The Paul Taylor Dance Company contacted me to perform repairs on a prop stuffed turkey that was 44 years old! It was first used in a performance of “Orbs” in 1966. 44 is very old for an item made out of latex rubber, and I started my restoration by carefully trimming away all of the rubber that had hardened and become brittle. Quite a bit needed to be removed, since the turkey was left hanging in a window and the areas which were exposed to sunlight were especially deteriorated. One of the legs had broken away entirely, and the head had shattered and was missing a large chunk.
I rebuilt the head with polyurethane foam, and added new stuffing to bring the turkey back into turkey-shape. The body had become flattened and wrinkled over time, so I needed to cut away the worst of the wrinkles, and patch over these areas with bandages made out of gauze and liquid latex. I stitched together the holes in the old latex, and bandaged over the repairs to blend them in with the turkey’s skin.
Finally, I painted the turkey with a coat of tinted latex and the old bird was ready to take to the stage.
I made this stork puppet for the recent season of Whitest Kids U’Know. It needed to be used as both a sock puppet when the head peeked through a window, and as a full-size flying puppet. The head is removable to serve as a sock puppet, and it fits back onto the body when the full bird needs to be used.
The framework of the stork is foam, wire, and corrugated cardboard, and the covering is a rough, stretchy wool-like material and lots of real feathers.
Katie Akana and Ryan Barger had a backyard filled with snow, so it was decided that we would all stop by on our day off, drink hot cider, and build ourselves a giant cat out of snow. Lizzi Akana, Brandon Cheek, and Lizzi’s friend, who I think is named Nessa were all involved too. The finished cat was about seven feet tall!
…and just so you know – I haven’t been lazy these past few months! Season 4 & 4.5 of Silent Library kept me very busy with new challenges, and I’ll post pictures of the props when the seasons air this March.