Friday, 4 April 2014

Puppet (slow) progress

So, my daughter changed her nap pattern. By 'changed' I mean drastically reduced it, and reserved it mostly for times when I'm out carrying her in her sling. But I have made a small amount of progress!

I have attached a rough torso and jointed arms. I've used foam because it is easy to carve, I can do a little bit and come back to it without needing to wait for things to dry etc and because I have a bag of ends that my sister gave. Free material!

I've made joints by hooking strong thread through wire loops. The thread and the wire can both be fed through the foam, which is another advantage of it. The only problem I can see is that it could tear if the puppet is not used gently.

I've altered my designed ideas a bit - I'm not going to make legs anymore as it will mean here people would need to operate the puppet. I want to be able to move her myself, maybe with just one other person.

So the next thing to do will be to finish her torso, create a central holding rod and hen make a dress...the dress will need to disguise her lack of legs so I will need a heavy material...


But now my sweet spawn awakens and so I must away...







7 comments:

  1. I love the face on your puppet; it is fantastically expressive. Your art is amazing and I am in awe of the ability you have with the human form.
    I am intrigued by the foam idea, how light is it? Has it made manipulating the body easier? It looks like upholsterers foam, is it? I tend to needle felt the heads for my puppets so am thinking this would be an ideal bulking agent for the Clive & Peter's challenge.

    Best to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you :) as far as I know it's upholsterers foam. The light weight has made the movement very east - it would be a great bulking material I reckon xx

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    2. Thanks Nomi, will give it a try,

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  2. She's gorgeous. I'm still amazed you find the time to do anything with small spawn in tow. I've got some heavy materials you could look at for dresses. x

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    1. Oo yes I'd love a look :) I should stress, getting even this far has taken a daft amount of time! :) massively satisfying though. I'm glad you like her so far...

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  3. Female Bunraku puppets have no legs. The heavy, padded kimonos are manipulated to look as though there are legs and feet underneath them, though a dedicated puppeteer is required to pull off the trick. (There are usually three operators with a Bunraku puppet.)

    I think you're right about a heavy textile. You don't want her to be too wafty and without gravity. The most beguiling illusion of small puppets, is when they appear to have weight and a sense of contact with the ground. (I used to hate the way the Thunderbird puppets bobbed along without any sense of weight or muscular dynamic.)

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  4. She's looking amazing, Nomi. I'm at the 'torso' stage too, and am not quite sure how to proceed, so your use of foam is making me rethink. Might see if I can find something at our local 'tip shop' that is similar. And I'm also amazed that you're able to do anything like this at all, with a tiny one to care for!

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