Thursday, January 27, 2011


Q: Are the eyelets on the inner part of the eyes for the crossing affect?

A: Yes. I attach a cord to each eyelet. The cord is strung over the pulley bar in the back pf the head and down the headstick. It's attached to a trigger. When the trigger is pulled, the eyes are tugged inward, thus crossing the eyes. When released, the springs return the eyes to the center position.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spring has sprung

No, the season has not changed while we were in our workshops ignoring the great outdoors. 

I received a comment on my "Wired" posting that proved to be very helpful for centering the iris in the eye socket.  The suggestion was that I tweak the self-centering spring rather than wire the spring.  And it worked like a charm. 

What a great idea.  Thanks!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The photo is a bit soft and dark, but if you look carefully, you'll see Mr. Fenster sitting on his new partner's knee.  Mr. Fenster's pal is named Michael and he lives in Pennsylvania.  Michael's wife reports that he's practicing his ventriloquism very diligently.  I hope Michael and Mr. Fenster are giving audiences the giggles very soon.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Yes, I've had way too much coffee today.  But that has nothing to do with the title of this post. 

I've been making my own eyes. I've been placing the irises (which were printed out on a computer) after placing the eyeballs inside the head because the eye sockets are not always perfectly straight forward and even with each other. By placing the irises after placing the eyes inside the head, I could make sure the irises were centered.  However, this process denied me the use of the really nice plastic irises that are pre-installed and centered on those lovely cast eyes sold by Braylu Creations and Puppets and Props. 

Until I figured out a new way to center the pre-installed irises in the eye socket. (At least new to me).
  • I place a small screw eye in the center-back of the synchro bar
  • I take a length of 22-gauge wire and insert it between the coils of the spring behind the eye that needs to be centered.
  • I tug the wire enough to pull the spring inward enough to position the eye properly.
  • I insert one end of the wire through the screw eye and twist the ends of the wire to secure it.
  • I trim the excess twisted wire. 
  • Now the iris is centered properly in the eye socket and still bounces back into position for self-centering. 


You remember Clifton, don't you? Well, he was sent to Spain to meet his new partner. Somehow Clifton ran afoul of Spanish Customs and has been rejected for some unknown reason. His new partner has informed me that Clifton is on his way back to me. What's worrisome is that he was sent back a month ago and he's still not back. His new partner wants me to send him back again, this time to an alternate address in the UK. We're hoping Clifton will clear British Customs more easily than Spanish Customs.

But so far, Clifton is missing. Maybe he was sent back by boat.

Monday, January 10, 2011

After sessions of obsession

After gallons of coffee, beaucoup bags of Cheetos, hours of time spent in front of my computer, and days in my pajamas with no shower or shave, I have completed my new website.  I hope you find it nice-looking and easy to navigate.

To run it through its paces, just click on the "Kenny Croes Dummy Store" graphic on the left side of the blog.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


My experiments making facial alterations to my cast heads continues with some work on the Cheeky Boy cast head.  Now he has a new nose and upper lip configuration.  The more pronounced proboscis and upper lip tend to make the cheeks appear less full. 

Friday, January 07, 2011

The "pain" in painting

Q: I've been working on my own figures and use your site as a reference a lot and had a question for you. Do you have issues with your paint coming off a lot? I have a Mike Brose head which I have sanded and washed a lot and the paint still comes off way too easily. When I mean comes off, you can literally put it in water and use your hand to show perfectly clean resin underneath. I've been using Folkart craft paint could this be the problem?

A:  It's important to apply a coat of primer before applying your acrylic paint.  In addition, acrylic paint dries to the touch very quickly, but actually takes about a week to dry completely.  For quality's sake, I use artist-quality acrylic paints (available at your local art supply store) rather than craft paints (like Folkart).  Mike Brose's book "Figure Making Can Be Fun" has an excellent section on painting figures.  It's well-worth the investment. 

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Eye-dle chat

Here's a shot of Elmore with the 1.5" Mike Brose eyes.  It's hard to tell in this photo, but I altered the jaw so it opens much wider.  To do that, I essentially sawed off the chin and used Magic-Sculpt to build a new chin. 

I'm also going to install teeter-totter-style eye mechanics rather than my usual brass tube and rod mechanics.  Buzz James of Braylu Creations designed a new teeter-totter trigger that I'm anxious to try.