Saturday, July 24, 2010


Every now and then I discover a little something that improves the look of my little fellas. This time, I painted two coats of glossy varnish on the tongue, teeth and lips of my jaws. Makes a big difference. It gives the jaw and lips a lifelike wet look.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Double treat

Of course, the reason Jeff Dunham posed here is because young Kevin Barnett is a talented ventriloquist who performed at the VentHaven Convention last week. Brave, too. It must have been daunting performing before such an esteemed group of peers. I'm anxious to hear Kevin's stories about his experience. And, hey... I can't help but be a little proud that Kevin is holding Kyle in the picture. I built Kyle for Kevin awhile back.

It must have been a treat getting a picture taken with Jeff Dunham. Well... it's a treat for me, too. Thanks, Kevin for sharing the photo.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

UnconVENTion-al for now

I've never been to a VentHaven convention. I was unaware of it until I re-entered the ventriloquism world after a short 45-year break. But after several years of convention photos and videos posted on various websites, I get excited about the convention even though I haven't made it to Kentucky yet. I'm hatching a secret plot (secret from my wife) to make a cross-country drive to Fort Mitchell two years from now... (sshhh.... more about that later). Meanwhile I look forward to seeing the images from this year's convention.

Hello to all the fine folks that made it there this year.

A good fit

After following my own advice (see below), I have successfully accomplished a free-swinging jaw. I installed a brass tube in the jaw. I cut the 3-1/8" brass rod and inserted it into the jaw's brass tube. Then I placed the jaw in the head opening and slid it into place. I used chunks of Klean Klay to temporarily secure the jaw and check things out. Then I replaced the Klean Klay with Magic-Sculpt leaving the slots open. After that I used the chunks of Klean Clay to temporally close the open slots. With the jaw secure, I did my filling, filing and sanding of the jaw and the opening (pulling the jaw in and out of the head as needed) to make a nice fit.

Next I'll pull the jaw out and paint it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Partner wanted.

Uncle Earl is officially seeking a comedy partner for fun and/or profit. He's placed his "Situations Wanted" sign on Ebay. Looking for a sidekick?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The jaw bone's connected to the... brass tube

Here's a tip for folks who've bought or are considering buying a Kenny Croes Collection head from Braylu Creations:

After sawing off the back of the head, cutting the mouth opening and eye sockets, typically the next thing I do is install a 1/8" brass tube into the jaw. Then I cut a 3/32" brass rod 3-1/8" long. I insert the brass rod into the brass tube on the jaw. I place the jaw in the head. I want the jaw to fit in the opening of the head. I want it to swing freely, opening and closing. But it 's highly unlikely it will swing freely the first time.

You may have to shorten the brass rod to get the jaw all the way forward in the opening. You may have to file down the sides of the opening in the head or the sides of the jaw if the fit is too tight. You may have to do a combination of all of the above.

After you accomplish the free swinging of the jaw, use Magic-Sculpt to make slots in the head where the brass rod touches either side. Leave your slots open so the rod can slip in and out. Later down the line, you can place the jaw in the head and apply Magic-Sculpt over the open slots to close them permanently. But while they are still open, you can make adjustments, fill, sand, paint etc.

Pictured here is a "Cheeky Boy" jaw. Hint: I may use Magic-Sculpt to make the tongue a little larger and more rounded.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

If I only had a tooth...

Uncle Earl is one of my favorite characters. The toothless old goat has a confused look most of the time. Which is why a ventriloquist will get some laughs when Uncle Earl says something surprisingly clever and funny. He'll be looking for a chaperon soon, particularly because he's been known to flirt unabashedly with younger women.