Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day #33: RATS -- I left my camera at home (Part 2)

Seriously, rats.

I couldn't believe I had left my camera at home. I was going to be working a really long, late night at the studio and no camera.

But "rats" is a good name for this post anyway. It wasn't supposed to be a good name for a post the post about working on the mouse puppet -- but I had done my math poorly. So now it was the perfect name.


I'm using felting techniques to create these puppets and wool fibers shrink as you work them, so there is some math involved. I knew I might have some technical difficulties on my mouse puppet, so I was working on a "rough draft" and using a different type of wool.

Uh-oh. I should've known better because different fibers can have different shrink rates. I was looking at about a 50% shrinkage...but really I was only going to get about 42% from this wool. Usually, I sample fibers and test the shrink rate. But most are about 50%, so I decided to chance it. [Note to self: bad idea.]

I realized early on that the puppet was not going to shrink to the size I wanted (grrr....), so I altered plans and started shaping it into a rat form.  Can you see the rat? It can be tricky to identify a puppet/character (unless you're making it -- then it's easier) when it's still in the process of being created.
But I'm making lemonade from my lemons. I need a puppet I can mess up on a bit without worrying about it. Now I have it. Yes, it was supposed to be a little mouse. It's going to be a giant rat. Yippee!

Now for the fun part!

Eyes....I love putting eyes on puppets; it's when they come alive for me. It's when they get their personality. I tested several types/sizes of eyes. I played with eyelids. Here they are some of the combinations I checked out:

Too big?
Too small, but almost beady...

Playing with eyelids...

I was going to call this post "They Eyes Have It," but I'll settle for "Rats!"

Stay tuned...


  1. OMG but he's so awesome and... ratty! You do know you'll have to build a show around rats now, right?

  2. A rat race show -- maybe a slam piece...

    Of course, I was also thinking he was looking rather possumish...

  3. He does look a bit a possum who instead of playing dead, plays rats.