Friday, March 25, 2011

Day #50: Blink!

Working on a mock-up for the eyeball mechanism inside the owl puppet.

Knowing when to use a mechanism and when not to use a mechanism is a true form of wisdom. I'm always very picky about what I use -- always taking my cues from the script.

What does the puppet NEED to do?

You can make a puppet do all sorts of things; it's making good choices that can be tricky. I mean, you need to make sure that you have the right number of hands and fingers to actually operate it, right? Our owl puppet will need to fly onto the stage (wings that open/close/flap=one hand). The head needs to turn...and I'd like the eyes to blink (that's the other hand doing those two things). I still need to figure out if I have enough fingers to give him a moving beak....but that's another post.

I like to work out my mechanism issued before they are inside a real puppet. (This is especially helpful because half the battle can be figuring out how to get them inside the mechanism -- or knowing what stage of the build you need to incorporate the mechanism!)

It's a prototype, and we like to "recycle" when we make these.

Here is the part of the bottle we will be using for our owl puppet mock-up. I have a giant collection of Styrofoam balls that have been passed onto me. I really hate Styrofoam. I won't buy it new, but I will use it if it is received as a "hand me down."

Speaking of recycling stuff -- old, dead pens have a great plastic tube inside of them that is great for puppet mechanisms. They perfectly fit the wire. (If you are in Richmond and have old pens and want to pass them onto me -- please do!)

Puppet Innards

P.S. For those of you who visited yesterday, I feel I must state that, yes, I did think about the amazing Dr. Who episode called "Blink" when I titled this one!


  1. The thought that goes into the creation of your puppets and being able to be "behind the scene" is really fascinating.

  2. You are so cool. I love this just in the skeletal stage. It is so awesome to see how you make things and, as Misha said, find out about the back end of your creations. I also love your upcycling. So resourceful, you.

  3. Awww, shucks. (Just wait 'til I post up the "real" owl when it's done!!)

  4. I like it! Did I ever scan those last sketches of the owl for you...? I guess I'd better check...

  5. You habe a video tutorial for this