Saturday, July 29, 2006
Lady Fromage's head is not perfectly round, and it's made of two main parts - the skull and the snout. I'm making the skull first, the snout and mouth will be next. Because this puppet is tiny, I'm using 1/4 inch foam. Working with thin foam is very similar to working with 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch, it just takes a more steady hand because the shapes are so small.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Last night I got to puppeteer on a new Jim Henson Company pilot called Late Night Buffet with Augie and Del. I was assisting the very talented Julianne Buescher with Louisa Cappellini, the band leader and keyboard player. Bill Barretta and Brian Henson performed the co-hosts Augie and Del, assisted by Michelan Sisti and Leslie Carrara. Puppeteers Karen Prell, Kevin Carlson, Tyler Bunch, and James Murray performed the monkey band. The pilot was taped before a live studio audience at the Jim Henson Company studios.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Karen Prell (Red Fraggle) has just posted a cool new web site. She has information about her puppetry and computer animation work, a news section so you can see what she's up to, links to cool Fraggle Rock merchandise, a large links page, and more coming soon.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Puppeteer and puppet builder James Wojtal (see previous posts) has just started a new puppet blog called, Puppet show, from Concept to Curtain: the Creative Process Behind a New Puppet Show.
Right now the blog is documenting Puppetworks's new marionette production of The Reluctant Dragon.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
No matter what type of puppet I'm making, big or small, hand puppet or rod puppet, I always start by sketching out the basic shapes.
Because there is always some translation involved when turning a flat drawing into a three demential puppet, it's important to really understand the under-structure.
Lady Fromage is fairly straight forward. Her head is a ball, her nose is flat cone, and her bottom jaw is a triangle.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Like other puppeteers, I learned (and continue to learn) many of my building techniques from watching puppet shows, attending festivals, and picking the brains of other puppeteers and puppet builders. I first learned how to make a rod control puppet from reading Nick Barone's instructions in a Puppeteers of America Festival Handbook a couple of years back. Since then, I've I picked up more tips from Roger Mara and Hobby Ford, and I've added my own modifications and adaptations. I hope you all do the same - take what I show you, and make it your own.
Most of the puppets we use in our Swazzle puppet shows are hand and rod puppets. Sometimes we will need a puppet that is very large like the Tyrannosaurs Rex in Harry and the Tyrannosaurs Rex, other times we need a puppet that is very small like Lady Fromage in Rex and Boots Super Sleuths - Both are rod puppets.
Lady Fromage stands just over six inches tall. Her simple one handed rod control allows her to move her head left and right, and open and close her mouth. This tutorial will take you step by step through the creation of Lady Fromage. As always if you have any questions or require more clarification please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.