Puppet-making

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One of my favourite parts of creating stop-motion animation is the puppet-making. I have a real love for tiny, textural things and sewing, so this process is a real joy. The puppets are primarily made of armature wire, plumber's epoxy, super-sculpey, upholstery foam, brass stock, and liquid latex.

The first step is character design and size-planning: I draw out a to-scale version of what I want the final puppet to look like. I then braid and cut armature wire to length as specified by the drawing, and mix up some epoxy to create the 'bones' that the wire is embedded in. I create 'skin' from liquid latex, tinted with acrylic paint and brushed on the hand bones. Rare earth magnets or nuts are embedded in the bottom of the feet to secure the puppet to the set. The head is sculpted and painted, and the armature pieced together via epoxy and a bit of gap-filling glue and contact cement (securing bits of brass stock to the wire-ends so the limbs can be inserted into the body with the option of removal should they break). From there the skeleton is sandwiched between two pieces of upholstery foam and then trimmed down to the desired size and shape. Clothes are made using fabrics that keep in mind the scale of the puppet, and then the puppet is finished!

 



About the author

CarlaVeldman

I'm an independent animator and film-maker with a passion for story-telling, bicycling, sewing, and board games! I also like good analogies and bad puns.

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