Several weeks ago I was browsing through the summer 2013 issue of Art Doll Quarterly seeking a spark of inspiration. And I found one! The article about the amazing marionettes created by Bea Ihnatowicz caught my attention. I remember my interest in this last summer, but I was too busy with something else to follow up. A number of my earlier dolls had moving parts - the "Shake-a-leg Girls" had moving legs and arms, and the "Wink Dolls" was jointed in the neck and shoulders. The mechanics of getting everything to function has always interested me, so why not put it all together in a traditional marionette?
I started with a paper mache head that had not worked out very well for another doll project. I attached this to a body cut from 1x4 pine with a pair of screw eyes. The idea of counter sinking the screw eye into the body seemed like a good idea, but the movement in the neck may be restricted too much. The loops that will hold the control strings are just forward of the ears. the hands are made of polymer clay with wire loops for the strings. I've already discovered that it is a good idea to hang the figure as I add body parts. The balance is touchier than I expected. I've finished these and several other parts since these photos were taken. He now has hair, a painted and collaged body and jointed arms. Things are looking good. I hope to finish him by next week.