Monday, May 30, 2011

First Stringing Efforts

Since the last update, the puppets have their hair glued on and styled, more or less (superglue was the best method of attachment, hair gel and securing the hair while drying to the neck with an elastic helped it follow the curve of the neck better).....and the dresses completed. After experiments with oxford cloth, we found that repurposed silky polyester from a thrift store nightgown had the better drape and cling....then I just did a basic bodice attached to a gathered skirt, attached at the back with a hook/eye closure and added straps to get the right height on the bosom.
Strung them for the first time this afternoon (Hans cringed and worried while I drilled through their heads;), and was very pleased to see them animated without having to hold onto their bodies. Still need to work on building the right controller. Right now, they're on simple ones I took off some old Pelham puppets I had from childhood. I'm going to try and do a sort of vertical German version, with a removable, hinged device for the hands.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Truman told me about his DC trip tonight on the porch, and I endeavored to fill a page of my sketchbook (just didn't quite have time to fill in all the bricks and shadows). The other is from awhile ago, but a better drawing of Tru. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stills from the puppets

Having posted mostly just the occasional video of the puppets, I thought I'd throw in a few stills I've taken over the last couple of months. Currently still working on finding the right material for the dresses, and figuring out how to get the hair to lie against the neck properly. My hair has never behaved properly while it's still on my head, so I shouldn't be surprised it's giving me trouble in the transplants on C&E. Sigh. Hair. In the good old days, I would've just.....

But lately, the follicles seem a bit more precious. Anyway.....stills of puppets as promised:

Old unfinished drawing

I posted the lower half of this some time ago. It was really just a bunch of plant and bug studies thrown together in one drawing, and I got tired of it before ever finishing it. I think I decided it was just too crowded. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hair on the puppets!

This isn't the *most* recent update......yesterday, after much fussing about, I got hair on the second's not easy supergluing real hair to wooden heads in a way that looks remotely realistic, but it came out better looking than the sewn weft to a wig cap idea I initially tried. The dress was just a first attempt.....I think the fabric (oxford cloth from a repurposed thrift store shirt) is too stiff on this scale....I need to find material that is clingier....can't hide those well-defined curves that took so many hours to painstakingly achieve with the Dremel.
In any event...short of getting the dresses right.....the next step will be stringing them and determining the controls.....along with creating their cohorts.....bear head guy will probably be next.....and then set painting and acquisition of curious props.
I'm planning on moving to Hawley as soon as I can find a suitable job in the area....not only will it give me great personal pleasure to be with Hans, but puppet production should be greatly more carting tool boxes, sewing machines, etc. back and forth in my valiant Celica. Said vehicle had some hiccups today with her speed sensor, but thanks to the fine folks at Meineke, seems to be up for for continued beast of burden status.
Recently applied for a position at Simon's Stamps in Turner's Falls, right outside of Greenfield....they have a wide array of rubber stamp products, and a careful perusal of their site and blog imply they are a fine company to work for, with their values in all the right places. They're located right next to a disturbingly high river we noticed this weekend, as we drove by to check the distance.....I really hope they don't suffer any flood damage should it break it's banks!  Fingers are firmly crossed that they'll consider taking me on, saving me from the back breaking and soul-crunching business of working in corporate autoparts, and providing me the financial means of making my other dreams come true, too.
I have also crossed the puppets' fingers, telling them it'll be good for them, too. Join us in all this finger-crossing business, won't you?
Oh, and I noticed that I astonishingly seem to have had visitors to the blog from places as diverse as Germany, the Ukraine, and India...considering that I have had perhaps 12 visitors altogether, I'm chuffed that at least three people from exotic locations have dropped by.....thank you!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Puppet Update May 2, 2011

Haven't updated in some time, my apologies. Quite a bit of progress.....the problem with the feet snapping off at the ankles was solved by sinking eyehooks in the feet and covering them with putty, then recarving the area. The heads are now in no danger of decapitation thanks to Hans' brilliant solution of a horizontally placed screw. Paint (and their identifying masks!) has been applied (needs to be touched up due to recent surgery)..... Wigs have been started by bleaching hair saved from my yoot....initial wefts sewn, but must be redone, then applied to wig caps made from chamois. Dress material decided upon....sewing to commence soon. And most notably (and easiest of all of these to be accomplished!), the girls now bend at the waist thanks to being sawn in half and hinged back together, giving them a much more satisfyingly human slumping ability.
Soon we will begin addressing how to string them, so they can achieve true puppet mobility....any suggestions (we hope to avoid unsightly tiny eyehooks) are welcome!