(I hope I posted this in the right place, if not, please move it.)
In November, we are playing the musical Little Shop of Horrors. In case you’re curious, I am playing ‘Audrey 2’.
Now we need to create puppets. 1 small Audrey 2 to stand on a table in a pot and a bigger one that will be carried around in the arms of an actor.
As “head” of our workgroup ‘making things’, I am looking for advice.
I have never created a puppet. I scoured the internet and found pictures, and some tutorials.
But I knew the best minds were on this forum.
Do you have any advice making puppets? Is it better to use paper maché or perhaps easier to use foam like isomo?
Any advice would be most welcome!
Thank you and best wishes for the New Year!
ETA: we will not be making the big people eating Audrey2. Only the table and the being carried around one.
I don’t make puppets, but suggest that you don’t limit yourself to just one material.
Some parts that need a more rigid structure might do well in paper maché, while other bits might have nice movement if you use foam.
@Ludi had a fabulous tutorial on either cster or her blog showing how to make a dinosaur costume from sheet foam. Maybe @Tanath would be able to locate it, or possibly @MistressJennie remembers what that blog was called.
Here’s a YouTube video of anti fatigue mats used to make a dress form. Sturdy but light.
I bet @fluffypants can give you some advice!
I tried looking for Ludi’s Dino costume but could only find a whale:
Site just links to C-ster, so a dead end tute wise, but might be helpful to our wayback machine navigators.
Right, the whale! Somebody had a really good one on pattern drafting from a toy dino (t-Rex, I think) then upsizing.
the link references the whale but its about the toy dino
I’d recommend foam for the small one for sure! I typically build heads using a Cool Whip or yogurt tub lid cut in half for the mouth plate, then use foam sheets to build up a “mitt” around it, if that makes any sense at all. You could also sew and stuff a sphere with a hand hole and a place for the mouthplate, eliminating the need for foam… but that may be trickier as you’d need some sort of a lining to keep the stuffing in.
The large one, depending on how it’s puppeted, may make sense to be something wearable and stuffed with foam, with pool noodles for the lip structure…? Just spitballing but that’s likely where I’d start. I saw a production of Little Shop where the puppeteer was completely inside the giant puppet and people being eaten went out between his legs (I wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t been wearing grey sweat socks which were occasionally visible, hahaha). If I remember right, the chin of the plant rested on the floor at most times, but I think it did lift up for dialogue and songs.
I am a bit famous for just throwing things at a puppet idea and hoping they stick, so I have no idea how useful any of this is, but hopefully there’s something there!
I think I understand what you mean!
I thought of the combination of foam and airdry clay, or perhaps foam and foam clay, but i’m not sure it would stick.
We will have two smaller Audrey 2’s (a small one on a table and a larger one Simon will be carrying) Luckily we are not building a very large Audrey that needs to eat people. It will be presented as a plant in human form.
Thanks everyone I will have a look at the links and ideas and see how it goes from there!