Of all the things I love about running my little business, one of my favorites has to be when people come to me with surprising, fun, and off the wall custom puppet requests. I was recently approached with two very “now” ideas– a custom Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron’s character from Mad Max: Fury Road, and everyone’s favorite (?) buffoon, Donald Trump. How’s that for a broad spectrum, right?As for Furiosa, Mad Max is one of the few movies we saw this summer, and I thought it was a lot of fun. It was great to see an action flick with a badass lady at the center, not to mention one that actually passes the Bechdel test. The idea of an Imperator Furiosa puppet was immediately thrilling and terrifying, mostly because she had so many details that would require experimentation. Of course there would be that crazy prosthetic arm and harness, but most importantly, capturing her dark black make-up was a must to make the puppet work.
After some thought and experimentation, I found that black ink applied with my fingers worked perfectly to achieve the effect I was going for. It took about three applications to get the color dark enough, but I was thrilled with the final look.I had to pick and choose which details from her costume to include, since there were so many. The arm harness was particularly complex, but I feel like the pared-down version works well. I especially like the transition from her arm to the claw portion at the end.
Shortly after finishing Furiosa, I moved onto The Donald himself. I’ve done candidate puppets for a couple of election cycles now– from my McCain/Obama puppets that ended up on the cover of a free weekly in Indianapolis, to great pantsuits. Let’s be clear: This Donald Trump puppet was made purely for laughs (see “buffoon” comment above). I in no way endorse that loony’s ridiculous run for office, or the super offensive things that come out of his mouth. That said, his persona foes scream to be made into a tiny replica, and sure enough, the final version just begs to tell B-list celebs “You’re fired.”
Got a crazy puppet idea of your own? Get in touch— I’d love to make it happen!
For the last few years, I’ve been fairly obsessed with vintage pennants. It may have begun by seeing a photo from Andrea “HulaSeventy” Jenkin’s collection from an old house tour post that I stumbled upon years ago. When Henry was little I found on a great 40’s Empire State Building pennant at a flea market and promptly started an official collection. The fun little string of them hung above his bed for a year or so before some restless toddler fingers managed to rip off the pointy ends (*tears*).I’m clearly not alone in my pennant obsession, because in addition to gorgeous vintage examples out there, there also seems to be a renaissance of awesome makers using the pennant as their medium. From souvenir to snarky, here are a few of my favorites of late.
I’ve always been a maker and a pretty die-hard DIY-er. As a kid, I even resented getting “make your own whatever” kits, preferring actual art and craft supplies that would allow me to really make something myself. As I get older, though, I’ve come to embrace the art of letting other people make things they’re really great at, and stick to DIY-ing the things that are in my wheelhouse.
In that spirit, these tea towel pillow kits from Sarah Young are genius in that they, first off, are the most gorgeous screenprinted designs, and also because they retain just enough of a DIY to make a person feel connected to the finished item. Let’s be honest– I’m never going to screenprint my own folk art-inspired animal design. So why not let an expert take care of it, and I’lll handle sewing a simple outline and stuffing. Now that’s a DIY I can handle.