Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Neoprene Puppet Heads

Puppet heads

These are neoprene puppet heads under construction. They are being made by Seattle Children's Theater head puppeteer Doug Paasch.

Neoprene casting compound is a great puppet building material. It's nontoxic and it comes ready to pour into plaster molds. Once it is removed from the mold it cures and the resulting product is both light weight and sturdy. Cured neoprene can be sanded, drilled, primed and painted. Neoprene is the preferred building material for puppeteers that make ventriloquist dummies and marionettes.

At Swazzle we use neoprene for special touches like horns or teeth. Neoprene can also be brushed onto foam with a chip brush. I used that technique to create the "bone heads" of Sid and Ed the Pachycepholauruses from Harry and the Tyrannosaurs Rex.

I get my Neoprene from Chicago Latex. They offer various compounds that range from rigid to flexible.


design321 said...

Hi Doug. Thanks for sharing your process. Do you use Neoprene #501 for your heads?
I recently threw my neoprene in the garbage because it was so old (from 2001) and it didn't work. Now I can't remember what Number to order. If you'd like to see some of my puppets (some have cast heads), check out: http://marcieklein.blogspot.com
Thank you for your help and keep up the great work.

design321 said...

Is it chicago Latex No. 501?

twiddle66 said...

Yes, Chicago Latex's formula 501 would be what you want for rigid castings like puppet heads.