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Mk-Marionettes-art - 7/29/17


"Making Marionettes" by HL Nidda Ridarelli.


NOTE: See also the files: puppets-msg, Glove-Puppets-art, Stories-4-Beg-art, theater-msg, Pfm4High-Tble-art, Entrtng-n-SCA-art, woodworking-msg.





This article was added to this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium, with the permission of the author.


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While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



Making Marionettes

by HL Nidda Ridarelli


Aside from the research, I wanted to build marionettes. I started by deciding what size I wanted them to be at the end. I was shooting for a puppet that was between 18-22 inches. Then I had to make a pattern. I went in fifths: head- 1/5, torso 2/5, legs 2/5. I divided the total size I wanted and drew the rough shape for each body part.


Materials and Tools Used


Pine (in the form of 2x4s and 4x4), Band saw, Mahogany scraps, Stationary sander, Coat-hangers, Drill press, Cotton clothesline, Sand paper, Paint, Hammer, Wax, Pliers, Thread, Wire cutters, Small amounts of fabric, Dowels, Tooth picks, Wood glue, Hair, Foam, and craft stuffing


I was lucky to have a lot of scrap wood at my disposal and I used mostly 2x4 bits. The feet, torso, belly, pelvis and hands are pine and cut into the shapes I wanted with a band saw. I sanded them into the shape I wanted with a stationary sander. The head is a piece of 4x4 post, rendered in the same way as the 2x4s (cut with band saw, sanded, drilled). The arms are square skinny pieces cut from a 2x4.


Their arm joints are bits of ribbon stapled to the arm parts. The legs are notched dowels. Once all the pieces were cut and shaped the way I wanted, I drilled the joints, core and eye holes. The shoulder and knee joints are joined with lengths of metal coat-hanger that is threaded into the holes and bent into a ā€œUā€ shape so it stays.


The core is cotton clothes line and it is knotted at one end and stapled into the head on the other. It is threaded from pelvis to chest to head. The torso pieces are then connected by cotton straps that are also stapled to avoid twisting during marionette manipulation.


I filled the eyeholes with wax so I could shape them more easily, and them I painted them. Once the marionettes are dressed, and painted, they are ready for stringing. I used black buttonhole thread and coated it with beeswax. I had also prepared a control, which is also a dowel with smaller dowels drilled in, and a middle sized dowel for the removable bar to which the hands are connected. Their clothes are sewn onto them.



The Knottehede is cut with the grain of the wood vertically visible. In the smaller photo he is dressed in late 16th century style, made from blue linen like material. His hair is painted on his head. He also has a special feature that he can raise his hands to his head with a special string that goes into his forehead. He can do this to show sorrow or embarrassment. His legs and feet are painted black to represent hose and shoes.


The Maple is cut with the grain of the wood horizontally visible. She is dressed in the same time period style garb, made from a red material. She has fake hair stapled to her head and it is braided and tied with a leather cord. Her hands and feet are mahogany instead of pine. Her breasts are foam sheets that I rolled and tied and stapled to her chest.


Copyright 2014 by Danni Nidda Thorniley. <dannidda at gmail dot com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, please place a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org