Making Wooden Marionettes – Project 1 – Parts 1 & 2 – How to make wood puppets

hello I'm Toby Senate puppet maker and puppeteer and this is the first in a series of videos I'm going to show you how you can make your own wooden carved puppets in this first tutorial we're going to build a basic four string and wire marionette now you can use the principles outlined in this video to create your own design or you can download my clown design online go to public exactly like this first of all let's have a look at the tools that we're going to need for this build you here we have the design of our clown it's always good if you can get a full-size sketch of the puppy we're going to build and once you've done your outline you get front and a side profile an easy way to line up these front and side profiles is to create a grid on the paper which helps you to align your points I'm going to talk more in future about designing of puppets but in this tutorial we're just going to work to this design or you can use the principles and the proportions and you could lay out your design over the top using this as your basis now the first thing we need to do is get these design onto our blocks of wood and to do that we're going to save this as our master copy and we're going to trace out each of the parts that we want to transfer we have a couple of points that we need to look out for and that is where the joints happen so if we look at our puppet here firstly into the net clear you have to allow extra material on the neck so it goes up into the hole of the puppet so on our drawing here when we cut this piece out it will be longer up here and longer up here the same thing with the bottom of the legs because they work as a pivot point joint in there which will show you the joint later on but you need to accommodate that on your drawing so that extra piece gain on here will be an extra piece of material up here and up here on the lower leg and the upper leg will be cut out and similarly down here the legs go into the shoes and we're going to drill a hole in the shoes to allow the legs to go in so again we need to allow more material on the bottom of the legs here incorporate that into our design but I'm just going to we're going to work on the head first of all so all I'm going to do let's get a piece of paper stick it over the top this is just a piece of printer paper or photocopy of paper so it's quite thin quite easy to see through I'm going to put a reference line on here first and that will allow me to align the and sketches onto my piece of wood and then I'll simply I'm going to trace out the outline of part I need which is the head drawing his nose as well although I don't actually need that on the front profile for cutting but I'm going to put it on there as a reference point anyway then do the same for the side profile here I do need his nose this time definitely and I'm going to draw any zero don't actually need that point that I'm going to put in any way so that's our head shape copied out and then I'm going to repeat that process for all the other parts now for the lower legs here we've got to accommodate these extra lengths which I've added here at the bottom that go into the shoes so that's where they'll be fitting into the shoes here and also extra at the top here now this one complicated joint that we need to work on which is this joint here on the leg this is how it rotates through a central pin so if you imagine a circle here and the center point will give us our rotation into the slot so at the top of the cutout here is a circular section there's a slot cut in the back of the leg and it rotates through the center of that slot there's a pin here so we need to mark a circle at the top here which will give us our rotation point now I've got a compass here or you could use anything circular that's roughly the right size the lid of a pen or ax or a small coin or something like that to give you a perfect circle but we need to get put a circle with a accurate center point for drilling so see this will give us a center you we'll start off without doing the head first so what I'm going to do is stick our drawings on which is why we traced and from our original so that we can stick these new drawings on the front and on the side and this gives us our reference size that we line that up front and side make sure those lines join let me stick them on that will make sure it's it's correct and we also need on the head here to drill some holes because this is a basic marionette with a wire control through the top of the head so we need to drill a hole through the center of the head that allows our wire to come down through so that top hole needs to be just just big enough for this to come through but the hole underneath where the neck comes in up here needs to be a bit bigger obviously because the neck itself is going to be bigger but also we're going to bend this wire into a loop to where it connects on so in order to do that I want to drill those holes before I cut it out so on this block I've marked the center line down here and also the center point underneath because we'll be needing to drill that through okay so we'll stick these on now I'm going to use a spray adhesive to put these on with that you don't have to do that and I mean any any glue will stick this on like a normal sort of Pritt stick type glue will stick that hole nicely and that just for speed I'm going to use some spray adhesive which I've got here so I'll show you how we do that I'm just going to separate out my front and side so we're going to stick the front on like that I'm going to use this line make sure it's set on square just bend those sides there just see that going to bend those there just so that lines it up for me when I've got the spray on so we'll just spray this train that's going okay side so I'll just stick on my front piece make sure it's the front piece and then for the side here we've just got to make sure this these two lines match up and it makes me make sure then when we cut out all the cutting out lines up you all right there we go so we've got our front side which gives us our cutting template there you

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