I decided not to link directly
to www.nicodemus.org for this tutorial. I'm not being mean, I just noticed
that it has moved around a bit on their site and so I decided to preserve it
here...... just in case. All of the info and photos below are in it's original
condition as it was/is on his site.
These are the foam components of the
puppet, before assembly. The patterns shown were used as cutting
guidelines to ensure that the puppet was symmetrical.
The pieces of foam were cut on a bandsaw,
with a fine-toothed blade. Thisworks well for cutting precise patterns
from a relatively stiff foam. The pieces were later trimmed with
scissors for detail shaping.
The two sides of the head are joined along
the edges with latex adhesive (hot glue may also be used). Note that
the foam patterns contained darts (angular cuts into the shape which
are later pulled together) to regulate the curvature of the head.
This shows the shaping of the foam pieces
using (sharp) scissors. These smaller pieces were then attached to the
head using contact adhesive.
The mouth interior is made from luaun wood,
though any stiff moisture-resistantmaterial would work. The thin
sheets of wood are covered by black muslin, which is used to form a
cloth hinge at the back of the mouth. The stiffer material is required
so that the puppet may be easily manipulated. The shape of the foam
naturally pulls the mouth open. The operator can press together the
hinged board surfaces to close the mouth.
The completed facial structure, before the
eyes are attached.
Spray-paint was applied directly to the
foam to get a proper skin coloration. Variations in coating created
shading effects. Brushed latex paint was also used for some of the
details (e.g. lips).
The final head, after detail painting on
the eyes and lips. Shown also are the fabric components of the