My, what big eyes, ears, teeth you have ! Pt 2

Process shots of paper mâché  and painting

Process shots of paper mâché and painting


Group shot of the puppies :-)

Group shot of the puppies 🙂

I am almost embarrassed to post that I have made even more puppets ….I think I must be addicted to paper mâché .
It has been such horrible weather that I have been heating up the studio and settling down to some fun activities. These three have made me smile a lot while I have been doing them, it’s a surprise to me how they have their own personalities .
I found the teeth on eBay from a dental supplier and couldn’t wait to use them.
These are intended to be another glove puppet, the heads are smallish and are finger puppet size necks. My idea is to put them on the same body as a whole puppet embodying the eyes, ears, teeth part of Little Red Riding Hood’s wolf, but that may change as I work out if it will work visually and physically. If not I will attempt a marionette with the three heads on the same body…… That should present me with an interesting challenge.

The circus

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Some ipad paintings of the circus

Some ipad paintings of the circus

Some time ago I bought a set of cake decorations, dating from the 1950s I think. These inspired me to do a few little paintings of them.
The paint is peeling off them and now they are put away in a little box and will probably get lost….. Musing on objects that come into and disappear from our lives….

Melusina

While my fox head was drying I decided to make another small puppet. This one is based on the mermaid melusina, she is sometimes portrayed as serpent tailed, sometimes with a double tale ( it seems Starbucks have chosen her for their logo ) and sometimes as a mermaid with a single fish tail. I have chosen a single tail, which also means she could be used as an ordinary mermaid in any puppet show.Nearly finished
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One Saturday, the old father inquired at dinner after his daughter-in-law. Raymond replied that she was not visible on Saturdays. Thereupon one of his brothers, drawing him aside, whispered that strange gossiping tales were about relative to this sabbath seclusion, and that it behoved him to inquire into it, and set the minds of people at rest. Full of wrath and anxiety, the count rushed off to the private apartments of the countess, but found them empty. One door alone was locked, and that opened into a bath. He looked through the keyhole, and to his dismay beheld her in the water, her lower extremities changed into the tail of a monstrous fish or serpent.
Silently he withdrew. No word of what he had seen passed his lips; it was not loathing that filled his heart, but anguish at the thought that by his fault he must lose the beautiful wife who had been the charm and glory of his life. Some time passed by, however, and Melusina gave no token of consciousness that she had been observed during the period of her transformation. But one day news reached the castle that Geoffry with the Tooth had attacked the monastery of Malliers, and burned it; and that in the flames had perished Freimund, with the abbot and a hundred monks. On hearing of this disaster, the poor father, in a paroxysm of misery, exclaimed, as Melusina approached to comfort him, “Away, odious serpent, contaminator of my honourable race!”
At these words she fainted; and Raymond, full of sorrow for having spoken thus intemperately, strove to revive her. When she came to herself again, with streaming tears she kissed and embraced him for the last time. “O husband!” she said, “I leave two little ones in their cradle; look tenderly after them, bereaved of their mother. And now farewell for ever! yet know that thou, and those who succeed thee, shall see me hover over this fair castle of Lusignan, whenever a new lord is to come.” And with a long wail of agony she swept from the window, leaving the impression of her foot on the stone she last touched.
The children in arms she had left were Dietrich and Raymond. At night, the nurses beheld a glimmering figure appear near the cradle of the babes, most like the vanished countess, but from her waist downwards terminating in a scaly fish-tail enamelled blue and white. At her approach the little ones extended their arms and smiled, and she took them to her breast and suckled them; but as the grey dawn stole in at the casement, she vanished, and the children’s cries told the nurses that their mother was gone.
Progress shots

I need to make a decent cross bar to hold the strings , and find out how to string her up to the best effect ( at the moment she is on crossed paintbrushes with rough parcel string )

Second layer and eyes

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Second layer of paper

Second layer of paper

Today’s layer has smoothed out some of the lumps and bumps, fattened up the ears and now there are eyes too.
The head is getting heavier but the snapping jaw still works well. The next problem I have is the hands, are they the puppeteers hands wearing gloves or the puppets own with limited movement……..
The puppeteer will need one hand to activate the jaw though. I wonder if I have once again made a ( very large) glove puppet… 🙂

Update*
Mr fox head with a bit more texture around the back, and in the first stages of painting. I have yet to find a way of making him work.(5.2.2014)

Wily fox

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I am working on another animal…Fox the trickster.
Again it’s a hand puppet, but the head is bigger than mine…I saw a post on Clive Hicks Jenkins blog where there were large puppets with people dressed in black holding various parts of the puppet, so I thought I would give it a try……this may be step too far at the moment for my level of experience/skill, but I will work on the head and see whether I will just keep it as a mask…..
The more that I find out about puppets and puppet making the more I want to try so many things… 🙂

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Now he looks angrier

Now he looks angrier

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I have finished one wolf glove puppet. I have discovered that I like the way that my interaction with a glove puppet is more intimate, emotional than a marionette is….I like the close-up connection….fascinating

I glued fabric strands over the head for texture, decided against blank eyes and changed them for beads which give more depth to the gaze. His teeth are painted panel pins, and the thing I am most pleased with is his tatty neck fur ( also used to make his tail ) which is the canvas that I pulled the threads from to make the texture.
My smallest head is next…he is still going to be a glove puppet but I hope to give him a more human figure.

I love these photos

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https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=haunted+air+ossian+brown&client=safari&sa=X&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=xh_LUsWLNYSrhQe84oHAAQ&ved=0CDwQ7Ak&biw=768&bih=900#facrc=_

I have just ordered a book with the most wonderful old photos of Halloween costumes, raw,original ,and to my eye so much more frightening than the plastic shop bought costumes children wear today. The book is by Ossian Brown and is called Haunted Air. I hope I can get some of this atmosphere in my puppets.

Small beginnings

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I have made two heads, small ones that I will make into glove puppets. The first I made with a hinged jaw, it can be worked by the finger inside the head but it’s a little awkward so may need a rod to activate it. The second head is a little larger and is a standard glove puppet head size. My idea is to make a much larger head eventually but these have been something to keep me occupied until I can really settle back into my studio.
My broken shoulder has healed and just needs me to be a little more active to loosen up, I have bought a new car so I can be independent once again…2014 is hopefully going to be a lot less restricted than the last quarter of 2013….. I cannot express how pleased I am to be able to get back to my studio….