6/13/2007

Vlzerdko un Brun

So, before I spend the next two years of my school life working on *ahem* serious projects I wanted to do something a little frivolous and fun. As I've wanted to play with puppets again I came up with the idea of doing an episodal 'Punch and Judy' style puppet show set in a fictional Eastern Block country during the Communist era. After spending 15mins on the train ride to work writing the first script I thought I'd probably better design my characters, called Vlzerdko and Brun.


You don't need to be able to draw. I had an idea of what I wanted them to look like and scratched this onto a piece of paper in two minutes.

What to do now? Well, now you have to make them. There's a lot of different ways to make puppet heads. All puppets are kinda freaky (those dead eyes, eeep!) so no one way is better than any other and it really depends how you want your final puppets to look and what you're going to do with them. But the first step is always to make some original models that look like your pictures. I used a White Raku clay for my orginals because not only does it keep it's form and properties as it dries but it's also one of the cheapest modelling mediums you can find. Cheap means you can make lots of mistakes, so have FUN!

The blank head for Vlzerdko

The blank head for Brun, I've left his nose off for reasons that should become obvious later.

I decided on making latex heads because it meant they would be light, I could bash the things around 'Punch and Judy' style and they wouldn't get too damaged, and it would be easier to make their mouths move as latex stretches like skin. Latex is particularly easy to remove from complex moulds because of ability to stetch and compress which means for these heads I could use what I call a one piece slush mould. What is a one piece slush mould? Stop being so impatient, you'll find out shortly.

Once you're satisfied with your clay models, which may take minutes, hours or days (there's no rush or time limit), you need to start creating your moulds. It's really kinda easy. Take some more clay roll it into flat slabs and build walls around your clay models.

Make sure these are water tight.
This was the issue that caused my 3rd character, the factory owner, to die because
the wall broke and leaked litres of wet plaster all over my studio (not pictured).

Next, wash the clay off your hands 'cause you're about to get them covered in plaster.


Good quality pottery plaster, a bucket and some water is all you need.

Now, plaster making is the part that most mould makers will go on and on about because the plaster is going to be your final mould. They really should get over themselves, it's a simple process. Get enough water to fill the wall up to the top... um... guesstimate! Then, take the powered plaster and start dumping it into the water. Keep going. Once the powdered plaster is above the level of the water, like a little island, stop. The water will creep up through the island and cause it to crumble into the water (oh the humanity!), which means you need more plaster in the water. So put some more in. Keep doing this until the water no longer destroys your island. Yay, the villagers are saved... no they're not, this means your plaster to water ratio is perfect. With your HANDS, start mixing the plaster/water mix thoroughly until it's silky smooth and there are no lumps. Within a few minutes the plaster becomes thicker and warmer. The temperature change is important because it indicates the chemical reaction which makes plaster hard is taking place. This is why you must mix with your hands. The moment you feel it getting warmer pour it over the clay model filling up the wall.

Leave it alone for a day or two and then take off the outer clay walls...


Uh-oh, A huge lump of plaster with a huge lump of clay stuck inside it!

Turn the mould over and VERY carefully and sloooooowly dig out the clay. Use soft tools, so you don't scratch the inside of your mould, and small amounts of water to soften the clay. This is the reason I didn't put Bruns nose on, to get the clay out of a shape like that would have been far too tedious, fiddley, and all the scraping inside the nose could scratch the mould or worse... crack it. Much easier to make a nose later and stick it on. Did I say this is a slow process... I meant boring... BORING I SAY! Be patient. The slush that was once your clay head will come out eventually... and you will have a finished mould.

How ironic... my mould got mold... *shrugs* makes no difference as you will soon see.

That's probably enough for one post. I'll show the process of using the moulds to make the latex puppet heads next time.

Hope everyone out here is cool. I'll swing by and see you cats sometime soon.

Take: 45

Blogger jin mused...

Aaaaak!

NO NO NO don't stop there!!!

I was totally enthralled!!!!!!!

OH, I LOVE this kind of stuff (and this post!!!)...you actually make me want to just go for it & make a clay jin!!!
Would you believe I have almost all these supplies in my shoppe? LOL. Ok...I probably do have ALL these things right here. I always intend to 'play with art' and then I get all anal retentive & worry that it won't be perfect enough for my anal retentiveness. :-P
*jin hangs her head in shame*
heehee.

I bet you never saw me as Medusa? A friend made a plaster cast of my face years ago. I have the pics uploaded somewhere...I'll go find them, if only to give you a good LOL!

PLZ post the rest of this sooon.

Wed Jun 13, 05:15:00 pm

 
Blogger jin mused...

Found it.
Click here & scroll to the bottom of the post.
Keep in mind that this was done *jin calculates* roughly 6-7 years ago when I wasn't a slim jin! LOL!

Wed Jun 13, 05:23:00 pm

 
Blogger melanie mused...

Hey Rich that's bloody fanbloomintastic!
And I love the idea of a "'Punch and Judy' style puppet show set in a fictional Eastern Block country during the Communist era"..
Blimey I wish I had such imagination!!

Hope you are well :)
tatty bye for now chuck.
Melanie x

Thu Jun 14, 03:08:00 am

 
Blogger SafeTinspector mused...

Sweet!
I wanna read the script! I wanna I wanna I wanna!

I wanna make a puppet show, too! *sigh* I have no artistic talent that doesn't involve text or music, and what I have in those departments is pretty limited.

Thu Jun 14, 05:27:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Jin, now, now, too much of a good thing is not good for you. I'm looking out for your health... really... yeah, OK, I have so little stuff to post lately that I thought I'd better split it across a couple of posts.

You should totally do some casting work if you want to. Perfection, in your own eyes, will always be a problem but unless you're playing with the mediums in a free and particularly 'consequence' free way then you'll never get good enough at the process to even get close to approaching your real idea of perfecting your self expression. Too many people get caught in that catch 22. You shouldn't care about the outcome, just the process. PLAY. IT'S A FUN GAME. It's sooooo much fun.

That Medusa is WAY cool! I don't care about what your Jinpression of yourself was. It looks really cool. The eyes are a little freaky though. ;) Of course, I can imagine Medusa's real eyes would have been much freakier to look into.

Thu Jun 14, 10:36:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hey Melanie, hope you're well and all that too. Sorry I haven't been around to your blog for a while.

Well, I was planning to do the actual Punch and Judy. I've wanted too for quite a while. But then I also thought the Eastern Block (where I've visited frequently as my girlfriend has family) with their communist background was really interesting too. So I decided to combine the two. Not really imagination, just mashing ideas together... wait... that probably IS imagination... cool.

Hope you like the outcome when it gets here.

Thu Jun 14, 10:52:00 am

 
Blogger arthbard mused...

What do ya' know? Everything I love about DVD special features condensed into one, easy-to-read blog post.

Well, okay, two, as we're currently awaiting the follow-up.

But ... I wanted to point out that if you remove the word plaster, it reads very differently. Case in point:

"With your HANDS, start mixing the ******* thoroughly until it's silky smooth and there are no lumps. Within a few minutes the ******* becomes thicker and warmer. The temperature change is important because it indicates the chemical reaction which makes ******* hard is taking place. This is why you must mix with your hands."

Now, imagine that right under a picture of your goo-covered hands!

Thu Jun 14, 10:55:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hahaha, SafeT! Dude, the script is pretty funny... not because of what it contains but because of what it doesn't contain. English... or any other known language for that matter. The script calls for a mish-mash of words that sound roughly like a cross between Hungarian and Russian without being either. The gags are visual... gags? I meant random violence between the main characters.

SafeT brother, don't make me slap you upside the head! If you want to make a puppet show then make one. You can definitely write a story! Then make some puppets, kids do that sort of thing at school so I'm sure you can manage it! They don't have to be as complex as the ones I'm making.

There's a film I stole called Puppet Schmuppet, it contains one of my favourite puppets EVA! Made by a six year old it's made from a rubber glove with a bow taped to it's head with a bijillion metres of scotch tape. Really UGLY! But the kid absolutely loves his creation and really believes in it as a character. And you just can't help but love the ugly little thing.

Come on SafeT, I dare you to do a puppet show with your daughter. Let her help write the story and you can act it out, she'll love it. I double dare you!

