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Twig is an ever-so-magical, traveling theatre of puppetry.Help me finish the theatre, the lighted props & the Earth Shaman Puppet.
Twig is an ever-so-magical, traveling theatre of puppetry.Help me finish the theatre, the lighted props & the Earth Shaman Puppet.
141 backers pledged $5,067 to help bring this project to life.

Earth Shaman update and information about "Kickstarter awards"


HI All! Happy World Puppetry day!!! Officially it was the 21st, but what the hey! Every day could be World Day of Puppetry.

Awards Info

It has come to my attention that some project contributors have thought they somehow missed out on the awards because they haven't / hadn't received them yet. Well, the good news is that no one has missed out on anything!!!....because....none of the awards have gone out yet! (said the girl shlightly embarrashed)

Yes, this is one of the areas I would do differently next time around.....I will create awards that are complete and ready to be mailed immediately after funding. That way you have received your gift for supporting the project. I regret it has taken so long. ...however I cannot finish the awards till I know the final look of the Earth Shaman..... And who knew that part would take so long? You will know when the awards are will be a big dealio!

Which brings me to my next topic....

Project pace...

The project will be moving much quicker now. I have had a powerful personal/creative opening happen in the last two months due to a type of trauma releasing 'tremor work' called TRE. It is helping me physically as well as emotionally. I am experiencing a return of resilience to my entire system, as well as a vitality and focus I thought was never to be found again! Maybe more details on that later. And for now.....I feel on fire and I want to really get back to the original vision I had of the Earth Shaman.

Earth Shaman

 I just wanted to do a very simple foam mock-up of his face. It turned out a bit small....the final piece/head will be larger. It will continue to evolve and shift until I find the right blend of creature, human-ess, wisdom , gentleness, abstract and real, darkness and light.

Right now it is a bit flat.....needs some more dimension. I will work the mouth some more until it finds some more human, old man-ness in there. stay tuned.

 Remember that set of shoulder pads I bought last summer..... pulled that out again. Going to build my puppet mechanics on top of it (how I had originally planned). Because these shoulder pads are quite small and ride up on me I will only use it to build my prototype and then find a larger one(thrift store) for the final build.

 Here's the first build an armature that will hold the puppet head out in front of me. I don't like the long bar behind the puppet needs to be more of a "point" of anchor.

 I will attach some type of hinge to the shoulders so that the armature can hold the puppet head in several different positions

 My first hinge is a pair of casters (I drilled off the wheels) . I love casters and have always wanted to utilize both directions of movement....the hinge (where the wheel is) and the spin. This would prove a little challenging!

 So, here we have each wood armature piece held into place with a bolt, spacers and and some washers

 They lift and hinge very to create the second half of the armature that connects to the puppet.

 I roughly drew out the plan and then bent the aluminum pieces to fit the drawing

 Here is the armature put together in the forward position (puppet head out in front of my body at the end of the aluminum)

 Here is the armature in the back position (the puppet head would be positioned on top of my head)

 It goes something like this......

 And actually the audience would see this in reverse......meaning I come out with the Earth Shamans face/head on top of my this point it wouldn't really look like a puppet head yet....It looks like some type of skull on top of my head. Then at some pivotal moment  in the performance I can drop the head down in front of me and it becomes the Earth Shaman being/puppet.

ok so, this design seemed simple enough...each wood arm hinges up and each one can turn on the thinking was that if both arms turned together with the puppet head on the end you would get a movement somewhat like a horse turning its head on its long neck.

However....when you connect the second part of the armature (the two aluminum pieces that are locked together)....the casters can no longer swivel. Darn it!   I knew something would be wonky about the movement but wasn't sure how it would play out. so I built it to see. I love learning about physics and engineering! If the two aluminum arms weren't 'fixed' WOULD work.

I did try  to come up with an ez way to get the two aluminum arms to slide together...this simple adjustment would have enabled the whole armature to turn on the casters but it would have also created other problems what do I attach the puppet head to if the aluminum pieces are both moving and sliding.......stay simple Heidi. Stay simple! My mind likes to play with complexity but I actually want to finish this project!


 Got rid of the casters and just attached simple hinges.....

 I decided to use flatstock aluminum....easy to shape ( holds that shape) and very light weight.

 Here it is in the 'back' position

 and what is this funny guy?  Pex pipe, pvc elbow, wooden dowel and pvc endcap

 I want to create some additional accoutrements to the Earth Shamans look....some type of headdress possibly. The brackets that are holding this are loose enough to allow the dowel to rotate......

 Here's the can be flipped up or down in the back

 Here is the new aluminum armature and the headdress arch

 ok two more just for fun...all play here

 This is what it looks like with everything in the forward position. Puppet head in front, two headdress pieces above ....I envision my face  somewhat visible ......only partially obscured by headdress decorations and maybe even some dark paint.   I don't want to hide the puppeteer completely in a 'puppet suit' I want you to see the 'hand' involved.... Want something more symbolic... I will play more with that idea as the outside elements start coming together.

 Here are all parts in the "back" position...puppet head resting on my head....

 All parts forward. (its ok Heidi, don't be so sad and somber. this isn't the end... more later tater!)

ok, thats it fer now. Hope this wasn't a confusing post!

Next Shaman post maybe I will have begun his arms....and maybe some face/head changes!

blessings and love puppet family. heidi ho


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    1. Alex Neilson

      If you go back to the castors and add a bolt and some washers at the tip of the aluminium strips (rather than having them taped together), you should be able to get at least some action from the castor swivels