Sunday, December 26, 2010

String theory

Q: I was wondering if you sell or know where I can purchase the nylon string used for ventriloquist figures. I have a Maher Figure, he's nine years old and the eye-movement string is broken and others are worn. I can't find anything similar to the string in my area. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

A: I use Stringliner Pro Reloadable #18 Nylon Construction Line, 250’ (1/4lb. 155lb. test). I buy it at my neighborhood True Value hardware store. There may be one in your town, too. If not, it's available online at  I like it because it's strong and doesn't come unbraided when I'm handling it.

Hope that helps. Happy Holidays. - Kenny

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The good-bye look

These old boys are staring each other down for the last time. Mr. Winkle (left) is on his way to Australia to spread some cheer.  Mr. Fenster (right) will partner up with a youngster in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Fenster looks a little worried at mean old Mr. Winkle's scowl.  He's probably thinking "Good riddance".

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sockets in the pocket

I covered the styrene plastic patch and lined the eye sockets all around with Magic-Sculpt.  Even though the left eye socket fit well, I used Magic-Sculpt to line the left eye socket so it matched the apperarance and size of the right socket. 

More to come later as I paint the head and fit the eyes with their springs and new prototype synchro bar (courtesy of Braylu Creations). 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New toy

I recently killed my Dremel.  Actually it was a Dremel knock-off made by Master Mechanic.  It lasted me 4 years and nearly 70 dummies, so I'm not complaining.  But to the point, I have a new toy called a Dremel Stylus.  It's great for doing clean-up work on new casts.  It allows me to be more precise than the larger pseudo-Dremel I exhausted.  I still need a larger Dremel (this time I'll buy a real one) for more heavy-duty grinding and such.  But I really like this new tool.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Patchin' it up

The hole I cut into the "Elmore" head now has a plastic patch.  I used clear Gorilla Super Glue.  I made sure it spanned the opening in a way that will leave ample room for the eye to fit and turn.  I'll devise a strategy to cover the patch with Magic-Sculpt so that there will be few seams (where the Magic-Sculpt attaches to the head).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Surgical precision

Considering the title of this post and the photo at right, I'm sure you're pleased I'm not a doctor... especially not your doctor. 

The "Elmore" head is being altered further to accept 1.5" eyes.  I have a spare pair of Mike Brose eyes that I plan to use for this feller.  The eye socket on the left was a perfect fit.  But the right eye socket needed more space to accommodate the larger eyeball.  I plan to install the eye tray and eyeballs, then close up the cut-up side of the head around the eyeball with Magic-Sculpt.

Like some mad scientist, I continue to experiment. (Cue the frightening cackle).

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The real Santa?

I've made three Santa figures.  The first (on the left) was built last year.  The other two (middle and right) were made this year.  My goal was to make them as alike as I could.  They look very similar to me. 

But which one is the real Santa?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Takin' it to the streets

I've shown photos of young ventriloquist Kevin Barnett before.  Here's a new one of Kevin and his Kenny Croes figure "Kyle" working as street performers in Key West.  Kevin and his family were on a cruise stop in Key West, so Kevin must have decided to earn a few extra bucks while roaming the tourist mecca.

I'm particularly fond of this photo because I worked as a street performer for two years at Fisherman's Wharf in San Franscisco.  Street performing is fun and profitable.  It's an exciting performance experience to add to one's resume. 

I hope Kevin remembered to toss some loose change, a few dollar bills, a $5 bill and a Twenty in the hat before he started performing.  It's really important to "prime the pump"!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fun with Mr. Fenster

This old timer will soon be trying to impress a ventriloquist.  He'll be on Ebay soon.  Need a goofy old guy to keep you company?

Friday, December 03, 2010


Clinton and Adelia Detweiler were very kind to include me among the recipients of this year's Maher Studios "A World of Thanks" Award. 

We are all in their debt for setting such good examples for us.  Their products, advice, and generosity of spirit are well-known.  To be given this acknowledgement from such respected and beloved practitioners of vent is an honor. 

Thank you.