The kids and I have made a little video in which we demonstrate making a character from a bubbly cork.
Tula, Rufus and myself have had another crack at making a puppet building tutorial video. We tried to made the instructions as clear as possible which has led to this one being over 10minutes long. Maybe a bit too lengthy really.
We realised that this video would benefit from some spoken directions over the top of sections of video that have been speeded up. So that we have done. In my opinion it works nicely, and is a simple way to get good sound quality, so we’ll be looking into doing more of that for the next video. Our aim is to produce tutorials that clearly demonstrate and describe the materials and processes that are used, without becoming boring. Please do have a watch.
Oh, and constructive criticism is much appreciated.
The clothes peg puppet making fits nicely into an hour long session. The kids demonstrated their teamwork skills by working in pairs, each member of the team building a left or a right viewing head, and making sure they communicated well so they did matching colouring in.
The video helpful to show the class the building process. They loved the speeded up colouring in and cutting out, but it could definitely do with a description that this is the case in the video. If I hadn’t been there to explain to the class they might have tried to colour in at super speed!
The part that presented most difficulty was the attaching of the head and jaw to the clothes peg.
This was tricky for the 7 year old kids and I think most of them needed help doing that bit.
It definitely calls for this bit of the building process being clearly described and demonstrated in real time, in the video. Possibly though, some other method of attaching the puppet head to the clothes peg is worth considering, because in all fairness, working with really thin double sided sticky tape is very fiddy. Maybe even prit stick would do it? I’ll give it a go and see if it works.
Still, at the end of the session, all members of the class had a finished and functional puppet head, and seemed to have enjoyed themselves, so not a bad result for a first trial run.
Here’s some nativity character clothes peg puppet characters. Each one is printed twice, looking to the left and right so each character can have a conversation with all the others, while looking directly at them.
Tula and I filmed a video today demonstrating how to make them. Hopefully we’ll get it online tomorrow.
One day this week I realised as I pulled our front door shut that I had forgotten my house keys and a couple of hours later, on returning home from school, Tula and I found ourselves locked out of the house.
Fortunately, I did have my shed keys with me, and the one for the gates to the back lane and so Tula came and joined me in my little shed based studi
We then spent a really enjoyable bit of time revisiting a project we had started, at probably the peak of Tula’s illness. At that point she could hardly get out of bed, and having read about M.E. sufferers being bed bound for years, I insisted that Tula should walk with me down he garden path to the shed each day, which at points was excruciatingly hard work, and sometimes I would have to carry her back to the house. We never spent any time in the workshop back then, it would have been too much for Tula.
However, I did sit by Tula’s bedside and model plasticine characters and things, in an attempt to keep a level of creative positivity alive, and hopefully not loose Tula entirely to the horrible looming depression that was inevitable during such a chronicly painful period.
Tula was mainly unimpressed and certainly didn’t want, or have the energy to join in untill one day I made this very simple
Back then, he didn’t have a hat, but Tula loved him! After very little debating we came up with the name ‘Cubestars’ and so they were born, and a much needed creative focus materialised. I then insisted that Tula do at least 30 mins Cubestars with me each day. She didn’t even have to model, if she wasn’t up to it, but day in, day out we would at least discuss the project. As we talked about the characters and what they got up to, I would sketch ideas into a pad.
We then moved on from plasticine to fimo and started to build a little world. To begin with, I did the modeling, but as Tula became enthusiastic about what was happening, she joined it too. We did
We made loads of characters, gave them names, created scenarios, and the props and costumes they needed to enact them. Tula vetoed my idea to give them arms, so we made sure they had feet big enough to carry things on. (Tula is with me as I write this and she has just told me she has unlimited vetos and I have only 3!)
The storyline I remember most fondly is Oasis’s; Because he is made from plasticine, we decided he would go on an expedition to live in the freezer so he could be hard too. That’s why he’s got a fimo hat now. We also made him 3 thermos flasks, for tea, coffee and chai, fishing rods, fish to catch, a fish storage box and chilli sweets.
We then froze a tub of water and drilled a hole in the centre which we filled with vodka so the fish could swim in unfrozen liquid.
Eventually, Tula got a bit bored of doing Cubestars every day, so we boxed them all up and we moved on to something else.
On getting them all out again we were surprised to remember just how much we had made. They deserve a properly lit photo shoot.
Two characters, a brother and sister called Bronzo and Bronzer who have a table they sell Bronze Biscuits from still needed chairs, so on this session we made them, and also made their mum, Bronzetta.
At the moment they are all still spread out on my workbench, and Tula has been down on her own to play with them, so in my opinion, it’s been time well spent!
We are going to have a go at making some puppet making tutorials and want to be able to do close up filming directly from above. So today I made a video camera stand to make this possible.
You can see the design sketch at the top of this post.
It was fairly simple to make. I used plained pine lengths that are 40mm by 18mm wide and cut some simple joints with a jigsaw on the back corners of the top frame.
I then glued them together with good PVA before screwing through the joints and into the legs (I decided not to use hinges)
The front legs I screwed directly into place and then put the frame into place on my drawing table to work out exactly where to attach the camera into place.
The camera slides into place on the plastic base from my tripod, which is great because I need to be able to transfer easily between the two stands. I just cut some peices of pine wih angled edges and then glued and screwed these into place, making sure the plastic base was held snuggly in place on the vertical beam.
I put a hook in the top so I can hang the frame from the roof, when it’s not in use, as I don’t have a great deal of space.
But in place, it look like this;
The horizontal bar that is attached to the vertical one that holds the camera ,has got joins on the end, but these are not repeated where it meets the rest of the frame, in case it needs adjusting as we start to experiment. For the same reason it is not glued but just screwed in place.
Making it was fun, but I’m even more excited about starting to film!
Here is a great way to make a simple mouth puppet with a clothes peg and some card board;
1; Sketch a head with the bottom jaw separate from the head.
2. Whack the sketch onto a light box and transfer it onto card and ink. If you haven’t got a light box then either make one (I’ll show you how I made mine in a later post), or sketch the head in pencil straight onto card and then go over in ink and rub the pencil out. The beauty of using a light box is you can make duplicates and have them facing left and right.
3. Cut the head out, find some double sided sticky tape and get your clothes peg ready.
4. Paint the clothes peg black. I used acrylic paint. Leave to dry.
5. Attach the double sided tape onto each side where the head and jaw are going to attach. Peel the paper bit off to reveal the double sticky side.
6. Attach the cut out cardboard head and jaw.
7. Play with it and make more characters. Maybe write a play and act it out!