Creaturiste's Laboratory

Techniques, works in progress, and everything that doesn't fit in the portfolio. Comments and questions are encouraged, custom orders are welcome!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Hi all,
Yesterday, I was driven by some weird set of events to make a new puppet in 17 hours straight.
At first, it was supposed to be a quick improvised puppet, but as soon as I started, it evolved into the puppet I had been meaning to build for at least two years, as part of my first stage number.
I guess it was finally ready to be born.
illia is her name, and she is a hybrid between sock and rod puppets.
Her body is a very stretchy fuzzy sock (synthetic), into which is glued a head on a stick.
The hand holds the stick from within, therefore the arm and wrist become body and hips to the puppet.
The arms are made with dowels glued onto pieces of fabric made from the other sock, cut to fit and sewn together. The sock tube becomes the hinge between the dowels.
The hands are paper mache over wire armature.
The rods are metal, the "L" shaped ends are part of the hands.
Her head was sculpted with polymer clay over a ball of aluminum foil.
Her eyes are stone beads (glued on the foil before the clay was applied), purchased at a bead store. They are the shiniest, deepest black eyes i've ever used, and I love the effect. Polymer clay is usually very brittle, but I can counteract that by adding two layers of strong paper mache over it. Bumb and scratch resistant, it also creates a permanent primer for the paint. The glue Weldbond makes it even better, since it is compatible with acrylic paint. Her "skin" was an additional layer of paper, this one being the ever organic look of brown paper towels and extra-diluted glue.
The polymer clay is a very heavy material, but for her size, it is perfect, as this small weight helps me "feel" the puppet's movement, and even her presence.
She is double-jointed because of how her elbows are built, but this doesn't seem to cause a problem.
She can turn her head freakily far back, bow down, stretch her neck up, for all I know she probably can belly dance. Her movements are so graceful, it's almost intimidating, since the "shake the puppet" effect would look unforgivable on her.
I intend to make more of this type of puppet, but those I put up for sale on my Etsy store and those I custom build will not look like her, as she is my own character.

Here is a very rough video of her in movements. I am not in top puppeteering nor setting-up shape tonight, better footage shall be posted eventually.


Dave the Dead said...

Very nice! I'd love to see some video of her performing to get a true picture of the graceful movement.

Créaturiste said...

Indeed, good idea. Video , although very rough, is there.
Thanks Dave.

ArchetypalTheatre said...

She is wonderful - I'll look forward to seeing more like her on Etsy!

julzabro said...

Love it!

julzabro said...

Love it!