Monday, 27 December 2010

Judy armatures

Judy armatures
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

Thick solder. It's so bendy!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

December out

Large cardboards tree!
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

I have been doing scenery making for a pantomime instead of puppet making, so all a bit quiet here...

This tree is more than 9 foot high!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Prop building

Prop building
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

I have been making props. Here is a frying pan (about 9cm diamter) and a suitcase (not yet completed!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Am working on the script for performance. Working title is:
"Judy gets carried away with a sausage"

Nothing like dubious double entendres to get in the spirit of things!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Crocodile puppet

Crocodile puppet
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

He is done, after a fair few months of reworking, here he is...with some suitably sinister lighting

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Judy puppet testing

Judy puppet testing
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle
Live testing round the kitchen with Judy, who's costume is now finished.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Mr Punch animation test

Some stop motion testing using a camera and put together on Movie maker by importing the images and adjusting the transition time between static shots

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Judy's boots

Judy's boots
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

Looking good, and dark and, well, lovely!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Judy's Costume

Judy's Costume
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

The pieces of costume come together..

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Judy gets a dress

Judy gets a dress
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

Yet another pair of trousers gets repurposed as clothing. Smock dress looking good, but needs some trim.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Step by step Judy's boots

Finishing papier mache boots 4
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

In the Flickr Puppet making group, I have set up a thread on using papier mache. It uses Judy's boots as an example. It's here

Monday, 6 September 2010

New puppet making group on Flickr

I have set up a group on Flickr for puppet making tips.
As a discussion topic, there is a step by step on making papier mache parts:

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Making boots for Judy

Puppet Boots in Plasticine
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

These are meant to look like old 17th/18th century boots, the sort that crop up in old woodcuts. Using the tried old method of laminating over a positive modelled core. For anything large scale, this is simple and effective. At this scale it requires a lot of care when applying the laminates.

For corners in particular, the strips of paper need to be very narrow or you get creasing which causes ridges. The fibres at the edges of overlapping laminates need to be pulled out with either a fingernail or a pointed tool, to soften the "step" between each laminate. It is good to use a very contrasting colour for the model too (e.g. red, as used here) because it is easy to see if there is a patch missed.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Friday, 6 August 2010

Crocodile back legs

Crocodile back legs
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

From the spray base coat, marker pen scumbling now done. Needs
lacquer, but otherwise done

Crocodile claws about to be painted

Crocodile claws about to be painted
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

In the shed about to apply a yellow base coat.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Crocodile puppet legs

Crocodile puppet legs
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

Have been fitting up the new back legs (brwon unpainted) and new tail to the crocodile puppet. Getting there...

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Constructing the crocodile puppet body

The basic sleeve for a glove puppet can be made easily by cutting the sleeve of a black jacket. You can pick up tatty old jackets with good silk linings quite cheap. Each jacket makes 2 sleeves!

The head is fitted into the sleeve hole, which needs making smaller

The cloth arms with hands fitted are sewn into holes cut in the sleeve. The silver duct tape here is holding stiffening rings into the cloth arms, to prevent them collapsing, which makes it easier to get the fingers into them

Crocodile puppet body under construction
The body is pre-stuffed, then sewn onto the sleeve to hang down in front of it.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Crocodile costume design

Having realised I have only designed the head of the crocodile, I thought I had better look at costume design. This is interesting, but too staid i think. It needs probably to be more flamboyant, as the character is a spoiled/pampered endangered species. Suit or bling...?
Crocodile puppet costume

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Crocodile body parts

Here are the first pieces of the cloth body for the crocodile.
I think it will have to have a tail, and possibly even 2 more feet, although maybe some claw shaped couture boots...

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Crocodile claws

Papier mache crocodile claws processes

This shows basic hand from papier mache over a plasticine positive model.

Unpainted hands being used to test the effectiveness of the internal puppet skeleton

Final painted finish. Felt tip pen (Promarkers) over emulsion.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Testing crocodile puppet

Testing the mechanism with one- handed operation

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

More cobbling

Some fine footwear for an otherwise austere scientist

Thursday, 13 May 2010


After some efforts in tailoring, trousers are nearly completed

Monday, 10 May 2010

Puppet boots

The beginnings of some rather dandy boots for Mr Punch.

Stages 1 and 2 are modelling the positive core in plasticine, followed by laminating with brown paper and PVA papier mache

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Swish shirt

Why, hello. Who's got a dandy new tailored shirt then?

Friday, 2 April 2010

Scientist's lab coat

I am not sure if this is a tiny tad too long, but has the right feel for the character. Stereotypical science geek attire, but with a slightly military/ secret police feel to the collar.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Policeman is nearly complete

'ello, 'ello, 'ello. What's all this then? 'bout bleedin' time I 'ad some clothes, matey...

Friday, 19 March 2010


Plasticene and papier mache. I love it!
pink thing is the mould - brown thing, the shoe... policeman's shoes...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Policeman gets clothes

Jumble sale jeans are perfect for making a good navy uniform.
This is not yet fitted with trims or buttons, but starting to show the final look.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Puppet bodies getting better

This shows the Policeman puppet. The head sits freely in a central hole and is held and, in use, is manipulated by the last three fingers of the hand curled round it.
The hands are detached from the body to allow maximum freedom od movement.

The body is connected to the sleeve with a short stitched hinge joint.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Crocodile head

Crocodile with elastic jaw opening. This opposes the cable controlled jaw snap shut.
I wonder if elastic to close jaw would be better. Possibly more relaxing to use in practise, as most of the time not tension would be required in the hand to keep the jaw shut.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Mr Punch gets new clothes

My, doesn't he look dashing. I liked the last costume, but this one is more theatrical. The shadows work rather tastily here!

I can't decide if he should have a hat. Does anyone out there reading this have any opinion on if it would improve the look?

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Another puppet body pattern


This design is a 2-finger control, with the head on a stick in the remaining curled three fingers. This is better than the fixed head version. It can shake its head in despair etc.!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Hands getting attached

Here is Judy's right hand being glued into place into her arm sleeve.

The hand is modelled and baked Fimo, painted and varnished, with a thin bamboo rod inserted as a mount to keep the arm rigid. This is hot-glued into the fabric arm. The fabric of the arm is reinforced by surrounding with thin plastic from a soft drink bottle to form a rigid, hollow tapering tube which will allow thumb operation.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

First body made from latest pattern...

This will most likely be Judy. The body is full of flocked (i.e. quite fluffy) cotton cloth, cut up and stuffed inside. There are a few coins in each foot to give them some swing. Four pence in each to be exact!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Body parts

Two-part body made from templates. Part one is the white body with no arms. Part two is the puppeteer sleeve in black with arms in white attached as sleeves to allow thumb and forefinger through. These are combined to create a puppet operated from behind.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

New pattern

A new version of the cutting pattern for the puppet body for 2-fingered operation...

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Costume blanks

Costume blanks, and what they look like without heads...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010 last can get back to making

New year, and finally I have finished installing kitchen, despite many set backs, including non-delivery of the units, and two severe weather episodes closing down most things.
Feels like I can get back onto making the little people fresh in the new year/decade. They are all cold and half-made in the shed, poor lambs.

Next task is to start mass producing bodies. Have template, can sew...