File puptcrit/puptcrit.0606, message 12

Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 14:14:21 -0400
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Magnetic Stage for a  puppet show?

On Thu, Jun 01, 2006 at 01:07:57PM -0400, Mathieu Ren wrote:
> Reading the recent talk about Toppo Gigio, I am wondering if this has ever been done:
> using VERY strong magnets embedded in the puppet's feet, and make the stage (or table) floor a metal sheet or plate. IT could even be covered in a tight fabric, to avoid the metallic look (although the reflections from brass or copper would give a neat-o effect for some visual looks.

I've done something similar, though not exactly as you've described.

I have a blue bird hand puppet that I use a lot, and I wanted to be able
to fly her on-stage, then bring her to her perch, and as she lands, her 
feet would grab and hold onto the perch.  To achieve this effect, I embeded 
two disc-style magnets in the feet of my blue bird hand puppet, then embeded 
two larger thin rectangular magnets in a 'perch', which was nothing more 
than a 'T' made of two wooden dowels.   All of these were ceramic magnets 
bought at a hardware store, though all were billed on the packaging as 
'high-power' or something to that effect. 

In this case, I actually wanted that quick-grab effect of the magnets, 
and I've managed to get a pretty good effect out of this setup.  Admittedly, 
her legs do occasionally pop loose when I'm working with her on her perch, 
but since this is usually during a song-and-dance type number, it makes 
sense for her to let go every now and then, and I can always maneuver her 
feet back to the grabbing points very easily.

Just one of a number of ways I've utilized magnets in my puppetry - they
really are quite useful.


Kevin Pittman         
Professional puppeteer and costume character performer
Specializing in fun, fairy tale style puppet shows, featuring
Personally designed, lovable and lifelike animal characters.
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