A Day ( and Night) of the Hero Twins ; NSFW, caution marionettes with naughty bits

My  Hero Twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque are now finished and awaiting proper stringing. I don’t anticipate too many problem,  my fingers crossed, but in the meantime I thought I would play around with the little mannequins. They are quite flexible and fall into clever and at times quite salacious positions. Good for them. 

IMG_4954Hero Twin marionettes


Sculpey and metal and aluminum foil armature, paint, steel wool, string

12.5 inches tall


They both have little necklaces, and bracelets and fancy boots; for naked boys they like to accessorize.


A Tom of Finland pose if there ever was one. 


For as long as I have been working with the Hero Twin archetype, their tongue twisting names have befuddled me. Xbalanque, of the jaguar spots is depicted in such a way as to exhibit his animal nature ; poor Hunahpu is spotted as a reminder of his time amidst the Dead.

Living in LA I see gorgeous tattoos on a regular basis, I was inspired by the local color in tagging my fellows; now at last I will be able to identify the Twins quickly and easily.


I’m happy with the boots-yet another salacious shot.


 End o’ day.

I will string them and I will record their movement, but for now they are at rest.

Be well, Lg




Back to the Marionette Bench

My last marionette was less than a stellar success; handsome fellow(s) but aside from a savasana pose, it proved to be a  cumbersome puppets. For starters it is too large for my need, over 20 inches and too heavy. When I cobbled the puppet together I did not research construction as well as I ought to have, nor did I really plan. I am a planner with my art, I love that process, I love the road map it provides. So my second time around I gave serious thought to the marionettes actual size and construction. I finished with the foundation of the figures last evening, there are now two actual Hero Twins, and I am pleased with them. They are going to be dashing-and sexy- fellows. Here they are fresh from my oven, awaiting color and stringing.


 Hero Twin marionettes


Sculpey medium, aluminum foil, wire, steel wool, eye hooks

My more careful planning paid off, they are nearly the exact proportion and size as my conceptual drawing.


So onward, painting, stringing and more marionettes. My friend Gina, hailing from a puppeteering clan, popped over today and gave valuable advice AND demos. Nothing like a master of a craft to inspire, as I said before,puppeteering is tricky business. Thanks Gina!

Signing off, be well, LG

Making a Marionette is Tricky Business


That said, as the sun begins to set, I’ve finished my Hero Twins marionette.

Aesthetically I’m pleased but the puppet is far from limber,  the poor fellows move about in the most wonky way imaginable. I need to figure out how best to string the Twins, plus I made some decisions that might have been less than ideal. The figure is perhaps OVER articulated , I need small metal rings to piece each limb together, hopefully it will move about  more smoothly.

I also need to learn how to use a marionette, again, tricky business.

In the meantime, the Hero Twins.


Hero Twin marionette


Sculpey molding medium,steel wool, aluminum foil, wire, acrylic paint

20 inches tall

I’m pleased, they are in keeping with the spirit of my original inspiration, this detail from one of my watercolors. Plus I’m happy I used steel wool for the beards, with a bit of paint , it has an appealing texture. 



I did manage to string the marionette up but now I need to improve upon the mechanics of it all. So much of this project is just basic experimentation.


I need lessons from this  incredible woman! Until that time, will fumble along.

Be well,



Of Body Parts and Chinoiserie

My studio looks a bit like  a set from Sweeney Todd, little marionette limbs fresh from the oven. Sculpey has an unpleasant odor when baking and an even more unpleasant “flesh” tone…it isn’t pretty. I’m eager to put paint to mannequin.



In addition to marionettes I have an actual (gasp)paying job, a series of four  decorative panels to be reconfigured into  custom wall coverings. The designs are dense to allow the designer enough material to “cut and paste” to suit the space. I am working with  a chinois/japonoise theme, proposal renderings follow:





Well that’s it so far, awaiting designer ( and client) feedback but for now back to puppetry.




Meeting the Puppet Challenge…at long last

It seems like ages ago when Clive Hicks-Jenkins sent out a puppet challenge (HERE)to the folks who follow him. My natural inclination to jump right in has been thwarted by my keen phobia of the third dimension. I am a painter and I have had very little luck with fashioning objects in the round. I allowed myself some slack in that puppets can be crude and terribly effective, but still…

I had been ruminating about how I wanted the figures to present themselves, oil sketches, watercolor drawings, on and on, just not putting idea to armature. I ended that this week and the following is the unfinished results. Once again I am working with archetypes from the  Popol Vuh, the Hero Twins,  their slain father,the Maize God and the Axis Mundi (the World Tree)plays a supporting role.

starting off with an idea for the Hero Twins (detail from one of my watercolor paintings),


a quick sketch to figure out logistics


the armature-I love this image


working out the figures in ever reliable Sculpey


thus far, I ran out of aforementioned Sculpey, off to supply shop…


I used fine steel wool , applied to uncured medium, it bake right in perfectly.

Before the heroic fellows there was fittingly the World Tree. I had dreamt of this Axis Mundi , putting dreamscape to panel.


it was just a matter of applying wire and tin foil to an old can ; kindergarten craft class at its most lively.


I enjoyed playing with a form, gnarly trees with anthropomorphic features that I frequently employ in other disciplines; all with the aid of  ubiquitous Sculpey.


IMG_4868primed and ready…


now, off to supply store, yoga and then puppetry.

Be well,Lg