Long may it wave

Our Construction Diary
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Ping Pong's Puppet Workshop

September 30, 2001

Well, we slowly started to get back to work in the shop this week.

Last weekend, we participated in Portland's Illuminata Parade of Hope, a tribute to those who perished in New York the previous week.

Bill Holznagel has been in Europe all week to perform at the International Puppet Theatre for adults Festival Pierrot 2001 in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria and Nis, Yugoslavia. He'll be back next week --with lots of stories, we hope.

Perseus, Hero of Ancient Greece had its premiere showings at elementary schools in rural Washington state last week. Reports are that things went well, and its really turning out to be the quality of show we all hoped it would be.

Quilly arrived back from Ojai on Friday for a few alterations. We're going to cut his wings down and add a tail. We'll also change out the cape with one of a silkier fabric. We also need to make his strings eight inches longer, so he'll fit in the set better (by hiding the puppeteers' hands). Other than that, he's perfect.

Work is progressing on Quilly's buddies as you can see below.

Marty working on the Lizard's eyes

The Lizard's head is already in neoprene, and here's Marty working on his blinking eyes. His mouth is already finished, and once the eyes are installed, things will get a little crowded in there as you can see in the picture to the right.

The Lizard's mount mechanism as seen from the back

The Lizard's mouth mechanism as seen from the back of the head. The two horizontal bars are 5/8" dowel stock. The smaller one is glued to the head acting as a stop for the jaw, while the larger one is hot-glued to the back of the movable jaw, and drilled to allow the coat hanger wire on each side to act as the hinge.
The vertical wooden bar is a "popsicle stick" glued to the front of the jaw and wired and glued to the rear bar. The spring can be seen going down into the neck, and the string for manipulation will be attached at the same point and go up through a hole in the top of the head.

The Ant head

The Ant head with work starting on the movable mouth. The mechanism is similar to that of the Lizard, except that the coat hanger hinges will have to attach to the outside coming through the cheeks. (the wire will be cut off and then bent over to fit over the curve of the cheek and then filled and smoothed out.
The ant's head will be covered with spandex fabric, which will hide the wire.
The eyes don't blink, but will rather be painted in high gloss paint.


The Sea Serpent becoming a snail

Although it pained us all, the clay used for the Sea Serpent head from Perseus was needed as the clay for the shell of the snail in the Quilly show. Here Justen Rambo takes a few tentative swipes with the hammer as the conversion begins. Candace Dobson was saying: "I don't want anything to do with this!"

Candace working on the Mouse head

Here's Candace doing the final smoothing on the mouse head. She (the mouse) wears aviator goggles AND has blinking eyes. Oh joy! And yes, the mouth will also move.
The blue and green goggle lenses in the picture will be replaced with clear ones. These are slightly larger and should provide for the proper fit of the clear ones after the neoprene dries (and shrinks).
The ears will be cast separately from the head and attached later.

A closeup of the mouse sculpt

A closeup of the mouse head sculpt. We'll be casting her in plaster Tuesay night and in neoprene later next week.

The sculpt starts for the snail

Steve and Candace working on the sculpt for the head of the snail, the final character in the cast of the show. Yes, that's an empty paint can serving as the inner support for the hat



The Snail

Here's the former Sea Serpent rough-formed as the snail shell. The head and hat will be cast in Neoprene, but the hat brim will be a thin piece of plywood and sewable foam. The eye stalks will attach to the hat and will be extendable up and down. The shell will be made from cloth-mache like the Sea Serpent.

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