derrick duan
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0614 //Trial run with the materials

In the past week I had the chance to drop by a couple places to pick up the materials needed for puppets.

I visited Fibre Fusion studio in Kew and had a pleasant chat with the owner Chrissy. She was very friendly, and we talked, for hours, about fabrics and felt and their different uses. I learnt so much, but also realized how little I knew about felting.

She gave me the contact for a lady named Catherine O'Leary, who was a professional felt artist. I emailed her last week but haven’t heard anything back. I’d love some expert help on this one, but I’m not scared to learn everything from scratch myself. 

I visited my parents in Frankston on the weekend, and on my way back I went to Hobby Tools Australia in Braeside. Picked up a couple things, most importantly some K&S metals, and some epoxy putty & glues.

Yesterday I went to Bunnings to treasure hunt. I’ve been trying to devise my own ball&socket joints, and was looking for different metal parts I could hack together. Found none, and just ended up getting some extra tools. Wanted to get a drill set but damn they are expensive.

Eckersly’s is closed today. I need some more armature wires from them, and some polyethylene foams. I also need some magnets to make a tie-down system... the list goes on and on.

And all the shops are so far away from me. I’m based in Foorscray area, and I’ve spent close to 6 hours in the past week just on commute.

Anyway. Here’s the family photo:

This morning I am working with tubes and wires to plan for the armature.

Since I couldn’t get my hands on the b&s joints, I have to rely on armature wires for bending and rotating. Thus the priority is to strenghen them as much as possible.

For the core, I am using a 1.6mm armature wire, halved and twisted, then further enhanced by a layer of hot shrunk tube. I got the idea from the book The Advanced Art of Stop-Motion Animation By Kenneth A. Priebehe.

I’ve been bending and twisting this thing in the centre while microwaving my lunch. I counted about 200 back-and-forths and it still is fairly intact. I’ll bend it some more just to see how far I can push it. Have a wrist or spine broken in the middle of a shoot is the last thing I want.

Then the wire is slotted into a 3/16 (4.76mm) K&S tube, which is made from copper and very rigid. It is a nice and snuggly fit. This will form the majority of the limbs. At where the joint sits, a gap will be left for flexibility.

The 3/16 is one size down from a 7/32 (5.56mm), meaning that one can be plugged into another. I plan to use this to design an armature with replaceable limbs.

No one:
Agnes: ummnomnom.