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.

1 comment:

D said...

Hello Steve,

More people should be made aware that you and your workshop exist.
Your highly adept talent for creating and repairing professional puppets combined with your caring nature is exactly what MILKO has needed desperately. The little guy could not be in better hands. I'm so glad I entrusted him to you for refurbishing and it pleases me to no end that you will come away learning a great deal more about the larger hand puppet controls from a wondrous ventriloquist era gone by.

While meeting and speaking with you in your shop, it was quickly apparent that creating or reparing is not "work" to you. It's more like your "calling". Sir, you've certainly answered the call and with style.

To borrow a line from one of the great actors of all time, My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you. Oh, and of course, MILKO thanks you most of all!