Introducing Betty or Thelma...a Work in Progress

Baku Travel Blog

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Betty or Thelma, I cannot decide. The pic is a little out of focus, but it is difficult operating a SLR with one hand.
Some people have been asking me about the puppet that I was thinking of introducing for the show.  I think that it is a fact that children will listen to a puppet before they will listen to an adult.  I should note that I am not a puppet maker although the idea of creating something like that does fascinate me.  Jim Henson was a genius as far as I am concerned.  I should also note that I am not much of an artist.  I think I was 20 before I learned how to color inside the lines.  As far as art goes, I do not know what is right or wrong, all I realy know is what I like and dislike.  As far as my own attempts at art, I am part of the extremely exclusive art movement known as the Psycho Hillbilly Freak Out Art Movement.
Side view -- I need to add some "hair" to the sides.
  I think that I am its only member.  Just give me some paint and watch me spaz out, but make sure the surrounding areas are well covered and perhaps padded as well.

Back to the puppet...I decided to go with a sock puppet because finding the necessary materials for foam puppet building is difficult here in Baku.  Also, I really do not know too much about foam puppet building.  This is my tester piece which took weeks to do because I actually work sometimes.  My goal was to do my best to not make it look like a hand in a sock.  The snout was made with cardboard and cotton swabs.  I built-up the head with styrafoam and cardboard.  A longer piece of carboard was placed in the back of the head to give it some semblence of an actual skull.
I think the colors are better on this one. She is a patriotic puppet with her green, red and blue hair.
  The lower jaw was made from carboard and styrafoam.  The hair was a bunch of fuzzy yarn purchased at a local store.  The eyes are rubber balls that were painted.  Needles were inserted into the balls and attached to the head through the styrafoam.  Overall the materials cost about $10 and I still have more than enough left for more attempts at things.

As with most tester pieces, I have discovered what works and what needs to be improved.  First, I really needed a bigger sock.  When I first started, the sock came to my elbow and now it is a little below my wrist.  Second, I needed to build the head better -- better cheek bones and a better "skull".  Third, the lower jaw does attached to the upper jaw.  Fourth, it would be nice to make some eyelids for it.  Fifth, I do need to add some more hair to the sides.  Finally, it still looks a little too much like a hand in a sock for me, but then again I am my own worst critic.

Looking at the puppet, I definately see an asian dragon in it.  If I added some ears, some horns and whiskers, I would probably have one.

I originally wanted to call this puppet Bashful Betty and make it a puppet that was very shy speaking English around anyone.  I have also considered calling her Thelma the Thingamajig due to the fact that the th- sound in English is not used in Azeri. 

Finally, I am open to all feedback and ideas on this project.   Like I said, I am not a professional puppet maker, and all of the feedback that I get now will go towards hopefully developing more characters for the show.

IceTea says:
It's not just good. It's almost revolutionary. Haha
Good Job Ronnie! I like the dragon. :D
Posted on: Apr 10, 2008
sybil says:
that is pretty good! does betty or thelma have a friend to converse with?
Posted on: Nov 06, 2007
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Betty or Thelma, I cannot decide. …
Betty or Thelma, I cannot decide.…
Side view -- I need to add some h…
Side view -- I need to add some "…
I think the colors are better on t…
I think the colors are better on …
photo by: RJawad