Puppet Origin Stories: Intestines
In 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, we spoke to the Makers and Designers of the puppets we have in The Finger Players (TFP), to create the repository that is the Puppet Origin Stories – a humble effort to highlight the background, and the making and design history of these puppets. We hope that this can be a continued endeavour at TFP, and we hope that you can go on this journey with us.
The intestines of the White Dog for the production of Citizen Dog had a brief yet impactful moment, as they were yanked out in the midst of a heart transplant onstage. It was thus imperative that the intestines were of the right texture and appearance. It was created by Daniel Sim.
Daniel first experimented with wrapping latex around cotton batting. He shaped the cotton batting to get an ideal thickness he had envisioned for the intestines, and layer latex over to achieve the textured appearance he was hoping for. However, this did not work out as the texture was not ideal, and broke continually. More experimentation and practice had to be done as this was his first attempt at using latex. However, as latex was expensive, Daniel had to look for a cheaper material that would still work.
There were two available possibilities in the workshop – manila rope and white nylon rope leftover from the production of The Spirits Play. Daniel knew from experience that manila rope was messy, smelly, and oily, making it hard to work with.
Daniel thus decided to work with the white nylon rope instead, and with a sewing machine, sew a layer of calico and tightly fitted shimmery red cloth over it. As he had to sew it with the rope already inside the fabric, it was a challenge getting it to fit snugly. His lack of familiarity with using a sewing machine did not help. The final touch was painting it over with red and brown acrylic paint. The steps for this were not complicated, however, due to the length of the intestines, it was extremely time consuming.
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