The set of finger puppets were commissioned as a gift for a person retiring from a job that involved services for children and youth. This person also had close ties to the Regina Symphony Orchestra. At first, when asked to do “something” for this person, I was flailing about for what kind of art work might be appropriate and the idea of finger puppets (being associated with childhood) combined with the Symphony popped into my head.
The puppet heads and hands are formed from “Sculpey” a wonderful fine grained sculpting compound that can be baked and painted. Sculpey can be used over a wire frame or other core material as it does not shrink or crack during baking. The fine grain of the material allows greater detail to be rendered in pieces like this. The puppets are around 6 inches high including the base (which is a repurposed serger thread cone by the way). I chose to make a puppet of Victor Sawa, the conductor and Eduard Minevich, the first violin as well as Beethoven and Mozart. I also had a bit of fun making the tail coats for Sawa and Minevich as well as the costumes for the great composer.
I found the Sculpey material easy to work with. It was also easy to paint and finally to varnish to preserve the pieces.
Sculpey comes in more colours now and is marketed at most art stores and on line. I like to use http://www.dickblick.com for on line orders of art material – those hard to get art supplies. In Regina, my favourite store is Colors, oops, new name — Norcal Art & Framing Ltd. If you like browsing art supplies, that store is a treasure.
By the way, the finger puppets were a hit.