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Mask and Puppet Design and Construction

The mask isn't just confined to the face. The mask encompasses the entire body...movement, speech and posture.            - Dan Stone

You can view videos of some of these puppets in action if you visit the Media section of this site.

Audrey II

Desgining and building a series of Audrey II puppets for for Little Shop of Horrors that I am also directing.  Below are images of the building phases of  the larger Audrey II puppets.

Working skeleton of Audrey II  #4

I enjoy re-purposing materials and creating with found objects.  Making leaves for Audrey II #3, I utilized  couch foam and electrical wire.  The wire came from the wall in our shop as electricians re-wired the theater. Patterns drawn and cut, the edges are connected with spray adhesive. The wire is placed in the middle of the sprayed edge  and then pinched down around the wire. The wire helps to shape the leaf.


I create a number of different types of puppets from variety of materials.  Depending on the project I will use poly foam or found objects. I have experience in building a variety of puppets including foam "Muppet" styled puppets, Balinese styled shadow puppets, Bread and Puppet styled back pack puppets and others.

You can view videos of some of these puppets in action if you visit the Media section of this site.

Life Cast Mold Making

Making life casts for actors can be an intimidating and complex procedure.  This requires the actor to sit motionless for a period of time breathing only through straws inserted into the nose. It is important to make sure that the actor is made to feel as comfortable as possible. The procedure needs to accomplished quickly and efficiently.  It is best to have all materials set up and ready to go. There is quite a bit of preparation that goes into this process Below is a brief explanation of three key moments of the process.

  • A mixture of dental Alginate is applied to the subjects face in thin layers.

  • The Alginate is then wrapped with wet plaster bandages to keep the Alginate mold held together.

  • Once the plaster bandage support mold is dry then it can be gently lifted off the face and then filled with a mixture of Hydro-Cal to create the final bust,


I sculpt and build masks and generally I will take a life cast of an actor to produce a bust. On top of this bust clay is used to sculpt the mask and then a Hydrocal mold is made around the entire bust and sculpture to create a negative.  It is from this negative  that the mask is created, using paper mache or by pouring a semi-hard latex to create the  mask.


Below are images of a handful of masks made with this technique.  Most of the masks below are Commedia dell' Arte masks.

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