Thu Jun 14, 11:05:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Whoa, missed you in there Arth.

Actually Arth, this is really basic stuff. There's a hellalot more complex SFX stuff than this... like two piece moulds, hahahaha, SFX joke, I rock! No. Really. A mate of mine just messaged me today about some friends of his wife who run this Studio. We're in the process of trying to set up a meet, greet, and tour with the guys because their knowledge about this type of stuff blows mine out of the water. Hopefully I'll get to pummel them with questions soon... or at least see if I can come and help them work on occasion.

PS. I worry about you... hehehe, that's funny stuff Arth! Wrong, but funny!

Thu Jun 14, 12:03:00 pm

 
Blogger brookelina mused...

Is it wrong that I found this post to be incredibly erotic?

Thu Jun 14, 01:25:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Yes Brooke, it is wrong. But hey, whatever works for you is fine by me.

I'll just sit here quietly and watch... and maybe touch a little... and maybe turn this camera on... bring up the lights a little... and Action! Yeah! Go girl, GO FOR IT!

Thu Jun 14, 01:51:00 pm

 
Blogger Diana Crabtree mused...

This might be the coolest post you have ever written! I can't wait for part 2!

Thu Jun 14, 02:02:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Now that's just not true Diana... there was the... wait... there's... I can't even remember what my last post was about, how am I meant to know what other stuff is on this 'ere blogg'n.

Practical based blogs are quite cool though. Most people don't like to give away such info cause they think the knowledge will bring them money at some stage. But this really is simple stuff that everyone should have a play with, yep, even primary school kids... but maybe using simpler flat objects though so it's easy to get the clay out of the mould.

Waaaait, great idea!

For school kids (and bloggers who haven't done casting of course), make simple flat shapes from clay, make casts using this process, use some hard resin (very cheap and easy to use) to cast with... and make them into a wind chime for outside the class room. Lovely!

Thu Jun 14, 02:41:00 pm

 
Blogger concerned citizen mused...

Your project looks like so much fun!
Why didn't I make puppets instead of becoming a human rights activist? (just kidding about that)

It really does look like interesting fun. I've done puppet shows when I've been involved with kids groups before. Nothing that elaborate. Maybe when I get settled in my new life...

What I'm doing is very interesting, too. I've never tried to acually organize people to a noble cause, before. Dealing with all the personalitys & Small town politics.
Police abuse of power really is a problem, not just where I live but all over the US. My focus is to figure out how to change the dynamics in a positive way. I believe one way this can be done is to work toward an even balance of power. & i think this can be achieved if the citizens are "empowered" by having a better understanding of their rights & knowing what their options & recourses are, when dealing with the Police.

No one over there knows me as L>T.
concerned citizen has a good reputation :)

Thu Jun 14, 02:58:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Yeah, I'm enjoying it.

That's a fairly big responsibility for someone going through what you're going through at the moment. You're right though, it would be a very satisfying thing to try and achieve. Good luck with it!

Take it easy CC. (L>t always had a good reputation as far as I was concerned).

Thu Jun 14, 03:52:00 pm

 
Blogger JLee mused...

That looks like so much fun! I love playing with clay. I suddenly got a flash of the movie "Ghost"...sigh.

Fri Jun 15, 06:56:00 am

 
Anonymous CC mused...

You are just so darn sweet! if you were here I'd hug you to my ample bosoms(?)

Speaking of, you could make some pretty nice tits with that formula, or something else even...

Fri Jun 15, 07:50:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Actually JLee, all my models are made with the help of ghosts. Now if only I could stop knocking my models off with my... *shudders* I think I can live without Patrick Swayze climbing all over the back of me every time I pull out the clay!

Fri Jun 15, 10:00:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

CC, Ha!

One of my favourite casting mediums is Soft Translucent Silicon. It's a great product, but I often feel a little weird about the final models because Soft Trans is so often used in the manufacturing of sex toys. I'm sure I could make a lot of money if I concentrated on that market rather than filmmaking.

Fri Jun 15, 10:03:00 am

 
Blogger Gyrobo mused...

