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.
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.
Drying in the oven and at its least defined.
An 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.
Hilary, Bette, Thomas.