Friday, December 26, 2008

Pirate Puppets - Week Ending 12-28-08

These puppets were made from a pattern I got when I took a series of hand puppet classes with Carol Fijan.  
They are made of felt and are part of Saturday night's Hanukka gifts.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Have you seen one of the A "" A Day or 365 ""s projects

There are some great projects documented on the web.  The first one I saw was A Skull a Day blog.  It took me to 365 Masks blog.  I also like sites that involve projects and problem solving.  Have you ever visted  I find these projects inspiring.

I can't imaging creating a puppet a day (and then having time for photographing and posting it).  Perhaps something more manageable like A Puppet A Week, or A Puppet A Month.  

The economy is bad - in fact I've just been laid off.  I'm not sure what my next move is going to be but it feels like it's time for a change.  So while I'm exploring (and probably running out of cash) I'll need some goals that I can achieve.  I may not make it to A Puppet A Week, but I think I'll try.

Here are some rules for me.
1. TV only with meals or family.  No TV during down time.  (TV is evil and has eaten years from my life)
2. Do not keep the puppets!  There's enough clutter in this house.  (The Water/Soda bottle Skeleton has already found a new home).
3. It's OK to copy a puppet I've seen somewhere else.  This is an exercise in creation and as such, anything that helps me learn is worth doing.
4. Take notes.  Since the puppets will be leaving home I'd like to have a journal of the journey and a set of instructions I can draw on for future projects.

I'll make up more rules as I go.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Alice In Wonderland - Jabberwock

Of course in the rush to finish and deliver the puppet, I fail to take finished pictures.
Here are some almost finished pictures.
In the final version the support pole is trimmed and becomes a hand-rod inside a dryer vent neck.  The neck is covered with a gold sequined fabric which runs up my arm to my shoulder.  I made a one armed tunic.  The arm from the tunic velcros into a large 3 fingered claw.

The head shape is made from 2 large salad bowls.  Styrofoam rings are used as spacers between the bowls and they are held together with threaded rods, lock washers and nuts.  The skin is glued on felt.
The eyes are built up from a nerf football, a ball-pit ball and some plastic bottle caps.
The mouth is a tupperware bowl.
The teeth are fun foam.
I wore blacks under the tunic and a black hood.
I wore some 3 toed (or clawed) foam-fabric feet that the ballet company had.

The puppet worked well in the ballet.   
There are 2 issues with this puppet:
1. Once inside the puppet, I needed help to secure the velcro and to get back out.
2. The foam I used as hand grips did not absorb moisture.  My hands were hot and humid.  Next time I'll find a way to attach a wash cloth or something inside that can be washed and dried.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Halloween Skeleton

I like to make at least one new Halloween Skeleton every year. Sometimes they are paper and sometimes they are not. This one is made from recycled stuff.
1 @ 1 gallon water bottle
2 @ 1 liter clear soda bottle
2 wire coat hangers with the cardboard tube hanger
1 can of white spray paint
2 paper plates
black sharpie marker
some plastic rope
some packing tape
some fishing line

The control, not shown is the paddle from one of those bouncy ball whappers

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Old McDonald Had A Farm

I've been working on some shadow puppets. This is the cast of Old McDonald Had a Farm. Old McDonald may be living close to a nuclear reactor!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dragon On A Stick

I posted my Dragon Paper Bag / Costume / Puppet / Mask thing last week. This Saturday the workshop is for the Dragon on a Stick.

Here's a little detail. The stick can be any stick, but I'm using a 3+ foot long piece of 1/2" pvc. The poster board is attached to the stick using clear packing tape. The dragon is assembled using 1/2" scotch tape. We'll have shiny stuff, construction paper, markers and a bunch of other things to be used as decoration. What I think is really cool is there is no scrap paper left over. Even the little snip from around the nose can be used to make a tongue or tusks.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Paper Bag Dragon

It isn't easy for me to finish anything. I'll have to update the progress of the Purim puppets (obviously that show isn't going to sell this year) but in the mean time the Sugar Sand Park Puppet Fest has arrived. I wanted to do a tried and true paper finger puppet booth, but the park wanted a Big Parade Puppet to tie into the Far East - Far Out theme. So I created a template to make a Dragon Head out of poster board and mounted it on 3' pvc pipe. The project is to trace the pattern, cut out the parts, color, assemble, decorate and mount on the pipe. The expectation is about 100 puppets.
Then today, a week before the event I had another idea. I hope I can include it in the festival this time because I like it better than the dragon on a stick and I think it will cost less. It's based on a paper bag costume. Cut the holes for the arms and eyes (so you can see where you are going) and tape on the dragon parts. The jaw opens and closes. I used 2 straws taped to the lower jaw and a brass brad for a hinge point.
Here are some pictures:

2008-04-05 Dragon Mask - Costume - Puppet

Monday, February 18, 2008

Purim Puppet Progress

The rods have been inserted and glued.
King A's goblet is made from a soda bottle, more egg shapes, a fruit cup and a plastic container. Nylon rope creates a lip around the top and accents to cover some of the joints.
Esther is pretty much the same.
Mordecai has more bulk. Do you think he needs some ears? He'll be finished with a beard and a Jewish Star centered in the blue disk where his mouth should be.

(The pictures in the prior post were from Flickr, this one is from Picasa.)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mordecai, Esther and Haman

Mordecai Esther and Haman
Originally uploaded by dgoboff
In this picture Utensil Town denizens, Mordecai Mezzuza, Esther CandleStick and Harry Egg Beater are getting ready to become Purim Rod puppets.

Mordecai is a cardboard box with some egg shapes and cheap ball and cage toys.
Esther is made from egg shapes and cat food containers.
They'll be covered with paper machie and painted. An inner rod will support the structure. Cord or rod arms to be added.

Haman is an egg beater with air dry face. When he gestures with his beater arm, his beaters will whirl around.

King A is going to be a golden goblet. Assorted cutlery will be used for other, minor characters. I'm still cutting the story so I don't have the full cast list yet.

Performance this March, so I'd better hurry.

Esther and Mordecai

Esther and Mordecai
Originally uploaded by dgoboff
I'm building a Purim show this year.