Here you can see the characters in their foamcore form. The drawings were first scanned into the computer, and they were printed out on our trusty H-P 1000C Ink Jet Printer. It has a billboard feature that allows printing images almost as large as you want. It also prints on 11"x17" paper. The resulting sheets were cut and pasted together and then pasted on the foamcore board. Tabs were put on the back to allow them to stand up.
This is to be both a puppet and a mask. The center sister is the mask, which covers the face of the puppeteer. The other two sisters are worked by rods held in the puppeteers' hands.
We took the original Perseus drawings and enlarged them to the proposed size of the characters, and mounted them on foam core board.
These were made so that Nancy Aldrich, TOJ's Artistic Director and William Earl, the show's designer, could check and make sure that the characters would work together and work in the set designed for the show in the proposed sizes.
Most of the characters are to be about 30 inch tall rod puppets, with Atlas about 40 inches tall. The dragon will be about eight feet long. These size designations have to be agreed upon first, because the sizes of all of the puppet body parts stem from them.
The sizes were all pronounced to be OK, and sculpting could begin.
Bill Holznagel brought in a rough carve of one of the Graeae sisters, which is both a puppet and a mask, as well. It needs to be easily donned and doffed by the puppeteer, so some discussion followed as to the correct size for the mask. This initial carve is too small and will be redone.
Our sculpts are done in a non-hardening oil-based clay called plasticene. Plaster molds are made from them, and then neoprene castings are made from the molds. We'll be covering the process in some detail later in these pages.