Here is the basic design for the corn puppets for the interdisciplinary class. More images with steps to follow...;)
How to make a mouth plate:
1. Measure the top of the muffin/corn or opening of the puppet circumference- create or use a template – cut out on band-saw.
2. Create a full circle and a half circle- these are the basic elements of the mechanism, The full circle is the top half and the ½ circle is the bottom half.
The center of the ½ circle
3. Create a place to mount the late on the end of the dowel rod- cut a straight groove about half way through a couple passes so that is wide enough to insert the piece in. Make sure the cut is level.
Mount the top plate into the dowel in this cut.
4. Super Glue or epoxy it in lining the center as best as can. Baking soda and super-glue creates plastic bonding agent. It can be a bit toxic so don’t breath to close to it- this glue makes an amazing plastic type bond with anything.
5. Next, drill a hole in the center of the large circle piece- center.
Cut a channel slightly wider than the dowel rod, 1/8-1/4 at the most bigger- and a long shape for the dowel rod movement. Using the dremmel to drill and rout out or a dremmel sander to drill and rout out. Sand the channel out. You want to make sure once it is drill out that there is enough room on the front piece for it to open, swing forward. It needs to be able to rock and open all the way.
If you were to be even more detail oriented you would sanding the edges and the clearances to the size just small enough to get it through. This is more a matter of aesthetics.
6. Next step build the hinge with leather or ultra suede- synthetic leather.
Mark the line across on the mouth mechanism and glue to the synthetic leather- the excess will get trimmed away once it is glued down.
7. Add cloth or sharpie the bottom of the dowel for blending purposes in the spot where you see the dowel.
8. Glue only to the line on the large circle and the bottom of the half circle that is attached to the dowel.
9. Press the full circle to the barged leather and fold back to the line, make sure the dowel half circle has a nice coat of barge and when it is ready (after trimming out the part of the leather that is blocking the oval shape cut out) slide the large circle onto the dowel lining up the back edge of the line where the top piece is so that they set up and line up evenly. Press together and then trim the rest of the mouth lining.
10. Take your persona blade and trim the excess leather away front the circle.
Add two pieces of leather to the top of the hinge for reinforcement. Gaff tape works to and is paintable.
11. Get out the return springs or whatever is being used. Use a drill bit and drill two holes strategically on the lower jaw and on the dowel. Open the screw eye up a bit so you can attach the spring with a needle nose plier. Then screw the eyes in and attach the springs.
12. Drill one more hole all the way up at the front, opposite side for a point to attach the control trigger line. Screw the eye into.
13. You can put tubing over the cord so that it slides easier. Heat shrink tubing can hide the cord. Tape the tubing to the dowel. Make sure the tube is on the correct side.
14. Next feed the string through the tube and tie it on to the eye. Add a little dab of glue- hot or fabric tack. Key rings work great for the finger ring. Can add a ball or wider handle for holding onto, and flatten the side down on the back for easy sliding
15. Eventually you want to make sure that there is room inside the puppet head for the mechanism to move up- you do this by gutting it out.
Putting the mechanism and the puppet together.
16. Drop the mechanism in lining up the mechanism to the dots where you have decided the face will go. And figure out how top goes on. Carve the circle out… or the shape of the puppet. Only carve in a little bit, 1/8th to a ¼ inch in the front and more in the back- for room for the back part of the mechanism to retreat into. Cut a wedge out for the post/dowel rod, to sink into.
17. Glue the top half part of mechanism and foam head. Push the two parts together once ready.