Sunday, May 27, 2012

Start Stringing your Puppy with the "Heart Strings"

You need a black fishing line for stringing your puppy. The clear plastic fishing line will work but it really does stand out a surprising amount and I have been told it stretches. I have not had many problems with that because my puppets are generally too light weight to matter. Most rag doll style puppets are very light weight. So is a stuffed animal with a few bean bags and lead egg weighs in it. You are also going to need a large needle. You can also see a stringing stand in this picture and that is a great tool for solo string efforts. If you don't have one, I have used split doors, shelves, slide out cutting boards and mean family members or friends. Thanks to all who have patiently held controls for me before!
 We will start with the shoulder string (1) and the posterior string (2) which are the main two support strings. They will carry the full weight of the puppet. They are the heart strings too...the only two strings that if cut, will kill the performance completely. The control must be held level and the strings set so that all four feet are just barely touching the ground.
I use this diagram to show where it's best to hold the controls for the person who will be using this puppy in performance:
 This assumes that the person who is in this diagram is full grown and plans to use this puppet on the floor and walking about in a room.  For a child, you might add a few inches for when they grown a bit more or if you are planning on performing on a bridge, you need to stand on the bridge to get the right length. Conversely, if you plan on performing on a table, the puppet needs to stand on that table to get the right length.
Next Post will discuss the leg strings.