Adventures in Puppet Making 101: Intro


Welcome to Adventures in Puppet-Making 101!! This series of entries is based on notes I took during the process of creating my first industrial strength puppet.
The primary purpose of the notes is for future puppet projects.  With these notes, I will be able to make comparisons and improvements to the process and thus build better puppets.  I highly recommend making detailed notes for anyone doing any sort of creative process for the first time.  Documenting your progress, in one way or another, can only help to prevent a lot of error repetition on succeeding trials.  After a while notes, excepting for strange occurrences, are not even needed but for now I am learning so everything that is new to me gets written down. I assure you, you will not have to read everything I do write down as much of it is simply hashing out a working method.
I took photographs of this process and will post these along with the appropriate session.  Hopefully these will help to visualize what I am talking about. If you find something unclear, feel free to contact me and I will attempt a more lucid explanation.
Please note that there is an inevitable amount of burning from the hot glue gun along with the wonderfully delicious stabbing of thumbs and fingers by curved and straight needles. Sometimes learning can be painful.  So it could be that this process is not well suited for children that are looking to make a puppet.  Of course on the other hand, I could just be incredibly clumsy.
Throughout this you are going to hear me mention Sculpt or Coat. Sculpt or Coat is a product from sculpturalarts.com. It is a non-toxic plastic cream which creates a protective coating that helps to stop breakage and keeps foam pieces from drying out. It also prevents solvent-based paints from eating away at foam. Widely used in theatre arts.
Hot glue guns generally run around 400°F.  When it comes in contact with your flesh, it is going to cook.  However, this tool is indispensable.  I use the yellow glue sticks, as they form a stronger bond than the white sticks.  If you are thinking of using a low temperature glue gun you will find that 250°F is still going to burn you and your bonds will be weak in comparison to a high temperature gun.
My intention is to build a cloth covered puppet.