Our Construction Diary
Page 21

Ping Pong's Puppet Workshop

August 18, 2001- (Page 3 of 4)

In looking back over the recent pages, it occured to us that we haven't shown you a finished puppet ready to costume. Lets take care of that now. Perseus is going to be the last puppet to get his costume, so he's the one we'll take a close look at. We also take a look at Medusa's electric eyes and battery pack.

Perseus ready for costuming

Perseus ready for his costume. He is one of the two marionettes in the show, the other being Medusa. Their beams are simple airplane controls made out of wood -- called parting bead at your (fairly hip) local hardware store.

A Closer look at Perseus Torso

Here you can see the jointing system for the arms, legs, and torso. The torso was sawed in half with a hacksaw, holes drilled, grommet halves hot glued in and then elastic was tied between the torso halves. This gives a realistic bending-at-the-waist motion. You can also see how the legs are attached to the torso and how the arms are glued into the hands.

 

View from the back

View of Perseus from behind. You can clearly see the elbow joint in his right arm. The arm is made of a single piece of canvas.

The neck joint

The head attachment. The loop coming out of the neck is in the foreground, and the rod that is pushed through from ear to ear can be seen to the left. In our marionettes, the rod has a small circle bent just outside the head to attach the head strings. These strings support the entire weight of the puppet, unless shoulder strings are added.

 

Medusa and her electric eyes.

Medusa and her electric eyes. She has pieces of red stage gel glued inside her skull. The skull interior is painted with reflective silver paint, and an 8.4 volt flashlight bulb is attached to a clear plastic tube that runs down to the bottom of her torso (easiest way to change the bulb -- you don't have to remove the head -- just the tube).
The wires from the bulb run down inside the tube to two 9-volt batteries (see next picture)

 

Medusa's Batteries

Medusa's batteries. They can be changed without removing the bulb from inside her head. The wires will be tucked up inside the torso. A wire runs up her back string to a switch attached to the beam just to the left of the cross point. The puppeteer can then easily control the light turning on or off.

Steve & Nancy discussing costuming

Steve & Nancy discussing the finer points of costuming.

Steve and his trusty Pfaff sewing machine

Steve and his trusty Pfaff sewing machine. It's one of the last of the good ones -- no interior plastic parts and NO COMPUTER!!

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