Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hello my little Poppets

It's been a very busy week. I had to hit the ground running since I am going to be doing this music video in 2 months. I like a bit of a challenge :)

Only one new puppet for this video, since it focuses on the relationship of String Man from the last video, and the new female character in this video... for all intents and purposes let's call her Isadora, Dora for short.

As I said before I want her to look like a fusion of circus/flapper/chinadoll/ballerina. She was actually really fun to sculpt and clothe. I finished the clothing last night and baked her eyes in the oven(not seen yet). Her hair will be two messy buns made out of this crimped black knitting yarn I found at JoAnn's... you'll see. In the drawing she appears to hair 4 buns all over her head.. I was just trying different locations for the buns.. I decided on the lower two. One large one by the nape of her neck below her ear, and one smaller one above and slightly behind her other ear. On the small one I will put a little colorful cloth flower thing.
She has no eyes or hair in any of these pictures. Patience my precious!

Here we go! I will be finishing her up today, and making the sets this week.

As usual, I don't spend much time on sketches for my stop motion... just the general idea...

like before, sculpted the heads from oil based clay... I find it helpful to do a basic sculpt with my fingers with it at room temperature... then put in in the fridge over night and sculpt the details with my tools when it is harder.

the mold, thats a water based clay at the base, then her, then some PAM before I layed in the plaster. That box is made from a trashbag box.

To save time, I only did a good 5 or 6 paperthin layers of Castin Craft liquid latex this time(since it takes so long to dry in the mold(assuming it's because the plaster side doesn't get air to dry faster) this actually proved a bit more taxing because the face was so flimsy that when I filled it with the insulation foam, her face puckered and wrinkled when the foam dried completely. I had to do a bit of plastic surgery to remove her face, paint in a layer of Gorilla Glue to make a skull, then glue it back onto her head

this time around I didn't use foam on my bodies, It was a lot quicker and cheaper to simply wrap her body in pantyhose.

Latex build up on arms and legs, this is her with the foam insulation drying onto the wire of her neck. I also want to note that to do the insulation foam head, it was important to have her neck ONLY 2 twisted 1/16th wires. I tried with 3 this time to strengthen her neck and spine, but her neck wasn't turning smoothly when the foam dried(too much resistance). I simply cut out a wire on the neck part and reglue her head into the foam with gorilla glue.

String man had a body transplant... Because I didn't know he was going to be in more than one video, I didn't make his spine strong enough to withstand such use. I gave him a new stronger spine made out of a stronger wire, wrapped with a smaller wire. Same goes for his left leg. is right leg is 4 pieces of 1/16th aluminum wire wrapped.
Also this time, instead up using balsa wood for the chest and hips, I used plumbers putty. It's stronger and saved time even though it is more expensive.

and a little bonus photo from Siberian that I found. It shows the humorously haphazard setup I used to do the octopus legs coming out of the pig's mouth.


  1. Fantastically interesting....Thanks for sharing this incredibly unique process Vanessa. You truly are a master scul-puppeter!

  2. Great post!

    lots of fun stuff to look at and marvel.
    good luck on the big 2month push too.