Any idea which country? I hear Игжеленшо is a great place that doesn't exist.

Fri Jun 15, 12:58:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

GYROBO!

Does that Nickelodeon?

Good to see ya brother.

Fri Jun 15, 01:26:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

'say' Nickelodeon... 'say' Nickelodeon...

*shakes head* Crikey, I shouldn't be trusted with a keyboard... in other news it says Igzhelensho and that's no way to talk about Helen.

Fri Jun 15, 01:35:00 pm

 
Anonymous CC mused...

well I won't touch THAT with a ten foot Translucent Silicon pole. :)

I think your idea is great, no matter what language or nationality you do it in. When I was a kid there was a man down the street that used to have a little puppet theature(?)in his yard. In the summer he did Punch & Judy shows for the neighborhood kids. sometimes he'd invite kids to go back there with him. Come to think of it, maybe he was a perv? I never went back there so i don't know.
Anyway, I love punch & judy shows.

concerning my blog: We had our first BIG meeting tonight. The mayor & a City Councilman was there(who just happens to be my boss). They really liked my ideas(they said they did anyway, you know how those politicians are, though)I'm on a roll now!

Fri Jun 15, 02:08:00 pm

 
Blogger arthbard mused...

Heh. If that made you worry, maybe I'd just as well not mention that the first thing I did when I clicked on that link was jump to "gore and medical effects" section.

What? Can't a guy like zombie movies without sounding like a creep?

Sat Jun 16, 07:57:00 am

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

I am eager to see stage 2. Thus far the whole moulding process is fine. I am assuming that these are to be "stick and rod" type with non-moving parts?

Mayhaps one day I will post my prototype "dummy". If only I knew how to sew, form the head around the aparatus, and finalize it. Mayhaps not.

Sun Jun 17, 02:30:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

cc, no, I wouldn't touch that either!

You don't see a lot of live puppet shows these days... something to do with the advent of hand held digital games. They are great though... except when some perv invites kids behind stage to play with his puppets. I cant think of anything more gross.

Good luck with it all :)

Wed Jun 20, 12:43:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

The second part would have been up today Squid but as it happens, more and more frequently it would seem, I've had to go into work.

They are stick and rod puppets but they also have moving mouths. I was going to do moving hands as well but I've had trouble with the moulding process on the hands. Pre-thickened latex is just too, well, thick to ensure the removal of all air pockets from the mould to allow good quality casts. I'm sure I'll work it out in the end...

I'd love to see a prototype of your head mechanism. I'm sure the issues you've listed there can be overcome.

Wed Jun 20, 12:51:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Oh man, I did it again, sorry Arth. I think you're sitting in my blind spot or something.

That was the first link I clicked on as well. Zombie movies RAWK! My favourite being Shaun or the Dead, closely followed by Army of Darkness. Hey, they're all good... even if that does make me a creep.

Wed Jun 20, 12:55:00 pm

 
Blogger concerned citizen mused...

Hands are really complex things. Too many fucking fingers & joints. notice how many hands in cartoons & puppetry are incomplete? or have 3-4 fingers? Or are shoved in pockets? put your hands in mittens & use lots of gestures. In Punch & Judy, It isn't Punches hands that are the focus, it's the stick.

Like with the police.

Wed Jun 20, 02:11:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

You're absolute right CC, I was wanting the hands that way for a specific purpose but it might be faster to rethink the purpose than to get the hands moulded correctly in the short time frame I have left. Then all I need is for work to stop interrupting my filming and I'll be set... damn paying jobs... what good are they! Oh...

Wed Jun 20, 04:41:00 pm

 
Blogger concerned citizen mused...

Oh... ??? did you fall down?

Not you (for sure), but lazy artists like me, are always looking for shortcuts. :)

Acually, come to think of it shortcutting is part of the creative process.

Unless you're jin then sugar is part of the creative process. shortcut/shortcake, hmmmm

(too much James Joyce, it's infecting my brain)

Thu Jun 21, 12:52:00 am

 
Anonymous L>T mused...

i miss you guys. please tell me i'm not the only weirdly obsessive person in blogsphere.

acually, I only have to come here, & safeT's & gyrobo's & hippo's & that sugar pusher jin's to figure that out.

