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.Or 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.
The heads of Mop Dog, Spot, Yip and Fitzgerald sculpted out of clay.
Casting one half of Mop Dog in plaster. Yay for Vaseline!
Negative plaster half casts of the heads. Ready for paper mache for each half.
Conjoined dimensional Mop Dog head- lightweight yet strong. Mop Dog stunt double in back.
My 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…