Wooden Beginner

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Wooden Beginner

Postby Harvey » 11 Feb 2013, 11:12

For starters don't ask about the title I couldn't think of a name.


I am planning to start with a wooden set soon (or use them as a back up set)
What I ask what are the advantages and disadvantages (apart from them being quite heavy) of using wooden puppets.

I have been offered a set with no joey so I am planning to carve one I have looked on the profesors tips page a Richard Coombs's page on his Joey the clown so Thank you.
has anyone else got any tips for costuming and carving.
vv
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby Richard Coombs » 11 Feb 2013, 20:00

Joeys costume is very much down to your personal preference Harvey.

There are lots of options ( and as always you can spend some time looking through the many pics of different Joeys on this Board as inspiration )

But colour-wise ...he is usually determined by the rest of your set, as it is nice to have him in a contrasting colour to anyone else ..which gives the audience as many different colours to look at as possible character by character.

This rings the changes through a show

For example ..you seldom (if ever ?) see a Joey dressed in the same sort of Red as Punch ...they are onstage together so much , it would be odd if they were both in red.

Unless you are one of the rare folk who have a Punch that has a lot of green on the red costume..or a Punch that is dressed in blue ( and there are one or two folk whos puppets are like that ...Tony James for example has a blue Punch ) ...then we can safely say your Punch will mainly be Red .

Policeman in Dark Blue . Croc Green etc ...Is the Judy in your new wooden set in a dress that is green ? ...or Blue ? or some other colour? ( often a spotted or flowery or Gingham fabric ...but it will still come down to being one 'over-all' strong colour )

Pick something for Joey that sets him apart from these other main characters.

Perhaps this is a reason there are quite a few "white' Joeys around ...this is also because of the famous illustration of Josef Grimaldi and his white clown outfit .

Image

CvdC made a whole range of Joeys a few years back using this Grimaldi pic as the concept ...and very fine they look too.
Image
Image
Image
And here is a splendid Geoff Felix version:
Image

Rod Burnets Clown uses a printed fabric with pink sweets ( licorice allsorts ?) all over .
Quite a few favour crazy prints or Diamond patterns .

You really are spoiled for choice .

And Joey is the one puppet in any set that you can really personalise to be your own trademark look.

So you are quite right to give him plenty of consideration before you start to build and costume him.

Good Luck with it all

Richard
Last edited by Richard Coombs on 12 Feb 2013, 15:21, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby Richard Coombs » 11 Feb 2013, 20:19

Oh and a secondary thought ( as it was you that asked if there were any plans available for my 'Mini' puppet show routine ) .....

IF you intend for any reason in the future to have a second 'Duplicate" Joey to do any special bit of trickery ..like for example the Mini Puppet Show ..or blowing up a balloon himself (like another Blowey Clown , but with Joey)

THEN make sure you get twice as much of everything and put half away safely for the future when you want to build a duplicate.

this means not only twice as much fabric ...but also twice as much of any braid , or trimmings or lace ...or wool or fur or feathers that you make his hair from.

Anything in fact that use on the first Clown ...because it can happen that in a years time , you might struggle to find any of it again to match ...fabrics and braids get discontinued , shops that sell stuff can close down ...or when you think there is loads left in the shop ...somebody who is making costumes for Pantomime comes in and buys up the whole roll of the stuff you used for Joey , so next time you go in there is none left !

Trust me - it happens !

So even if you only have a tiny thought you might want a second matching Joey in the future ...plan for it now and tuck stuff away ready.

And also it is much easier to carve two matching heads if you do them side by side at the same time ....in a few months or a year you might not remember what you did to get that shape and look.

So again - if you are able- make two heads now.


As I said just a thought.

Good Luck

Richard
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby Harvey » 12 Feb 2013, 10:51

Thanks Richard

Should start carving next week I especially enjoyed reading your construction of your Joey.





