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Bird beaks and puppet patterns  (Read 10290 times)
Pletoo
« on: November 06, 2007, 11:29:30 am »

I have a pattern for a very cute duck from puppetpatterns.com and I even have an old McCall's Sesame Street Big Bird pattern, but I would really like to make an eagle and a parrot. Any suggestions for making a good curved beak? I will likely end up modifying one of my patterns for the head and body unless of course I find one I really like.
Thanks.
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2007, 03:03:02 pm »

Here is one idea.  I have kept it really basic but you can easily expand on this. 

The beak is four pieces of foam with the top beak pieces being slightly larger then the bottom ones.  Don't get too hung up on the angle of the slant that is cut.  It simply helps make that sharp edge that you see on the curve of a birds beak.  After you have the upper and lower beaks glued together you glue your mouth piece into them.  I did not draw out the mouth plate but I think you can figure that one out.  When you glue the mouth plate in it well round out our beaks. 

Like I say this is all very basic but should give you a starting place.  Most the beaks I have made are a bit more "curvy" then this. For example  I have cut the "line" where the mouth plate goes with a bit of a curve it self on the top beak.  This gives you that sharp overbite that you see in parrots and macaws.   
Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 03:46:17 pm »

Pretty neat drawing Shawn.............. that really expains it well. Thanks for doing that.

Billy D.
Pletoo
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 04:42:44 pm »

Thanks, I'll see about experimenting - I really haven't used foam since my first puppet (I wasn't really thrilled with the way it came out.) All the rest of my puppets have been sewn and stuffed.

This does give me a bit of a starting point and some ideas, so thanks again.
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 07:34:55 am »

The same concept should really apply if you want to do it with fabric and foam.  The big difference I see is that you would not have to cut the slant in the fabric.  Smiley

Each beak would consist of five parts.  The two side pieces and then a "triangle" of sorts for the inside of the mouth to create a "pillow".  This would be stuffed to hold the shape of the beak.  The you would use two more side pieces of the finish fabric to cover the "pillow" and then glue in your mouth plate.  The "triangle" would be a copy of your upper and lower mouth plate.  You would want to make your side pieces for the "pillow"  a bit "shorter" I think so that you could slip your hand between the "pillow" and mouth plate.  Gee I think I just confused myself! Smiley Did you follow all that?
Cameron
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 11:10:46 am »

That is the exact technique I have used for my parrots. But I just used spray paint the color the foam. You could also cover the foam in latex and then paint, or use tool dip. You can create a really hooked beak as well in foam. Just make sure that the lower beak fits inside the upper one.

Cam
Pletoo
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 11:36:58 am »

Thanks again. I really don't have the means to experiment with foam - so for now I just need to stick with the sewing machine. I'll play around with the mouth I used for the octopus and see if I can come up with something (I'll be sure to post pictures when I figure it out Smiley

I'll have to learn more about working with foam. The one I constructed completely out of foam (the one in the yellow hat in my avatar) looks nice but is horrible to operate. The rest of the ones there were sewn and stuffed with polyfil, with a foam sleeve for the body. My favorite three have no foam at all.
Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2007, 12:53:51 pm »

It seams by looking at the picture that you are using polyfill instead of foam. As Shawn has suggested and by using his diagram. Make the beak like a pillow using his diagram............ three sided beak, stuff and close with the end piece. You can then attach this to your regular puppet. It will be just a extention of the puppet head. Think of it as a big nose.

I attached a similar drawing. I can't do them fancy like Shawn...  Embarrassed dunno how!

Billy D.

Pletoo
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2007, 01:03:12 pm »

My plan is to actually extend the mouth plate out into the beak a little ways, but yeah, that was the basic idea I plan on following. The octopus head will likely be the easiest to adapt.
Thanks for all the tips and pictures - they are helping me a lot. :D
Cameron
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2007, 11:20:13 am »

Billy nailed it with that image. That was exactly how we addedc our beaks. As well we extended the mouth plate out to fill the top and bottom of the beak.

Cam
gompie
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2008, 02:20:25 pm »

Don't get too hung up on the angle of the slant that is cut. 

What is a slant (sorry I'm dutch) is that the side of the foam where you cut the foam. I think now that is a slant............
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2008, 08:05:32 am »

Yes gompie you are correct.  A hillside can be slanted. A line can slant down or up. If you cut the legs on one side of a table shorter then the other it would set on a slant. Slant is the same as angle.

Don't you just hate how the English language is so messy. Smiley
gompie
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 01:26:23 pm »

Don't you just hate how the English language is so messy. Smiley

You ever tried to speak dutch................................. icon_lol icon_lol
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