Marionette - Waist Up...

Been busy cleaning the studio (again....how can so much crap accumulate so quickly?  Am I a creative hoarder?)  Also progressing nicely with my first marionette!  She is done from the waist up (minus hands, 'cause I'm afraid of hands, but they'll get done eventually....probably last :)  I am loving the amount of detail required to build one of these pups, I may end up having to add lead weights in places like the hips to make sure the weight is distributed evenly.  Right now she sort of leans forward a bit, due to the heaviness of her solid arms and breasts as compared to her hollow chest cavity.  I wont know for sure until I string her, I suppose its possible to adjust her stance with the tightness of the strings (she will be strung at the ears, shoulders, wrists, knees, and possibly somewhere at her back).  Her shoulders joints are leather cord anchored inside her torso and strung through her shoulder, tied at the outside, knot secured with glue.  Her elbows and wrists are strips of leather glued into slots carved into her arms.  More coming soon...


Marionette - Developing the Head

I am currently creating my first marionette, a Mardi Gras reveler complete with feathers, gown, and mask.  Her puppeteering "gimmick" will be that she is second-lining, dancing to a Mardi Gras beat while waving a handkerchief in the air.  It is a New Orleans wedding and funeral tradition that is sort of difficult to explain, so here is a link to a video if you are curious :)

I have already made the neck of my puppet, choosing to go with a neck that is free floating, unconnected to the head or shoulders except by a cord tied on either end that will be anchored inside the head/torso.  This allows for free movement of the head independent of the torso or neck.

I have also started on the head.  I carved out a piece of styrofoam, covered it in plaster wrap, and then began adding layers of water based, air dry clay.  Once complete, the styrofoam will be removed piece by piece so the head is hollow and able to be strung from the inside (the alternative, a solid head, involves visible screw eyes for stringing).  The nose is rather ugly but will be concealed by a mask, so I am mostly focused on making the eyes, lips, and chin as nice as they can be.

More coming soon, I'm riding a wave of inspiration :)



This week, I was struck with sudden inspiration, found myself pondering marionettes. I love puppets of all kinds, have always wanted to branch out from stop mo, and building a marionette is one of those items on my creative bucket list. So I started doing research, and found surprisingly little online. A few tutorials here and there, but most sites say, like stopmo, that there are a million and one ways to construct a stringed puppet, and its all about experimentation. A lot of sites recommended a particular book, "Making and Manipulating Marionettes" by David Currell, so I checked it out from my local library, read it, loved it. Very thorough, yet not confusing for a beginner. I plan on designing my first marionette tonight, and will construct it this week (I'm on vacation from work and this is how I plan to play :)

More info as it develops, sketches, design plans, and whatnot...


Unearthed - The Story So Far...

I've finished the cemetery scene and rerendered "Unearthed" complete with all of the footage I have filmed so far! Enjoy!