A little more of my process:
My puppet heads were made of a base of tinfoil and a piece of aluminum brass-stock (to fit onto a slightly thinner stock on the end of their neck) encased in a thin layer of plumber's epoxy, with super-sculpey on top to form the actual features. (The eyes were partially pre-baked white sculpey that I embedded into the head after sculpting a basic facial shape and before the final baking).
Pre-plannimg: I tend to dislike being overly meticulous when it comes to planning out the sizes and lengths for puppets; to some extent I prefer eye-balling it and keeping the process kinda organic. HOWever, while this worked out ok with my last puppet (see January '09 posts) - as it was more or less a first-time experiment and not carrying the weight of a film on its shoulders - the same didn't quite happen here. My first batch of arms came out a bit on the long side, and looked like they belonged more to characters who climb Empire State buildings for down-time as opposed to humanoids of the Dutch persuasion. So yes, contrary to previous ignorance, adaquete planning is essential - especially when you have to use a puppet in a variety of scenes and circumstances as opposed to a number of unrelated excercises.
(The beginnings of the skeletal armatures; plumber's epoxy, 1/16th armature wire, and metal nuts for tie-downs on the feet).
(Liquid-latexed hands, ready to be inserted into the puppets). p.s. sorry the image is sideways, but you get the picture.
Adding styrofoam for volume, to be trimmed down and rubber-cemented to the armatures for stability.
I've finished painting the heads as of the weekend? or earlier this week; I imagine I'll post a picture when I've got their costumes sewn. I am also toying with the idea of using sewing thread for facial features (mouths, eyebrows and whatnot); I need to test this out yet (gluing different pieces into varying pre-made positions and then attatching them to the faces somehow? or using one or two pieces and animating them - though how that bit might work is yet to be determined). I also have to figure out eyelids (clay, or possibly silicone parts from molds?) and pupils (clay, paper, plastic?). Any suggestions or insights welcomed!
4 days ago