Potential of a bath pom

Puppetry has a unique ability to take the ordinary things of life and unpack them; both as ideas but also as actual materials.  Take for instance a bath pom.  It has utilitarian and undignified purposes and yet can be transformed into lightweight fur, texture or even a dog body.  It is also really fun to open one of these poms up and see all that potential material come spilling out.  Like a jack in the  box of poofy goodness.DSC_0244.JPGOr for example nylon Tricot. Often used for lingerie and other unmentionables.  Jeff Stolz, the costume designer of Mop Dog uses it as sculptural costume element. I saw that and thought it could be a great material for a lightweight flowing mop that becomes a dog.  DSC_0248.JPG

Making dog puppet heads

DSC_0229The heads of Mop Dog, Spot, Yip and Fitzgerald sculpted out of clay.

DSC_0230Casting one half of Mop Dog in plaster.  Yay for Vaseline!

DSC_0232Negative plaster half casts of the heads.  Ready for paper mache for each half.

DSC_0253Conjoined dimensional Mop Dog head- lightweight yet strong.  Mop Dog stunt double in back.

“Why are things always coming to life?”

DSC_0250My son Willem (5):  “What is that?”

Me: “It’s a puppet in Mop Dog. What does it look like?”

Willem:  “A garden hose?”

Me: “That’s right!  It’s also a snake.”

Willem: (chuckles)  “Dad why are things always coming to life in your shows?  Why is one thing becoming another thing?”  (laughs again).

Me: “Well Willem, it’s a lot of fun to think this way and this is a cool thing about puppets.  I think you also do this all the time when you play around, turning one thing into something else.”

Willem:  (laughs)”Hmmm, yeah, I guess so.”  He walks away.

Me: I smile, and then finish stitching on the $2 red gas hose that is both faucet and snake head…