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mouth mechanisms?

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Chinchilla, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. Chinchilla

    Chinchilla New Member

    Hi all,

    I posted this before checking the forum for previously-posted info on the subject, but I don't seem to have permission to DELETE this posting. So, apologies in advance...

    I want to build an oversize puppet of an earthworm.

    I want it to be a rod puppet, and I'd like to open and close the mouth by squeezing a handle (or something like that) at the end of the rod, instead of by putting my hand inside the head.

    Is there some sort of preexisting device (like a kichen tool?) that can convert the movement that way? Or do I need to scavenge an umbrella for rods that slide one inside the other..... or use electomagnets in the lips....?

    If this works out, it will be my first puppet! (...not counting the sock puppet I was assigned in kindergarten)

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Chinchilla

    Chinchilla New Member

    mouth mechanism?

    I posted a doodle of the worm puppet at:

    I drew it wrapped around my shoulders and head because I thought it would be easy to carry that way, but it won't be permanently a hat-puppet.

    I'm not sure the info so far here on this forum would apply to rods not hidden inside the puppet's body.

    Thanks for your help!
  3. You are in luck! Kitchen supplies such as meatballers or tea strainers work very well for mouth making purposes. Experiment with how to cover them -- meatballers can be painted, but I'd advise against it as that can get chipped. The "Muppets Make Puppets" book has a myriad of helpful hints regarding household items suitable for puppet construction.

    Have fun!

    --"Scary" Larry Wolf
  4. Oh, also I know of a tool my grandma uses to grab things that are too far for her to reach. I don't know what it's called or exactly where to get one though. Try examining those dinosaur-head kiddie toys that are on the end of a rod and move their mouths when you pull a trigger. That would probably be perfect for you.

    --"Scary" Larry Wolf
  5. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    The only problem with those Dino-head toys is that only the top of the head moves so it looks kinda weird when the puppet talks. I'd recommend trying a fish hook remover, which is perfect for this sort of thing! You can find them in fishing supply stores, Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire (in Canada).

    Hope this helps! :)
  6. Aren't those hook removers a bit small for this sort of thing though? How big do they come?

    Oh! I just had an epiphany! Barbeque tongs!

    --"Scary" Larry Wolf
  7. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I'll admit I wasn't thinking "oversized" earth worm when I typed that, but they do actually come in larger sizes, but I am not sure where you purchase them (probably fishing supply stores).
  8. buddy06

    buddy06 New Member

    Try Nick Barone's puppet site. :) It has alot of good ideas for that kind of puppet. Hope that helps!

  9. Chinchilla

    Chinchilla New Member

    how about bike brakes?

    Thanks for all your suggestions! :)

    A friend of mine suggested maybe adapting some bike brakes, but I haven't tried it yet.

    It seems like I'd be able to run the cable down a very thin rod from the head to my hand, which would be a big plus! On the downside, I'd have to squeese the handle all the time to keep the mouth closed, unless there's a way to change that.


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