The Foam Book

puppetsmith

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For the benefit of others who may come across this thread, I feel obligated to address the hole that is "way too small". I'm assuming it is the neck hole (the hole in the puppet's head that the puppeteer puts his hand through to reach and operate the mouth) that is being referred to. The neck hole is 3 inches in diameter in the Forma Series Patterns. Generally, a hole of this size is enough for an adult size human hand to fit through. It is meant to be a snug fit. Remember, the more closely a puppet hugs the puppeteer's hand and arm, the easier it is for movement to be transferred. This makes for less difficult puppeteering and a better performance.

Of course, there are exceptions. Some puppeteers have larger hands and the Project Puppet patterns are designed to be easily altered. The Forma head patterns do not incorporate the neck hole. The hole is cut after the head is assembled. We designed the patterns this way to allow for flexibility. The hole can be cut larger. The hole can be moved forward or backward, affecting the "posture" of the puppet. It's entirely up to the builder and the demands of the character.

Hope that clarifies things for future readers of this thread.
 

AEaston

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I feel like I need to stand up for the Foam Book. I have never used a puppet project (even though they look great!) and started building with the foam book as my only resource. I certainly made mistakes in the beginning, but I learned so much from them very quickly. I also have never had to think in terms of the patterns I have. When someone asks me to build something I have never built before, it's really easy because, as the book tells you, you just think about the basic shapes and go from there! I agree with those who have pointed out that the style of their puppets is....different, but mine have a cleaner more "muppety" look to them-with my own style of course. And I feel like the book was vague enough to let me develop that.

In short, the foam book allows you to bring your artistry to the craft from day one. If you are comfortable with learning by experimentation then the book is great! If having a pattern will motivate you to get started..then that works too. The important part to realize is that you just have to start doing it, have fun with the first one and know that it probably won't be the most beautiful puppet you build, but will be the most fun or at least memorable one you build :smile:
 

ATRIDA

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Hi everybody, I´m new around here. I´m a beginner pupetter trying to make my own muppet-like puppets for the first time. The most difficult problem I have is to built the mouth mechanism. Could you help me? Thanks
 

Bumblebeez

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Which one, which one...

I am thinking about buying either The Foam Book or Puppet Mania and I was wondering which one I should buy first to get an insight into how to make puppet patterns. I have already designed some puppets on paper but I don't know how I should go about forming it in the third dimension.

P.S. Is the book Puppet Planet worth looking into?
 

staceyrebecca

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Honestly I don't know how much either one will help you as far as developing patterns.

Puppet Planet is more different projects & styles of puppets you can make. Anywhere from sock puppets to a carved foam head.
From what I gathered, The Foam Book teaches more of an improvised way of making puppets. Or, rather that's how it left me making puppets. I stopped using the nip-tuck method after probably 2 shows-worth of puppets about 5/6 years ago.

I think both books are worth owning.

Try checking them out from a local library, too.
 

MuppetLabsBoy

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I am thinking about buying either The Foam Book or Puppet Mania and I was wondering which one I should buy first to get an insight into how to make puppet patterns. I have already designed some puppets on paper but I don't know how I should go about forming it in the third dimension.

P.S. Is the book Puppet Planet worth looking into?
The Foam Book will teach you a lot of good techniques and expose you to new materials. Puppet Planet has more direct projects, but they are easy to modify and can be turned into so many different characters.:wink:
 

GBR

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I ordered the Foam Book through Amazon and it just arrived yesterday! I'm very excited to start building!
 

Greenlantern999

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I just got a copy of the foam book off amazon, to be honest it was disappointed when I opened it, it just wasn't what I was expecting, but that said after reading it through it is very inspirational. And it teaches you lots of cool tricks! I ended up using my bank points to purchase the book so I basically lost nothing on buying it but I would have been happy to pay full price for it given all the crazy and great ideas I have already from it!
 

Katana

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So I just finished reading the book. My feeling is that a beginner with no craft experience might have trouble with it. Alot is left to the creator's ability to interpret with no clear directions or patterns to follow. The writer's do say that their ability to clearly draw an example was lacking, but I thought the illustrations were clear enough for me, but i have a history of product model making, machinist work and as an illustrator....so it wasn't a great stretch.
 
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