russian dolls

Another set of Russian dolls, a long time in the making.

From largest to smallest they are: Henry VIII, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey and the head of Anne Boleyn.


making a sellotape figure

1. Wrapping my friend in clingfilm.  She was remarkably calm despite the wrap getting near to her eyes and mouth.

8cJXgwPV4wE1UNlAlZJ956e1BA5ccp1eUa1rJU7XoFY IMG_0936Half wrapped in Sellotape.

IMG_0938The finished cast of the head.


One hand was made mitten-like, the other was wrapped in very thin tape so we could make separate fingers.

IMG_0957 IMG_0961All body parts finished. They’ll be taped together in position once I’ve decided on the stance of the figure. I intend this figure to be one a a few that hang from the ceiling of the Chapel at next year’s show of puppet-inspired work. I will be looking into the possibility of lighting them from within with LED lights and of creating elongated, and hybrid casts too.

racket and jackie

The finished Racket and Jackie puppets.

Racket has a knitted body over his pale green inner sleeve. It’s a mix of arran and mohair to achieve the right colour, but it’s a little too like he’s clothed – I shall be knitting him a pure mohair coat soon.


Racket and his puppet.

Jackie still has only her blue sleeve – I’ve  not decided what she will wear, but at least she can now go on display with a little more dignity.

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the russian prisoner puppet

RPA head made around the dental cast of a friend’s child’s teeth

RP2His legs are detachable and are secured with a loop which fixes through a hole in the trouser top to a little button.

RP3His neck, hands and feet were decorated with Russian prison tattoos.

RP1RP4His blue and white suit was tea stained to look a little older.


two puppet heads

The progress of two puppets for a forthcoming exhibition with Clive Hicks Jenkins.

Clive has told me all he possibly can about making puppet heads but it just wasn’t falling into place for me.  He visited last Friday; while he sat at the table and fashioned, seemingly effortlessly, a Cyclops head and a pair of sturdy fighting hands, I became more and more disappointed by my own effort. When he and Peter left on Saturday morning I had two blue, badly defined puppet heads, one a small head that I thought would be a girl, another built around a dental cast. Neither felt they were going to amount to anything. Clive was sure they would.

On Monday I started work on them again.

This is the puppet head that had been destined to be a young girl but with the addition of a big nose and a chin the character changed and he became an elderly man.

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He had such character. I now knew the other head could work too.

The Friday Puppet built around a dental cast. The bulk of the head is tin foil, scrunched into a tight ball, fixed with parcel tape and then blue, heavy duty hand-wipe from Halfords with wallpaper paste as the skin.

IMG_5377Drying in the oven and at its least defined.

IMG_5425An addition of googly eyes to try to give it character. On Monday, cheekbones and a new, thinner neck were fashioned – but I still couldn’t see where he was going.

Then, after finishing the Elderly Man, the eyes came off, the nose nearly did too but I’m glad now that it stayed, and features went on. The last part, the hair, was the hardest.


Bette Davis eyes.

She will be finished with either wax or varnish. Then the hands, the dress and she’s ready for her close up.

Clive said the puppets sort of create themselves and take on a life of their own and it seems he is right. It feels like it’s starting to fall into place now.

IMG_5464Hilary, Bette, Thomas.