Friday, May 31, 2013

AUTOMATA - "Pirate Puppet" FINISHED!

 YO HO HO, ME BUCCANEERS!  The Pirate Project be DONE!!

As often happens, my projects turn out to be way more complicated than I anticipate when I start with a little sketch on a scrap of paper.  But fortunately, I had some time over Memorial Day weekend, and some on-line encouragement from my friend, Joyce, to stick with it and finish this guy! So, without futher ramblings...let's look at the final stages.

I will say up front...the most frustrating part of this project was messing with beard fur and super-glue!!!  What a mess! Some months ago, a co-worker buddy of mine, Shannon, had given me this 98¢ fake beard, which was perfect for my pirate. I began by cutting out a piece to fit the lower jaw.  I glued the fur upside down, so it would hide the fabric backing, and give a soft, rounded edge to the top of the beard.

Next up...combing...trimming...then a little razor work to make the beard more uneven and shaggy.

Then I glued on a piece to cover the back of the head and neck.  After that...I added the mustache.  You will note that there is a nice little gap where the Pirate's wicked scar cuts across his lip.

The finishing touches were a bit more fur added in front of the ears, and also to back-fill any spaces where the backing showed through.  And then I glued the hat in place.

Next, it was time to see if I remembered anything at all from the sewing class I took in college, umpteen years ago! This part of the build took about 10 to 15 hours to figure out how to create the jacket.  But I think it worked out pretty well in the end.  The lace cuffs were some ribbon material I found at the fabric store.

One thing that I didn't account for was the thickness of the black felt that I used for the jacket.  It bunched up a lot in the area of the elbows, so I had to trim out and sew the sleeve with a bend to the heel of a sock.

Since I did not have a pattern, I had to trim and measure things as I went.  I cut a hole for one arm, wrapped the felt around to the other side, then cut another arm hole.  The sleeves were long enough to tuck under for stitching later. Once I had a "vest" made, I folded the tops over for lapels, and added a collar.

I had stumbled across some ribbon fabric in the laundry room a few days ago, and thought it would make a nice "shoulder belt". So, I quickly made a buckle out of wire and plumbers epoxy.  The final step for the jacket was to attach the "steering arm" by closing up the "screw eyes", and then stitching on the other sleeve.
 Once the jacket was complete, I ran my strings through all the mechanisms, and glued the puppet parts to the base.  I was a little frustrated to discover that much of the range of motion with the finished puppet was diminished, due to the way the thicker felt fabric, and the beard material restricted the movements.  Oh and learn!

Check out the final photos below!

 Time to swab the decks, Maties...this journey be over!


pedalpower said...

Wow...he turned out great! That's a pretty complicated project!

Anonymous said...

Does your camera have a video? It would be wonderful to actually see him move! Mine has one but I don't know how to use it. Super, son! That hair and beard is amazing! Mom

Anonymous said...

Awesome@ I love him! Will get Mom to make a photo of my mother's favorite ceramic from long, long, ago...surely this guy's great uncle or something. Mom's friend.

BaronVonJ said...

How did you get Todd to pose for you?

Warren Ludwig said...

Well, Jaye...if you feed him a biscuit and some bacon, he'll sit pretty still for a while. Does kindof look like him, now that you mention it. Ha!

Yeti's Yell said...

This is simply awesome!

Andrew Henwood said...

My word, that is the finest toughest pirate I ever did see!

Blog Master said...

Can you please contact me? I would like to see if you can do this pirate head into a golf head cover.