Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Griselda the Puppet

A dear friend recently pointed me in the direction of this blog, by Christiane Cegavske who is an animator, model maker and painter. Cegavske details some of her model making techniques in a really clear and helpful way. One of her blog posts solves a problem I have been mulling over for some time, namely, how to make a solid head without using masses of (expensive) fimo in the process. The answer: scrunched up aluminium.
Why didn't I think of that?

So - fimo over an aluminium core, built over a wire 'neck'.

I actually quite like the puppet as above - with no eyes - but I think on balance she'd have been pissed off to be cheated out of eyes.

So, I made some (the trickest bit, sculpture-wise. I'm still not happy with the result...) and set her, bat-like, to cook in the oven.

Here she is, after being set in the heat.

Next came the body.

In the past I have frequently given up at this point. For this reason, I have a few lone heads and creepy mask-like faces floating around the flat.

I used cloth to pad the puppet out

Wire frame hands and the start of a costume
And here she is all finished.

The puppet has pearls sewn into her dress. It was very fiddly work, stitching on a tiny scale (keeping in mind that I am AWFUL at all things sewing).
I love this kind of making! The more detailed and focused the better. My partner calls this 'cupcakery' after learning of my great (possibly slightly unexpected) love to decorating little cakes...I know. I should be ashamed of myself...

The puppet has detachable feather wings...
As is to be expected, this puppet appears to be in mourning clothes.
I tried to think of a name for her and one popped straight into my head: Griselda. Wikipedia tells me that this name means 'Dark Battle' or 'Stone' or 'Grey Maiden Warrior'.

How perfect is that?
My godmother recently described grief to me as like a dark battle. But it is even better that the puppet is a maiden warrior. I think passing through a period of intensive emotional hardship can make us feel like warriors. Grief can knock us to the ground. Sometimes our misery can whisper at us, telling us strange lies.
We have to be like warriors in order to stay true to who we want to become, after the grief has burnt through us.


  1. Who is your godmother Noms? Do I have one?! I like your puppet, very beautiful.

    1. Gretta! I'm pretty sure she is your godmother too :) She rang me up the other day and was just amazing and supportive and lovely :)
      Glad you like my puppet! xxxxx

  2. She is stunning Nomi, even in her grief she is beautiful.