The first step was making some sketches and choosing the right proportions to the body. Then I created the armature from metal wire 1:1 to the size of the sketch. This time I made the sketch with the exact size, sometimes I scan and enlarge to fit the right size. The head can be taken apart with a screw. The feet are nuts that can be screwed to a base.
After completing the base armature to my satisfaction, I add volume using aluminum foil. This is especially important around the area of the head as otherwise it will be way too heavy and obviously we can’t use foam as we need something a bit more rigid. You can also see how the nut and bolts work for the feet. It makes it possible to attach the armature of a wood base.
Refining the shape with clay on top of the aluminum foil. I also did the shoes from clay and the rigid parts. At this point I place the whole thing in an oven to solidify the clay.
I collect scrapes of fabrics always to have a selection at the right time. I also steal clothing from family members and destroy good stuff all too often. It is a bit difficult to find appropriate materials as the fabrics need to be very fine so not to be too coarse when applied to the small proportions of the puppet.
Sometimes I do the pattens first in paper and then cut accordingly, in this instance I did everything free-hand. In this case as the head comes off, I can sew the shirt outside and then place it.
In contrast the stocking I must sew directly on the puppet as I can’t take off the shoes. In this case the fabric is organic cotton, it’s a fabric I use often. Unless there is need for white, I paint on top of it the colors I like. These are scraps from a previous business I was involved in. It’s a bit funny that the puppets are clothed with such high quality product, but it’s also nice that the puppets are “environmentally friendly”.
Like I just mentioned I paint the fabric with acrylics. I really like this method, it gives me a lot of freedom with colors and patterns, but even more important, it gives the product a more illustrated look.
This is the result after some photoshop processing. In photoshop I removed the support jig and added the color splash.