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January 19, 2008

fish puppet for shelley

by sven at 8:00 am

fish puppet

At Thursday's "virtual open studio," I built a fish puppet for stopmo co-conspirator Shelley Noble.

At the outset, I had more "Halfland"-ish ideas: where the scales would have letters on them, or be made from materials from our collage bins... But the scale of the puppet (uh, size) -- and how lovely it was turning out -- made me ditch those concepts. No big deal. It looks like a puppet version of the fishes I've been painting for years. It's neat just getting to see a 3D version of these.

And regardless of how the project ultimately turned out, it's actually done. Can't knock that, either.

A bit about the construction. The body was made from a bit of scrap wood. I cut off the corners, filed it into shape, and sanded it down.

The side fins and tail are detachable. I drilled holes into the body and hot-glued telescoping K&S in. The larger piece is 7/32", the smaller is 3/16". The purpose of this: the plug-ins serve as rigging points if you want to have the fish suspended in mid-air.

The struts of the fins are made from 1/16" aluminum armature wire. The fin webbing is athletic underwrap -- two layers, which sandwich the wires. The wires are attached to the underwrap with Fabri-Tac glue. So... All the fins and the tail are fully posable for animation.

The whole thing is painted with acrylics. The scales were made with a hole-punch and cardstock that I painted on both sides. I wrapped a little extra underwrap around the places where the K&S plug-ins are, just to disguise them a bit better.

Incidentally, I'm really happy with how the photo turned out. The backdrop is made from two sheets of scrapbooker paper. It's sitting on top of a light table, and I'm pointing a desk lamp at it, which has been covered with a sheet of typing paper. Essentially I'm flooding the scene with diffuse light from all directions.

posted by sven | January 19, 2008 8:00 AM | categories: stopmo