Also I am looking at fixing my computer later on today so should get some blowey the clown Pictures up (I even Made video of me building it)

I should also video Bloweys First show (as a clip) and I will put it on youtube.
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby Harvey » 25 Feb 2013, 01:57

I Did Just come up with an idea start building a basic puppet (as a practice) I was thinking a monkey puppet.
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby Harvey » 11 Mar 2013, 10:53

Came up with an idea.
do people use Papier-mâché puppets?
because i am planing to use one I am just asking if it is a good idea.
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby geoff.london » 11 Mar 2013, 20:30

This is just an idea but when carving a figure its sometimes a good idea to model it first in plasticine. That way you can correct any mistakes or work on an idea before committing it to wood. Also working in clay or plasticine is quick and by having a reference to compare, you might avoid a head that looks too flat. I saw Waldo Lanchester do this on a film once and I do this especially if I have to make a portrait in wood. John Wright wrote a very good book called 'Your Puppetry' which deals mainly with marionettes. His idea was that the main part, the creative bit, was all worked out on paper. The carving was the actions of the craftsman carrying out the artist's design. By making the model in plasticine, you are in effect, doing the design in three dimensions. Well I think that was it, and if not, I am sure Chris will correct me!
If you are doing carving, be very careful to point the tool away from yourself. Its best to have something like a Black and Decker work mate or ideally a carving vice to hold the wood so that you can use both hands to handle the tools. This is made of wood so if you slip it wont wreck the tool. N.B. (which means note well) Please take great care when handling the tools, which should be sharp. I forget your age but please make sure that if not supervised, that there is at least someone nearby to call if you have an accident. Good luck!
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby CvdC » 11 Mar 2013, 22:18

A monkey would be an excellent puppet to start with.
Here are some by Steiff which I think are excellent.
Image

If you do a Google image search on "Steiff monkey" you will find many others to inspire.
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby CvdC » 11 Mar 2013, 22:19

A monkey would be an excellent puppet to start with.
Here are some by Steiff which I think are excellent. (Although the costumes are a bit short)
Image

If you do a Google image search on "Steiff monkey" you will find many others to inspire.
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby Harvey » 25 Mar 2013, 11:19

geoff.london wrote:I forget your age but please make sure that if not supervised.
Geoff.

I have added it to my signiture


also I have decided not to move to wood yet I think I'll use my Puppets and when I am (strong lol) older I'll move to a wooden set.
I will carve my set now but use them in the future. vv
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby Harvey » 03 Dec 2013, 11:15

it was my birthday yesterday and i got two bags of chissels and a special hand held sanding drill for puppets
and will be using it for my new policeman looks like I may not be using it but still its good for practice.

What we are planning in the new year we will hopefully get some wood to carve puppets out of (what wood is the best for puppets (Richard before you do your joke what specific tree wood be useful))
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby geoff.london » 03 Dec 2013, 14:18

Dear Harvey,
Happy recent birthday and congratulations on getting some carving tools. As I said, be careful and always carve with the blade pointing away from you (you would be surprised at how much blood there is in a finger) and if you care for the tools properly, they will last a lifetime.
A very good wood for carving is lime. Punch, traditionally, has a nose made of oak. This is because in the old days the dog was trained to bite it and you needed a really strong wood to withstand this over many performances. You could also use steamed beech which is what they use to make breadboards. Don't use balsa or jelutong unless its for practice. Its too soft. Also, and this is important, be aware of the grain of the wood when carving. When you make the nose and chin, the grain goes into the head rather than from top to bottom. Puppeteers for many years (including John Wright) have got their timber from Moss and co. in Hammersmith. However, you can also use other timber and I believe Bryan Clarke has used pine as well as many others. Fred Tickner would get timber from anywhere he could. One friend of his gave him a post he had found and said, 'There you are Fred, I expect the next time I see that it'll be nodding at me.'
With best wishes,
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby lesclarke » 03 Dec 2013, 19:20

Yes, be careful sharp chisels are sharp!

What plans do you have for holding your wood Harvey, do you have a vice?

Look in skips, for people throwing out old coffee tables, the legs are often the right sort of section to make a nose or a chin from, and could be beech or oak.

When you start with a block of wood, you can remove some big chunks, using a saw, and get nearer to the basic shape, before starting with the chisels.
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Re: Wooden Beginner

Postby Harvey » 05 Dec 2013, 10:43

Thanks guys Yes I use a vice also just started carving a Mr P don't event know if I am going to use it yet, also the policeman has had to stop for a bit my head back and do some more work on that today may even get the camera out
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