Sunday, September 30, 2007


Mr Devane stopped by to pick up Milko this Friday. He was all ready to go and missed home.

I repaired all that needed repair and added a tongue (there had been something there but it was gone. I assumed it was a tongue..... What else would it be?

I seperated theopenings in the ears and usd a fabric adhesive. (BEACON, it's the best there is in my book.) I repaired the neck separation and the mouth fabric which had come unattached to his jaw. I used liquid leather and matched up the color for his toes and finger tips to conceal the green wires that were exposed due to wear.

Irepaired his little smock which had it's ties broken and added new straps and gave him a good dry cleaning. I touched up his nose and glossed his eyes. He is ready to perform.

Mr Devane was pleased with the results and plans on putting Milko in a glass display.

I enjoyed working on him and learned alot about the animated puppets of the 50's through researching him and working on him. I also made a new aquaintance. Mr. DeVane is a professional speaker and voice over artist. One of the bennefits of repairing figures and puppets as well as making them are meeting the interesting people who own them. Good luck Mr. Devane! Take care Milko!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Working on Milko

I have been really busy at the paper. The advertisements are heavy for the next few months as the holidays approach. I squeeze every waking minute I have in to working in my shop.

My wife and I have added ther YMCA to our routine now. Can't make puppets if I'm not healthy I guess...........) :

I spent most of Friday working on Milko. There were alot of little repairs that needed to be done. The neck was coming away from the head, the ears (both of them) were split and separating from the head. The legs which are stitched in were loose, the living mouth material had detached from the bottom lip, the eyes were dull and the nose needed to be touched up.

Milko also needed a bath. I dry cleaned him.

There was also a lack of a control to move his mouth. The inside of the head has no access so he couldn't be taken apart. These puppets were primarily made of cloth and leather and everything is stitched together. There is an existing lever to move the mouth up and down but it is very difficult to utilize. I added a finger control sleeve made of paperclay (that's what milko's hard features were made of) to the ridge of the inside of the lip. Now he can be manipulated with ease. I thought about a spring attachment but the tension would pull against the cloth and eventually just pull out. This is a much more permanent solution.

As I said. I wanted Milko to remain unchanged. With the exception of the control sleeve (which is not visible) He looks exactly the same as when he arrived, with the exception of his repairs and sprucing up. Thank you for this opportunity Mr. Devane, I got a chance to glimpse into the past and learned a lot about the larger hand puppet controls of this early era.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A surprise from down under!

I had a visit to my shop on Friday morning. He brought along a Koala Bear with him.

Mr Devane and I have been in contact for several months and just weren't able to find a good time for both of us. I finally got the chance.

He has asked me to restore this puppet. His name is Milko and was on the Rootie Kazootie show. He was made by one of the greatest puppet makers of all time, Paul Ashley.

We decided to keep him just the way he is and touch up some places that need touched up and reattach his neck and ears. Fix his fingertips and give him a good cleaning. Paul Ashleys puppets are all of museum quality and are kept under lock and key by collectors. Chuck McCann and Paul Ashley teamed up together for the Chuck McCann show in the 60's. Wow, what memories..... Here are some pictures of him. He is operated like a hand puppet with your fingers controlling the arms, but he has controls on the inside of his head for his mouth and his eyes. They blink! I am looking forward to this project and will keep his before and afters along with the pictures of others I have restored in a place of honor. a tribute to Paul Ashley can be found on Bob Albano's website under makers of hard figures.

There are two heads in this other picture who have been very patient with me. I have kept putting them down due to orders or family emergencies and I have promised them I will finish them before the end of this month. The shop is moving along well again. My wife gave me a "personal day" to get cleaned up and organized so i can start preparing for the Holiday seasons. Here are some of the figures you will be seeing on ebay. If any interest you, or you have any questions about figure making or ventriloquism as always, email me at t My entire reason for this blog is to help beginners and novice ventriloquists with their conundrums.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Back to the shop

I have spent the last few weeks with family. I haven't had much time to be in my shop. For all those who have orderes pending, I completed them this weekend and they are ready to go.

I apologize for the wait. Family comes first.

I have been working on several stage figures for different people. Two are finished and the third and fourth are still in the works. When they are completed, I will havve pictures for you.

I will be contacting all those people who have asked questions and are looking for work to be done this week. I haven't had any time to get back to everyone because i was finishing up some birthday gifts. (no one should be late on a birthday gift!)

Fall season is coming and I have done a few harvest shows and I am looking forward to my favorite time of year HALLOWEEN!

Here is a figure I made for a fellow New York native with a holloween theme.