Still no names yet, but they’re coming.
Today I sculpted the Mom character — Sabela’s mom.Â All pictures are clickable for enlarging.
I used the Medium grade plastecine, and some pretty basic wooden sculpting tools.
Drilled a hole into some scrap wood, just wide enough for this copper tubing.Â Epoxied it in place.Â Then used some coat hanger wire (for its stiffness) and armature wire (for its armatureness) to form a rough head.Â Filled it with crumpled up aluminum foil, and roughly coated it with some plastecine.Â Then roughed out the basic facial shapes:Â eye sockets, cheekbones, chin, nose.Â I don’t get too fussy at this point.
The eye sockets that were roughed in above were too close together — I want her to resemble Sabela somewhat, and Sabela has quite far-set eyes.Â So I had to pull the eyeballs out a couple times until the placement was level and well-spaced.Â Then rolled up tiny bits of plastecine and worked them around the eyeballs, creating lids for them.Â (Please excuse the nail polish — I NEVER wear nail polish but just did that this past weekend for fun.Â The colour is called Disco!)
The eye sockets needed to be deeper, so I carved away a bit of clay around the eyes.Â Then tweaked away at all the shapes, adding definition here and there, and smoothing things out.Â Also added tiny lips, and finally, her shoulders.
Here they are!Â Sabela’s Mom and Dad.Â I won’t make the plaster molds for these guys until they have names.Â I’ve become a little superstitious about that.Â Puppets are much more cooperative when they’re named; I think you really have to respect them as though they were living beings, and treat them carefully, as strange as it may sound!
About the nail polish… FORGIVEN!
Your photo series are so beautiful and helpful. I love seeing your choices and process, as I’ve said.
Love that you name before molding! Maybe I’ll follow that tip too.
Cool beans …
Thanks, Justin and Shelley 🙂
I read once that puppet makers in India don’t paint the eyes on their creations until the very last thing… Because it’s the eyes that really bring the pup to life.
I find that thought rather pleasing, and have adopted it as one of my own little puppet making rituals. 🙂
hi Sven! Ooh, I love learning about people’s puppet-making rituals… that’s an interesting one. I’ll try this too!