Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Little Mermaid

Mermaid

Ye Olde Curiosity Shop and Ye Old Curiosity Shop Too are two popular stores located on Seattle's waterfront. They feature Native American art, local souvenirs, imported crafts, mummies, shrunken heads, exotic artifacts, taxidermied animals - both real and imagined. The mermaid and child are part of taxidermy display that features bazar creatures like a two headed lamb, and a Jackalope.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Fremont Troll

Troll

During our trip to Seattle puppeteer Rob D'Arc (see previous posts) gave us a great walking tour of Fremont, an arts neighborhood in Seattle. He took us to the rocket ship, the Lenin statue, the center of the universe and main attraction, the Fremont Troll. This concrete troll stands 18 feet tall and lurks under the Aurora bridge. He was created by local artists with the support of the Fremont Arts Council. Every October 31th the troll is celebrated with Trollaween, a mobil party that starts under the bridge and moves through the streets of Fremont.

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.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pig Puppet

Pig

This snipped foam pig puppet is a work in progress backstage at the Seattle Children's Theater.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Duck Rod Puppet

Duck

This is a close up of the Rod puppet duck by Seattle Childrens's Theater head puppeteer, Doug Paasch.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Duck Rod Puppet

Children's Theater 3

After a brief summer break from blogging (see previous post), I'll be posting more regularly now beginning with the rest of my photos from our trip to Seattle.

Backstage at the Seattle Children's Theater, head puppeteer Doug Paasch demonstrates the simple mechanics of a papier-mache rod puppet to Victoria Johnson.

Summer Wrap-Up

Summer is our busy season, and this summer was no exception. Since May I have been working nonstop on some very cool puppet projects. Along with performing over 60 solo puppet shows all over Southern California for Swazzle, I also puppeteered on a new children's video series for Disney; worked on a feature film with Jim Henson's Creature Shop; helped create and build an entire puppet show for Blue Cross; built three puppets for the Chiodo Brothers; and attended weekly Puppet Up! puppet improv classes at the Jim Henson Company. It's been a crazy couple of months, but I feel so fortunate to be able to make my living doing what I love.

Right now, I'm already hard at work on some other very exciting puppet projects. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007