Costume Characters | animatronic Puppets mouths and eyes

Puppet Making and Costume character design and construction Being a performer as well as a maker I believe gives me an insight into what a puppeteer requires from a puppet to give the best performance possible. It is not just the look of a figure but how it moves and comes to life. Construction differs according to differences in use, for example a ventriloquist figure used for hundreds of performances has to be much more durable than a puppet for a TV commercial or music video used only for a few days. I use a wide range of materials but specialise in fleece and fur fabric construction.

Prices range from a few hundred pounds for a simple hand puppet to several thousand for a custom built radio controlled costume character with radio controlled animatronics such as Busker Bear.

Concept Design I can work from an existing design of figure or supply a design from a sketch or description. I can work from a specific brief such as that for an advertising character or can supply detailed colour Designs based on mood boards or client artwork. I can also do 2D artwork of characters to give an impression of the finished figures.

Workshop facilities include mould making and shape cutting facilities. I keep a wide range of fur and fleece fabrics in stock to speed up the making process. I can also dye fabrics to specific colours for that special ‘one off’ look. During the build process I email photographs of material samples and to show the design taking shape to allow for alterations.

Turnaround time from design to finished figure varies according to the work involved and the amount of input from the client and time taken to get approval on materials etc.

Use of existing Puppets is possible usually If I am the performer. This can greatly save on production and has been used by music video makers.

Clients include BBC television, Pukka Films for Virgin trains(Mind Gremlins), Video Ink productions, Learning clip(Maths Clips), Promethean media, CTTV, Walker Art gallery (Liverpool), Taylor-Livesey Productions, TV ventriloquist Andy Greaves, The Black and white agency (for Britax child car seats)

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