File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 207

Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 08:49:58 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Parrot puppet tips?

> .Has anyone here ever made/used a bird puppet with articulated wings that 
> fold neatly on its body, like the natural resting position? The puppet is 
> for a solo puppeteer.

THis question comes up about once every couple months, I myself have 
posted it. and the answer is it has yet to be discovered how to achieve 
this marvel of the natural world on any kind of budget.  Even Hobby, 
who, I believe has come closest, has told me it is simply easier to 
create two puppet and use the bait and switch technique on stage.

I have parrots and have studied them trying to come up with a method, 
and I have been unable to get a double cable system to work smoothly on 
any kind of consistent basis, they always get jammed up because of the
rotation required to go into extended wing mode from resting mode.

This, of course does not mean that it can't be done, but leave yourself
a lot of time if you are going to devote your design to the articulated 
wings (looking natural/realistic).
> .What are some easy ways of making it look good, without actually making an 
> actual bird wing skeleton and flocking it?  My parrrot will be cartoon-like, 
> so simplifications work well.

If you go this direction you can use a simple cable to either push the 
wings away from the body or a flexible cable to run through the body to 
the shoulder and into the wing to lift the wing.

I don't know about on line but if you have Grey Seal's first foam book, 
I'm pretty sure there is a simple wing mech in that.
> I don't want him to have half-open wings when he's at rest on his branch...

You can shorten the wings a bit and then curve them slightly to the body 
so that when the wings are at rest they snug up to the body.  I would 
build over heavy vara form or Spring Steel boning, but anything you can 
shape to hold the shape and that isn't to heavy should be good.

> Any suggestions?
> Thanks!
> This has to be built in at most three evenings (within a week, but Iwork 
> days), starting Monday...which I've often done for other puppets, but not 
> with unfamiliar wing making.

Good luck with the time frame, I hate building with to little time, the 
designer always gets blamed for the short comings of the project, even 
though the client set the time parameters.

All my best,
K. Elizabeth Evans, President & Artistic Director
Renaissance Artist Puppet Company

Renaissance Artist Puppet Company's
mission is to promote excellence in puppetry as a
Theatrical art form and as an Educational tool by incorporating
historical and cultural diversity along with quality performance
techniques to tell our stories.
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