Tuesday, July 28, 2009

100 Days: Beside Her

The Halfland version of the spider Rose Red found.

It's such a minor puppet, he won't be featured at all, just weaving his lace webs on the front porch in the background, he wasn't even on the official to-do list, so I tried to make him as quickly as possible.

I grabbed a wire and clay armature I had made in 1993 from the discarded ideas bag (upper left) and built him a dowel slice/wired disk top hat.; Papier machéd over tooth pick "bones" glued to the wire legs; it made a surprising;y life-like puppet in motion.

I started a lengthy process of adding fuzzy texture to the dry puppet. I sheared off fibers from bright orange faux fur and glued the fluff on everywhere. I tried multiple methods of getting white bristle hairs on his legs, including downy feather boa fluff cut from white turkey feathers (3rd row, left). I finally developed a good technique for it of using sharp trimmings from a lock of sheep skin fur, dropped into glue just on the forearms.

I gave him a big mustash and goatee from the same sheep hair and added eyes taken off of an unused store-bought bird. I obsessed for several coats of hair trying to get the orange to work for me, but it just wasn't happening. Finally, in a Hail Mary, I dusted the whole beast in pure graphite powder which gave iit all a great monochromatic nearly-black sheen.

One more white bristle layer and I called him done. I also call him Clare because he reminds me a little of dear Downstairs Clare somehow.


  1. Clare looks great. I'm always impressed how use materials and invent new ways of creating a puppet.

    the little hairs look great.

    What kind of glue do u use for this kind of application? I been trying to figure out if 3m 77 spray glue is gonna work for sticking things to poly foam.

    have u tried that glue before?

  2. If you look in the dictionary under "perseverance" there is a picture of this lady called Shelley Noble.

  3. Hi Rich Rich, Fanx!

    I run a completely NON-TOX shop, meaning I really don't choose to use anything remotely toxic for the entire project. (mainly because I live & eat in my shop, and have cats here as well). So, I use only non-toxic glues for everything. They're just as good for my needs and far better for my health.

    I use a huge wardrobe of glues, a different one for every purpose--it's a fetish of mine at this point.

    But to answer your question, for the spider I used Nova Color's "Matte Medium" for both the papier maché glue and for layers of the fluff and flock that needed to be thinner.

    For a thick strong bond I used Beacon's "Gem Tac" permanent adhesive (normally for gluing gems to fabrics but excellently grab-bee for most everything as well.)

    A previous fav was Crafter's Pick "The Ultimate" (the only non-toxic water-based super glue.) by API.

    And a new goodie is this new CLEAR urethane glue I found last week (that's like a better Gorilla Glue) Max strength, non-foaming, non-toxic, 100% waterproof, fast drying baby called "Liquid Fusion" by Duncan Enterprises. woo.

    I also like Aleene's "Clear Gel Tacky Glue". Basically, there's a different great glue available for any type of bonding need/look.

    I'd give links here but all of these should be on the shelf at your local craft supply store. In the USA a big store is called "Michael's". Have you got something well-stocked like that?


    Hey, Tony, that's about the nicest thing you could say, Thank you very much. I never had any perseverance before!

  4. Perseverance...
    You had it, you were just too busy working away on your grand project year after year to notice it!

    Small spider, big personality. Watch him, he'll want his own show next.

  5. Aw, thanks, Nick! He's got a little you in him too, doesn't he?! Just around the silvery beard before I sooted it up.

    Be sure to REFRESH your browser, Nick! I'm posting like a demon tonight! Otherwise, there'll be too many posts for me to ever catch up making!

  6. Wow thanks Shelley! yeah in Canada we have Michael's too. I'm going to check out those glues you mentioned.

    Liquid fusion sounds perrrrrfectomondo. have u tried it on upholstery foam yet?

    I don't like the idea of using toxic glues and the new studio I am getting is not set up for proper ventilation. So thank you very much for this list!

  7. Hey Shel,
    What's up with the 100 days? Did I miss something?

  8. HI Yuji!! I was just trying to email you! I have something great to discuss with you. Can you email me? The email I have for you bounced back?

    Anyway, no, I hadn't said anything about the 100 days yet! I was going to next post.

    Here's what happened, I got a full luscious day in of work on Halfland a while back, it was so satisfying.

    When Paul came home, I said, "I could use 100 days like that!"

    He said, "That's it!" Let's work on getting you those 100 days. So when ever I get a good run at it, I call the progress part of the "100 Days of Progress"

    That's it! xoxoxo

  9. Shelley, I have realized how many posts I missed over the last month. I am soooo happy to see "100 Days of Progress" in Halfland. GO my frind.. go go :))

    Clare... I love the calm, curious look on his face. Wonderful puppet and I agree.. like Nick said; he will want his own show next.

    I know a lady with a huge wardrobe... How nice to read you say that you use a huge wardrobe full of GLUES..

  10. heh heh, thanks, Yaz! Yeah, we do have a different set of things that are important, don't we!

    I'm go go going :)) Having trouble with the set pieces. ugh. I told Peggy it was like wrestling dead bodies onto candlesticks. I need help, but there just isn't any.


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