Long may it wave

Our Construction Diary
Page 40

 

 

 

 

Ping Pong's Puppet Workshop

 

November 8, 2001(Page 1 of 3)

Well, all is ready to take the plaster mold of Professor Salt 'n' Puff's shell and cast it in neoprene. Let's see how it went.

The mold ready to pour

Here's the plaster mold, two days dry and ready for the neoprene. Its got several bungee cords holding it together, with a plasticine gasket keeping the two halves water (or rather neoprene) tight.
The plasticine dam on the top is to allow the neoprene to cast right to the top of the plaster mold, since what was bottom is now top, and we need all of the bottom (top) in the final cast. Clear?
Its odd shape led us to resting it in the two plastic buckets you see above. Not the most stable of platforms, but it held.

The mold full of neoprene

Here it is full of neoprene. We decided a bungee cord around the buckets would also be a good idea. It took most of the four gallons of neoprene lined up in the last picture to fill the mold. The shine on the top of the mold is a piece of Saran Wrap to keep the top surface of the neoprene from skinning over.

The next morning

Here is the shell drying after the neoprene was bailed out of the mold. We did a six-hour pour on the shell, which made it a little heavy, but nice and strong. After removing the excess neoprene, a fan blew air into the cavity overnight, drying it enough to remove it from the mold. The pour took almost 3/4 of a gallon of neoprene.

The shell drying

Here's the shell drying, again with the fan blowing on it. I had to shepherd the shell for about an hour, carefully shaping and turning it to match the original sculpt as closely as possible. There's a short piece of a dowel inside the shell, holding the two halves the correct distance apart, while it dries completely.

The final result

Professor Salt 'n' Puff's shell in Neoprene. Perhaps you can tell -- we're rather proud of the result!!!

 

The plasticine carve and the neoprene cast

Here's the plasticine sculpt (a little worse for the wear) and the neoprene casting.

 

The shell getting its black gesso paint

The shell has dried for two days and is ready for the first coat of black gesso (the first of two). The shell has been ground with the Dremel tool to remove the flash line down the center (where the two halves of the mold came together) and trimmed along the bottom (which was the top during the pour). On the next page we'll watch Bill Holznagel paint the rest of the shell.

 

Ah, poor Quilly

Ah, poor Quilly. He's back for a few alterations. His wings are removed and will be made smaller, his cape will be redone with slinkier fabric and he'll be strung a foot taller. Other than that, he's in great shape.

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All text and photos © 2001 Olde World Puppet Theatre

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