24 July 2005

Great Scott

Just a quick note to PuppetVision and all those interested in building television puppets. Andrew posted 'punto patterns' on his great blog on Friday and also previously mentioned reticulated foam or Scott foam, as it's called in the States. But, here in Sydney, even though it's locally manufactured, it's becoming more and more expensive. It is great to work with though and comes in blue, yellow, green and red. Its normally used in airconditioners for filteration and can also be used in combination with softer foam for flexible movement in joints, which offeres less resistance to movement. It's quite eay to play with the foam and create your own puppet patterns. We give our students a basic pattern and work with them in developing new and innovative characters from this. Problem is always the time restrictions though! (The Muppets used this technique too!) As was mentioned, reticulated foam does take dye very well and gives strong colours. The puppet can also be sprayed with paint, which also extends the life of the character when the dye begins to fade. However most of my students cover their foam puppet in a stretch fabric, which makes a great skin!

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