman on May. 28, 2016
Diana Smith, Hello! I hope you will make a crankie. Regarding your question if paper comes with the crankie kit: yes, it does. Louis Leger sends some paper along with the kit. I can't remember off the top how many feet he sends. But I do know that the paper is 18" high which is an "easy-to-find" standard size, so that you could buy a roll at any art or craft store.
Written by Sue Truman on May. 28, 2016
Frantz, thank you so much for your message! My French is not very good, I am still learning! I hope that you will make a crankie. It is hard to say what comes first - a good song, or a good fiddle/accordion tune, or a good idea? I make a lot of the scrolls from fabric and felt so I work with really basic, primitive images. I have made a lot of crankies with animals in them, black cats, crows, sea life... those are easier to produce in fabric than people. A few the first crankies I made was "Black Cat Jig" and "A Murder of Crows" Those crankies are on You Tube. Regarding selecting fiddle/accordion tunes, I have used waltzes many times for some reason. Valse des Sucres and Valse Beaulieu are two examples of that. In fact, Valse Beaulieu was my first crankie. It was simply illustrating the four seasons and I put it to that waltz. I had no idea what I was doing, I just did it. I hope this helps and thanks again. Good luck and let us know how you are doing. You can also send an email to me.
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