Wednesday, September 12, 2018

SCULPTURE: Pirate Puppet

Ahoy, Maties!  Once again I return to my love of pirates to create my most recent project...a puppet! I have always loved marionettes. And while this puppet is more like The Muppets in format, I was definitely thinking of old-school paper mache construction.

Below is a series of photos showing the various stages that the head went through. I made several changes along the way, figuring it out as I went. I found the beard and hair at some hobby shops and a costume shop. I also found the soft-foam pirate's hat at a hobby shop. No need to create from scratch, if the props work.
After I got some comments that the pirate looked scary, I decided to soften edges a bit by adding more "skin" around the mouth to cover up the teeth a bit more. I think it helped some.
A couple of weeks after I had completed the puppet head, I was able to focus on building the pirate's body. It had been decades since I had used a sewing machine, so my skills were virtually non-existent for this project. I also had a lot of hand stitching to pull this thing together. I thought that using used children's clothing that I got at a thrift store would make things easier. Wrong. At least I had fun making the tiny little pirate shoes out of cardboard and paper mache! The hand was created with epoxy "Magic Clay".
Here's a view of the stand I made to hang the pirate on. The head of the puppet is VERY heavy, so I added a little "hook" to hold the weight of the body. You can also see the rod that connects to the "hook hand" nicely holds the arm forward a bit when on the stand.
Aaaarrrgh...that be the end of the tale of the Puppet Pirate! (Or is it just the beginning?!!!)