Suspense! This is Dejah Leger's crankie box with the wonderful doors. We were getting ready to rehearse for one of the many Seattle Crankie Fests.
When I am performing outdoors at summer festivals (we will get back to that!) during the day, obviously, I do not backlight the scroll. But when performing in a low light situation, either indoors or outdoors, I
do love to backlight the scroll. It helps the viewer focus on the crankie and eliminates potential visual clutter around the box.
The amount of light you need depends on the thickness of the scroll.
A thin, translucent parchment paper needs less light than two thicknesses of felt. If the light is too strong, you will get a "hot spot" in the middle of the screen. Not enough light, and images will be hard to see. You may need to experiment with different
wattages of bulbs.
There are lots of different ways to light the box. After ten years of crankie performing, this is what I have learned and this is how I do it. Cheap and simple!
- a cheapo clamp light from the hardware store
- an LED lightbulb will give you a more diffuse light, less likely to have a "hot spot" in the middle which "lights out" the image.
- for Tyvek scrolls I use a 25 Watt LED light bulb. For thicker felt scrolls, I use a higher wattage. You can also connect a dimmer switch to the clamp light to adjust the light. Make sure the LED bulb is marked "dimmable."
- I angle the clamplight towards the bottom of the crankie box, not perpendicular to the scroll which is more likely to create a hot spot.