Sunday, September 12, 2010

Have mouth, will argue

"MR. WINKLE" is now spoiling for a fight on Ebay.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I ain't got no-body

Well... actually he does.  And a nice one at that.  He's even wearing a brand new suit.  But I digress. 

Thought you might like to take a look at how I set up my controls.  I use a hollow PVC pipe design from Braylu Creations so I can run the mechanics down the center.  The nifty triggers for the jaw and eyebrows work smoothly and are easy on the fingers.  The jigger controls the left/right eye movement.

I run a brass tube and rod up the PVC pipe secured to the pipe interior with Magic-Sculpt.  Then I shove a length of ethofoam tubing, folded in threes, inside the PVC pipe from the bottom.  The expanding ethofoam also secures the lower portion of the brass tube and rod where the rod and jigger exit the opening in the PVC pipe. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Our debt to Detweiler

Few have done more for the proliferation of ventriloquism around the world as Clinton Detweiler. His blog, Mr. D's Daily, is a staple for ventriloquist blog readers. Clinton's "Maher 30 Lesson Course" has educated untold numbers of ventriloquists through the years. He's probably made and sold more figures than anyone in history. I have learned so many things about making figures by reading his blog posts. So I was honored when he asked if I'd like one of his famous "Smiley Face" Pocket Puppets and the accompanying "Five Dummy Dollars" coin.

I received it in the mail today, Clinton. Thanks for everything you do for the art of ventriloquism and its artists. I'm smiling as big as the Pocket Puppet!

Monday, September 06, 2010


Mr. Winkle
This obstinate old cuss is ready to spread joy with the help of a very patient ventriloquist.  After all, any future partner will be apologizing for this octogenarian's snide comments about almost everything and everybody. 

I hope somebody buys him anyway.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

No head for figures

It's a little ventriloquism humor. (Yeah, I know... very little).

Actually, I thought I'd pass along my vent figure body prep.  I buy my arms, legs and hands from Braylu Creations.  Owner Buzz James always marks the center spot on the lower interior where I screw in an eyehook for control post attachment.  Then I staple the legs onto the wood body. My exterior padding is a foam pad made for campers to cushion their sleeping bags.  I cut several 8"x12" rectangles and staple each one to a body. 

Next comes the shoulder padding.  I use a soft fleece material, soft-side up, on the shoulders.  I cut an "X" over the hole for the head.  I glue the padding onto the shoulders with Elmers Glue.  Then I staple the arms in place (with hands already attached).  The last step adds a foam covering over the soft pad on the shoulders (the same material as the body wrap).  Before I staple it in place, I cut a large hole for the head.  After stapling it, I cut away the shoulder foam in the areas in the front and in back of the hole for the head.  Finally, I stuff a 2-inch length of tubular ethofoam (used for home repair insulation) between the soft pad and the foam shoulder covering to give the shoulders a rounded appearance. 

I don't pad the interior.  I figure folks can add their own padding or not depending on their preference. (I prefer no interior padding). 

And that's how I turn a 'nobody' into a 'somebody'.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A lout with gout

Another Mr. Winkle is about to rev up his mean machine. All he needs is a couple more days, a little glue, a touch of paint, and a rim of hair. Then his incessant complaining will begin.