Using Foam Balls to Make Puppets – Homeslice Puppetry

making puppets

When we found out that Eric Weiss from Homeslice Puppetry was using our Foam Balls to sculpt puppets for his business, we just HAD to see what it was all about. We asked him to share some details and photos.

I’ve been inspired by the work of Jim Henson and “The Muppets” ever since I was a child, and that evidence is present in my craft. I began teaching puppetry as an original class that myself and two of my colleages developed at Nature’s Classroom. I then became inspired to tinker, develop, and learn more until reaching the level I am at now. I began my company as a way to turn my craft and passion into a career, and as a way to bring this passion to a new audience of folks outside of Nature’s Classroom who want to learn how to make these puppets. I believe that a lot of people would love to learn this craft and hope to continue to spread this knowledge to future generations. The thing that I love the most about puppetry is how it is an art that draws from so many different art forms and inspires boundless amounts of creativity.

The foam balls from S&S are really the best that I have found for the type of puppets I create, and they come in 6 very bright colors. Many of my puppet characters have very round heads, or you can just start off with something that’s round so you have less to cut off and waste when you are carving foam. Foam can get expensive really quick, so starting with a shape where you have less to cut off and waste is great.

Besides puppet heads, the foam balls also work perfectly for my fruit and vegetable puppets. I like to use the 8.5” diameter balls, but I know that some folks with smaller hands prefer the 7” diameter for this project. Either size works just fine, it is merely preference or how big a puppet that you plan to create.

puppets

The projects are a bit complicated, which is why I teach the step by step process in my adult classes in Keene, NH. I am teaching 2 adult classes this summer, along with some classes for kids.  A lot of work goes into each puppet, and if you are passionate about it, it’svery worth it!

Some tools I use are: a dremel, sand paper, razorblades, thin hobby wood, contact cement, leather strips, and felt. The first step I always teach is to imagine the puppet that you are going to create out of your foam. Then we get into the steps of drawing the mouth, carving the lips, and shaping and sculpting the whole face of your puppet. The challenge is to be patient and careful not to cut too deep that you go through the outside of the ball. After you have carved the inside of the head then you are ready to move on to building the mouth plate. The last step is to give your puppet features like eyes, hair, skin, and everything you need to finish your character.

puppets foam balls

If you would like more info about my puppets and the classes I teach, please visit my website. Happy puppet building!

About Eric Weiss from Homeslice Puppets:

puppetsEric is a teacher, puppet builder, & the owner of Homeslice Puppetry. He specializes in building custom puppets and teaching puppetry classes and workshops to both children and adults. Eric has a degree from SUNY Buffalo and has won an award in professional puppet building from BJ Guyer and the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. He has also been a teacher and program coordinator with Nature’s Classroom for 12 years. Although primarily self-taught in the field of puppetry, he has been building and teaching puppetry for around 11 years.

Websitehomeslicepuppets.weebly.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/homeslicepuppets

 

More Great Blog Posts



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *