Making Puppets with
Using L-200 for making puppets follows some very simple procedures
and is not really difficult at all. Depending upon how hard a
cast you may wish to obtain, vary the amount of #64 filler with
respect to the L-200.
The following combination should serve as a guideline:
- 1 part L-200 to 1 part # 64 filler soft
- 1 part L200 to 2 parts # 64 filler medium
- 1 part L-200 to 3 parts # 64 filler hard
This can be done either by volume or by weight.
Using pottery plaster or # 1 Art Plaster, make a negative plaster
mold. All seams should be water tight. Use modeling clay to close
Pour the mixed compound into the plaster mold slowly to avoid
bubbles. Tilt the mold, if it has any undercuts, to allow the
slurry to reach any hidden surfaces.
Depending on the thickness of the cast desired, allow a deposit
time of between 10 minutes and one hour. THE HIGHER THE FILLER
RATIO-THE SHORTER IS THE DEPOSIT TIME.
Drain the slurry into a container and keep covered for future
Allow the mold, with its deposited cast, to dry for several hours.
You may hasten the drying time by drying it in a oven at between
10 and 120 degrees F.
There will be about a 5% shrinkage. Please allow for the shrinkage
when preparing your model.
The cast must be quite dry before it is removed from the mold.
After you have removed it from the mold, further air or heat
drying may be necessary.
My "e;discovery"e; of Cementex quite literally revolutionized
my work by answering a number of questions concerning working
in small quarters and working a greater speed.
About twelve years ago, I had been doing one the kind of portrait
dolls and puppets either out of paper maché, wood composition
and/or carved wood. I had my work in a window of a Greenwich Village
shop that Christmas. A woman stopped in to admire the "e;movie
star"e; puppets and asked me what they were made of . As it
turned out, she was also a sculptor and specialized in window
display figures. She suggested I try latex. She gave me the name
of Cementex on Canal Street.
Today I use latex for all the body parts of my figures. The bodies
are made of twelve pieces (strung together on heavy elastic cord).
The general effect is rather like a jointed, but stiff, marionette
or an artist's mannequin. At first I had a little trouble coming
up with the right formula to get the latex as hard as possible
and to still maintain strength. Some early pieces were either
too rubbery or tended to crumble or crack when I opened the molds.
The mixture I have been using with success is about two cups of
Latex L-200 to three cups of filler 64 plus about ten percent
of the Lac 45. I found that with the addition of the Lac 45, the
pieces can be cast with thinner walls and still become almost
rock hard when they dry.
I have been able to work in my apartment without the neighbors
complaining about fumes. And while the actual process of pouring
is not too difficult in my kitchen, I have also expanded my workshop
to the basement of my family's home in Minnesota. Cementex arranges
to pack the latex and filler and has it shipped to the Twin Cities
so when I arrive it's waiting and I can start production.
-by Ron Kron
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