sculpey puppet troll

This guy started with a mixture of me playing with sculpey and as an early attempt to make a simple puppet that a child can use. He has a handle in his head (poor thing) to hold and manipulate with but nothing else (originally I planned for a rod in one arm to work the hahd but this felt unwieldy)
The jury is still out on the finished figure. I think his head is too small and not expressive enough. There will be a mark 2 eventually but for now...

Sculpey Puppet

Managed to finish the sculpey head and hands this week and very happy with result. I was worried that the thickness of sculpey would be a problem but apart from a slight crack it seems fine and isn't too heavy. The idea is that the puppet will be held and moved using the stick out of the back.

Using different sculpey for the horns (transparent) gives a good bone effect but for some reason the teeth stayed white. I think I may have contaminated the sculepy.

The stick snapped (just to the right of the photo) so will ahve to reinforce it with wire.

You can see the different colour in the teeth which should look like the horns.

You can just make out the crack over the right eyebrow. I hope when it's painted a little filler will turn it into a scar.

I hadn't given much thought up till now on the body or how to make it.
The body is thick wire beant into shape and covered with card. The hoops will allow the limbs to be joined on.

I've opted for dowl, metal rod and string for the arms and legs, kotted and taped in place and then covered with wadding

I've lghtly glued the wadding to the arm and sewn fabric onto it for the basic arm

More to come soon....

Exploring Sculpey

I've been following te work of Shona M MacDonald  as she makes her first (and very successful) sculpey creature, this along with a discussion with a friend over making a hand puppet for a small child encouraged me to revisit and further explore this medium.

I started with the hands, and having seen Shona and the animation group at UWE use fimo bones (leaving the wire showing for joints) this was how I started. I've always had difficulty with hands as the clay keeps coming off the wire as you work it but these crude bones gave a real grip onto which to build the detail. Each photo was taken after a stage was cooked or fired (not shure of the correct terminology but as a ceramacist I'll stick to fired).

My biggest problem was not running the wire from the fingers into the palm, this meant that the fingers were not strong at this point leading to cracking. Also I should have made the bones thinner as they sometimes restricted the detail I could add, especially near the fingernails. These were made from transparent sculpey, fired, and then built into the finger. The bones wee too close to the fingertip so they are not very secure.

The finished hands are flawed but I like the gnarley look and next time I will make the construction stronger.

I plan to make a puppet approx a foot tall which means a much bigger sculpey head than I've tried before. You can see the early stages below.
As the puppet is to be hand held there will be a stick coming out of the back of the head. I was worried about this going in the oven but it seems fine so far. The wire will support horns.

 Wrapped in foil and a layer of sculpey to build ont he head. I've added to indentations for the eye sockets but I don't really have any idea of what he will look like yet.

The basic head takes shape. The vaseline is used to help unfired clay stick to fired, and is good for smoothing away fingerprints too.

As I didn't have beads of the correct size I've made eyes from black sculpey and fired them so I can model the eye lids onto them.


Teeth are made from fired transparent sculpey and will be beded into the lips.

I'm still not sure about how he should look and may go back and change a lot of the features but so far no problem working at this scale, but then he hasn't been cooked yet!

Environment suit

I've not really had the creative urge of late and I've certainly not had a piece that has really inspired or challenged me. Normally if I feel like that I make something just to get me going. As a result I have lots of half started things; heads, bodies etc which may or may not come to life.

I started this figure after seeing  a picture of a diver's mouthpiece and thought it might make an intersting way to develop a head; long face with tubes coming from the mouth rather than the full face pieces I've done recently.
I also had plenty of tubes so thought I'd try using these for arms and legs (with wire inside) and create a athin body instead of a stocky figure with long leather coat.

He's developing into some kind hazmat or environment suit with a large neck collar similar to a deep sea diver.

I like the way his head comes out over the collar, although this makes no scientific sense if he is supposed to have a helmet attached to the collar!