Fri Jun 22, 01:41:00 am

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

The neat thing about a prototype is building them cheaply...

Fri Jun 22, 06:23:00 am

 
Blogger Bathroom Hippo mused...


Vlzerdko looks a lot like my Uncle Marvin.

Fri Jun 22, 11:32:00 am

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

The other nice thing about a prototype is if it doesn't work, you can always say, "Well, it's a prototype. The next one will..."

Still, I am awaiting part two.

Fri Jun 22, 11:31:00 pm

 
Blogger Wendy mused...

squid is pacing about waiting for part two...you are killing me over here!

Sat Jun 23, 05:51:00 am

 
Blogger arthbard mused...

"My favourite being Shaun or the Dead, closely followed by Army of Darkness."

Both great movies. And Peter Jackson's Braindead ... It's a thing of beauty.

"Your mother ate my dog!" is the single the greatest line in motion picture history.

Sun Jun 24, 10:05:00 am

 
Blogger jin mused...

Did someone say sugar?

...and zombies?

Ohhhh...jin loves zombies.

Yes, I know I'm a girl.

My bestest most scariest nightmares are FULL of zombies & brains n stuff....

*jin thinks maybe she should delete that last part*

Nah...not here!
;-)

Tue Jun 26, 10:46:00 pm

 
Anonymous L>T mused...

yes jin. all that sugar really freaks me out(kinda like that last commenter)Now if you ran a health food store I would be more comfortable. As it is you are kinda like a drug pusher. That is my own personal opinion & don't take it personally, K?

Sun Jul 01, 03:42:00 pm

 
Blogger jin mused...

*Sorry Rich...hate to do it on anothers blog but I need to respond. No offense taken if you delete.*
________________________________

l>t: If you are going to accuse a person of being the equivalent of a drug pusher you really should get your facts straight about said person.

I am NOT an 'american baker'...never was.

I am a holistic pastry chef.

I do not personally eat white sugar, or hfcs (do you even know what that is???) as it is nutritionally devoid and mass marketed by our government to target chilren and turn them into fat compliant adults. If you ever read my statement about myself & my shoppe (which obviously you haven't) you would see that I will not sell anything to anyone that I would not personally eat myself. I use organics whenever possible & only procure local organic fruit & veg for use in my shoppe.

I am a vegetarian (so, of course, I only do vegetarian & vegan catering), I do not smoke, drink or do drugs (can you say that?) and as a hobby I heal people (for FREE!) with naturopathy, reiki & aura balancing.

My sweets aren't sweet, like what you may be used to buying at Walmart's bakery counter (or other such chemically fuelled venue).

I never have & never will use any ingredient in my shoppe that has bad karma attached to it.

Sun Jul 01, 06:26:00 pm

 
Anonymous L>T mused...

sorry jin I was teasing mostly I apologize. :(
Reading the post again this morning, it did sound bad & rude!
I meant it in a tongue & cheek way, though.

No I don't think you are a drug pusher at all! I really admire your acomplishments& no I can't say I've never taken drugs, myself.

I hope you'll forgive me for putting my foot in my mouth.

Sun Jul 01, 09:15:00 pm

 
Blogger jin mused...

l>t...apology accepted. I am sorry too...I tend to get very defensive about what I do as many people assume that I am contributing to unhealthy lifestyles.

My Dad recently spent many weeks in hospitals in part due to his eating habits. I can't tell you how much shit I took from nurses & doctors the minute they found out I was a pastry chef. They blamed his problems on me...funny thing, my Dad spent most of his life eating fast food, he won't touch my cooking/baking. (Sorry, that's probably why I'm on the defensive more than normal. :-)

Sun Jul 01, 10:25:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Huh? What's going on here? Oh, never mind... *goes back to sleep*

Mon Jul 02, 10:09:00 am

 
Blogger Bathroom Hippo mused...


Do you have mono or something?

Tue Jul 03, 04:42:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

You know, after re-reading that comment stream I think some people are totally in need of some sort of medication. Happy pills for everyone.

Please people, love and respect one another.

Peace out!

Thu Jul 05, 01:40:00 pm

 

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