File puptcrit/puptcrit.0801, message 206


To: <puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 23:05:44 -0500
Subject: [Puptcrit] TECH: Sock puppet cousins


Hi all.
I'm still experimenting with sock puppets when I have a minute.
This sort of easy to build contraption does not mean one has to be cheap 
about it, we can make awesome-looking-awesomely-practical puppets with the 
proper base to start from. As mentionned in recent posts, I like adding a 
mouthpalte inside the sock (a straight slit is cut, mouthplate inserted, and 
the fabric is pulled over the edges of the mouthplate and glued, a bit at a 
time, with hot glue (high temp only). I also sometimes add a partial skull 
shape made of carved styrofoam. When lazy or pressed by time, one could just 
buy styrofoam shapes in craft stores, and cut them in symmetrical shapes.

A recent trip to the dollar store gave me a few other ideas for "raw" 
materials.

Socks (any lenght, stretchy or not, any color) aren't the only thing one can 
use to make "sock puppet" type puppets.
I've been looking at alternatives, to have more possibilities in case of not 
finding proper socks, and also for the fun of variety. Forms appearing in 
our hands while we work can teach us so many unexpected things!

 A simple Tuque (simple tight fitting winter hat, common in Canada) does a 
great job for a wider fatter puppet. The skull of the creature is a good 
size for a "mupet type". I added a partial skull into the head, made from a 
2 inch styrofoam carved into a cone. I just made one puppet with a tuque 
tonight. it's a freaky red-eyed thing, reminiscent of a messed-up evil 
kermit with inflated cranium. It's still wearable as a tuque, although very 
silly looking, but I,ll keep it as a puppet. If worn on the head and the 
extra fabric of the tuque is pulled over the puppeteer's face, the whole 
puppet head becomes a "displaced mask", changing the performer's proportions 
freakily!

I found a long tube scarf that sold with matching gloves and tuque. This 
kind of knit scraf is amazing for making puppets, very versatile, as it 
expands in lenght or width, one sacrificing material for the other. Meaning 
it fit a variety of forms very smoothly!

A soft-soled slipper can make a nearly instant puppet, if it can be folded 
in half without strain on the hand. Add fabric to complete the head (perhaps 
a large sock or a tube scarf), and you're in business!

Gloves can be modified to become mouth puppets too. I have yet to experiment 
with this, but eventually I will.
There was an old fun trick with glioves I learned from other kids back in 
elementary school.  Folding the gloves in a special way turned it into the 
cutest little puppet! Works best with the cheap "magic gloves", usually 
around 1$ in drugstores. They are one-size-fits-all, super stretchy. Too bad 
they are so short of wrist! I wonder if the same material is made into 
longer gloves?

I'm going to look for interesting sweater and shirt sleeves to use as 
"better" socks to make puppets with. They are bound to offer more lenght and 
width, while the rest of the sweater can provide extra fabric to complete 
the puppet.
A set of two identical or matching puppets could easily be made with a 
single sweater.



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