Behind The Scenes - Part Two

Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes

This is a head right out of the mold. All of our hard heads start of this way. We will get to the softer fabric and rubber heads later. To start things off, we have chosen a little guy named Frank.

It is very ruff and we need to smooth it off a bit, so we use a material called Plastic Wood. We spread it all over the head, kind of like spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread.

The mouth has been cut out, and the Plastic Wood has hardened but is still not smooth enough, so we have to sand the head. This may take up to eight hours.

After the head is sanded, we give it five coats of gesso. The gesso is left to dry for five days up to four weeks. The dryer the better. Gesso does not sand very well if it is still wet. Because this is the final sanding and smoothing of the head, it can take several days to remove any bumps and dents.

When we have the head completely sanded, we give it the first coat of paint. Each head is given at least three coats of base color, which is usually the skin color.

The features such as the eyes, eye brows, lips, and shadows or wrinkles are then painted.

The final coloring process is to give some color to the cheeks, ears, and whatever other areas need to be highlighted. And to finish the head, four coats of a clear matt medium is applied. This keeps the head from being scratched or marred while it is being used or packed to go on tour.

Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes

So that's how we finish what we call our hard heads. These are the heads that are used on all our marionnettes and rod puppets, as well as some of our hand puppets. How long does it take to do all of these procedures? It takes us anywhere from four weeks to three months.

This brings us to the end of this segment on the building of our marionnettes, We hope you have enjoyed it and we look forward to your comments. Future segments will include the animation of the heads and finishing of our characters, wood carving, costuming and many others that will give you a peak Behind The Scenes.

Page One: Creating the head

Page Three: Putting our Edith together

Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes

This is a head right out of the mold. All of our hard heads start of this way. We will get to the softer fabric and rubber heads later. To start things off, we have chosen a little guy named Frank.

It is very ruff and we need to smooth it off a bit, so we use a material called Plastic Wood. We spread it all over the head, kind of like spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread.

The mouth has been cut out, and the Plastic Wood has hardened but is still not smooth enough, so we have to sand the head. This may take up to eight hours.

After the head is sanded, we give it five coats of gesso. The gesso is left to dry for five days up to four weeks. The dryer the better. Gesso does not sand very well if it is still wet. Because this is the final sanding and smoothing of the head, it can take several days to remove any bumps and dents.

When we have the head completely sanded, we give it the first coat of paint. Each head is given at least three coats of base color, which is usually the skin color.

The features such as the eyes, eye brows, lips, and shadows or wrinkles are then painted.

Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Behind the Scenes at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes

The final coloring process is to give some color to the cheeks, ears, and whatever other areas need to be highlighted. And to finish the head, four coats of a clear matt medium is applied. This keeps the head from being scratched or marred while it is being used or packed to go on tour.

So that's how we finish what we call our hard heads. These are the heads that are used on all our marionnettes and rod puppets, as well as some of our hand puppets. How long does it take to do all of these procedures? It takes us anywhere from four weeks to three months.

This brings us to the end of this segment on the building of our marionnettes, We hope you have enjoyed it and we look forward to your comments. Future segments will include the animation of the heads and finishing of our characters, wood carving, costuming and many others that will give you a peak Behind The Scenes.

Page One: Creating the head

Page Three: Putting our Edith together

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