Monday, 28 February 2011

Henry the Horse (the alternative).

After making Judy the Punk I wondered what Henry the Horse would look like as a Punch and Judy style puppet.  I decided to make the head out of styrofoam as I wanted to compare the detail achievable with polystyrene when carving.

Working in the same way as for the polystyrene head I drew the outline of the horse onto the block and roughly hatched out the shape using a bread knife. 

I then drew on the facial contours and hatched them out in the same way.

Ears will be adding onto the block once the face is carved.

The finer details of the nose, mouth and eyes were created using a smaller snap blade craft knife.

The ears were carved to shape before sticking into place with pritt stick and covering with a further layer of brown gummed paper.  This was not an ideal solution (Bostic two part adhesive is the best glue) but I had limited resources at home and this provided a firm join.

  Once both ears were in place I sanded the head with fine wet and dry all over.  The hole to allow hand operation was carved out from the back of the head and a groove for the thumb created between the cheeks.

The entire head was primed with two coats of white paint before painting.  Be careful what paints you use on styrofoam, I used water based acrylic which will not cause it to melt, if you want to use other paints then cover the sculpture in several layers of papier mache before painting.

This picture clearly shows how the head will be operated.

The head after painting and the addition of a mane.  This was the left over sheepskin from the Judy puppet.

I made a sleeve for the neck out of an old white cotton bed sheet and painted it to match the head.  The long side was machine stitched together and the mane pinned into place and handstitched down.

Glue the neck to the back of the head (I secured it into place with dressmakers pins while the glue set) and finally brush the hair into place with your fingers. 

The final article!! Perfect for a chat over the fence.

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