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The process of creating my Puppet Richard left me inspired to create something more elaborate. I just love the Ball-joint dolls put out by Volks and other similar companies, and wanted a modular action figure-like platform, where I could swap out parts and create different characters.
I started where I’d left off, with a complete cast resin Richard. Looking at them I figured out what I liked and didn’t, what was working and not. I actually learned a lot in the process of making them. I definitely liked the posability, but the string method wasn’t working for me. They have a tendency to hang lifeless and their joints gap. I knew I wanted something tighter. While I love the amount of detail I managed to get in the casts, the stranded muscle and wrinkled skin wasn’t something I wanted for every figure I made, it was too unique to him.
I took a clean casting and started breaking it down. I drew lines in the places I wanted to cut to create new articulation, and used the belt sander to grind down the upper thighs for the joints at the hips;
I also started planning how I could fit in new parts, female hips, chest, and a more the more refined doll face from my Bianca.
After each part was cut and the points of articulation worked out, I started adding plastic spheres to form the ‘ball’ of the joints. The sockets I created from magic sculpt, pressing the ball in place.
I drilled completely through the limbs, to run a single cord through. This way I wouldn’t need to glue it, and I could cinch it as tightly as I needed to;
From here I started painting him with primer and sanding to even out some more of the surface detail. I also started thinking about props to tie him into character. The wig and juggling sphere really start to sell the idea that this one could be David Bowie’s character from the Labyrinth;
I started sewing some costume elements for him, trying to keep it simple, I also decided to drop some of the clear spheres into his eye sockets;
I pulled the costume back and laid basic tones down with the airbrush;
And gradually worked in more tones for his makeup, trying to keep it subtle and stylized and still keep with the character;
Once I was happy with the paint job, I removed the tape from his clothes and cleaned/polished off his eyes;
I decided to display him as a marionette, so tied strings to his limbs and suspended him from the ceiling;
As an added special touch I wired an LED with tiny batteries inside his head to illuminate the clear spheres…
Here he is on display in the gallery;
This was exhibited at “Dance Magic Dance” the Labyrinth themed group show at R&R gallery in Los Angeles
Dance Magic Dance
A Group art show
Inspired by the film LABYRINTH
Friday July 9th, 2010 7p – Midnight
Ongoing 10th – 17th by appointment
Featuring creations by
Austen Stanton, Ayami Kawashima, Brad Isdrab, Bryce Takara, Carrie Cottini, Chico Munson, Cody Comrie, CW, Damon Alcorn, Daniella White, Daphne Yap, Dave Correia, David Ra, Emily Hart Wood, Heather McMillen, Mike McQuade, Jason Moore, Jeben Berg, Jess Sluder, Jonathan Wayshak, Justin Fry, Kube, Lucien Shapiro, Patrick Hruby, Robert Bowen, Tony DeMille, Vic Back, Wendy Teague and more…