here are some of the puppets I have created. This dragon was first used in “a piece of mime”. Once the film was completed the puppet was put away to rest. The latex cracked after awhile and became chalky. So for its appearance in my new film I needed to repair some of the latex and repaint it. The latex is NOT foam latex. It is brush on latex called “mold builder” that you can buy in almost any craft store. For this puppet, I created a ball and socket armature and then glued seat cushion foam to the armature. I clipped it with scissors to shape the muscles. Once I had the basic shape, I took some clay and sculpted the body. From the clay I made a plaster mold. When the plaster was dry I brushed in latex mold builder tinted with red paint until it was thick enough. It took several layers, with each layer drying before the next one was added. This took several days to complete. The latex skin was then glued onto the foam muscles, and any holes or defects patched with brush on latex.
The wings were sculpted in a thin clay layer laying flat on the workbench, like a tiny shallow lake. A wire armature was laid in place and I then brushed in latex layer by layer until it was thick enough and then attached it to the dragon. I had wires sticking out of the body waiting for the attachment. Here is the basic armature without front legs yet or wing wires. It is standing up on its own with no other supports.
This is the body sculpted in clay
this is my messy work area
this is the clay sculpture laying in a clay bed and plaster poured around it to make a mold of one side.
This photo shows the plaster mold finished. It is for one side only of the dragon. I filled the tiny air bubble holes and then brushed in mold builder latex.
This is what the skin looks like when I pulled it out. The black arrow shows bumps caused by air bubbles in the mold but for this skin it looks great.
This is the skin laying loosely on the armature just for show. I have to cover the armature in foam first to build up the muscles.
Here is the finished dragon in a new puppet set.
In this collage you can see:
the witch girl from “a puppet’s life”
the goblin puppet maker, mother and son, and furry creature from “free with purchase”
the ogre, the purple creature, and the forest wizard from “the third necessity”
the dragon and the mime from “a piece of mime”
the goblins from “a public safety announcement”
the guy on the right with white hair is new and has not been seen before.
Most of the puppets have a wire armature with brush on latex skins. A few of those above have ball and socket armatures and some have hand sewn clothes.