Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Building my first puppet from scratch!!

Building a puppet offered fewer problems than I thought it would before I began. Building the wire frame was quite simple, despite look complicated. The part that was rather challenging was,asking sure that the upper and lower jaw of the bird matched each other perfectly as without this the puppet would not work as easily as it should.

I built the frame from wire as it is easy to manipulate as well as being incredibly lightweight. The piece being light is important as it needs to be comfortable to be used by a performer for long periods of time. Not only this but it always easier to operate when it's lighter as well. 

Early on sketches done on my iPad showed how I wanted the finished piece to look, although they are not technical drawings I always find it useful to get down on paper exactly what you want something to look like as it gives you an end goal. I also sketched out how the mechanism on the inside of the puppet would look and work just incase I wanted to have something to refer to at a later stage. 

 After creating the frame it was time to create the blinking mechanism. Which I found online on YouTube. I found this video extremely useful as it showed how to create the blinking eyes for the puppet easily using ping pong balls and wire. 

The mechanism was easy to use and simple to construct and I will use it again if I ever need to create the same effect again on another piece. The only issue i did encounter was fitting the eyelids to the eyes as the fabric sewn to the wire frame to create the blinking lids would effect the eyes ability to open and close if it was too thick. I therefore had to change my use of fabric to accommodate this. I used a thinner material than I had intended. 

Once the piece was fully built I coveredit with natural feather and extra fabric hand sewn to the frame to finish the piece.  I was really happy with the end results and would like to try my hand at making more complexed puppets in the future as I found this one relatively simple. 

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