Finally, after many long years, I finally have an animatable Pink Snail puppet completed. It's all entirely flexible and can ripple at the edges.
Two important things about this post. One is that puppet building has commenced in Halfland in earnest. Making the Koi puppet from foam ignited my ability to make all the characters EASILY! EASILY EASILY! No sweat whatsoever, just the fun parts. The four main characters will still be cast from molds (more on the wild method/material solution I've been using in the next posts), but now the rest of the cast won't be. Heh.
Using the build-up method instead is not only knocking out these long-standing puppets but also giving me a chance to test material and techniques for the more featured puppets later on.
Built around two tie down points, this foam fellow has twisted wire inside its length (finishing at the lower lip loop), and metal gutter mesh on the underside all the way to the fluted edges of the sides. I used two glass beads for the eyes, from a pair of earrings Cirelle donated, secured into rubber tubing eye stalks filled with wire. It's all one piece deep within the wooden head parts. The top layers were paint, flexible cement, and heavy gloss medium.
It's embarrassing to say, but I'm choosing to say everything here just as-it-is regardless. It's not deeply meaningful or anything profound to me, just a throw away subconscious joke, like the Knitting Beetles, or Lightning in a Bottle, etc., but the Pink Snail with the home on her back, is partly meant to be female genitalia-like, as well as just storybook sweet.
When I was young, a girl was joking about girls leaving snail trails if they were dragged along (I know, sorry, but it stuck in my subconscious), and the whole sort of slick glossy pink undulating flesh thing that snails are, added to the feeling. The shape and two ovary/fallopian tube-like eyes cinches the metaphor for me.
I was really worried about having such an overtly sexual element in this (notwithstanding Yanu's visible hoohah and the whole snake/male muscle deal with the sage.) I think I'm a prude really. So as I was making the puppet above, I thought of changing the color to a more realistic color and avoiding the whole treacherous vagina idea... then from the Weirdness Dept.... as I started to paint the finished puppet with a WHITE base coat [see lower right above], W H I T E mind you, no color at all anywhere on the brush, water, table, etc. it brushed on PINK!!!! On its own. I swear it's true. The pale color pink you see in that photo appeared on its own. I took it as a sign to go ahead as I'd always intended and I just went for it, even telling you all what she/it represents here. So, there it is.
Probably the best news is that I not only finished the puppet at last, but also her house to a 100% level.
I rigged her porch lantern with a yellow painted balloon LED (My favorite little special effect trick b/c they're so cheap and easy--that's doesn't sound right given this post). I painted her window box with more colors. I added fiberfill smoke wisps to her chimney. And although it won't likely ever be filmed, you should know that inside her tiny floral wall-papered house is a painted portrait of her mom.
Already begun construction on the large scale garden path near the cottage for her to lumber through in the evening rain.