Back in 2012, I attempted an original character I called Ralphie.  I loved the design I had in my head but it just didn’t seem to translate into the puppet.  It was big, bulky, and awkward.



A few months back, I decided to rebuild the puppet as I had wanted it the first time.  I put a lot of work into each stage of this build.  Many prototype puppet heads and bodies were made and sacrificed for this project.  I even put in entrance rings in the base of the foam skull and the base of the body with a mesh sleeve inside for comfort.

The first thing I wanted was a distinguished fur look.  So, I boiled and textured the original type of fur to give it a more matted look.





As always, I can be contacted through email at sharklink@aol.com    I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a bit of my process.


Finishing the blue guy.

I’m so excited for this guy to find his hime in Denmark.  I loved working on him.  It has taken a while because I sent him out for costuming but I love the overall effect.  Below are a few pictures of the finished product.  In the last of these pictures, you see a more broad view of the puppet as well as how it operates.  The costuming was made custom so as to fit the “live hand” style of puppetry.

As always, if you are interested in custom puppet work, contact me with your idea at sharklink@aol.com



Toyota commercial fun.

So, the Toyota dealership in Bowling Green, KY asked Sublime Media Group to produce a series of puppet spots  for his business.  Here is the resulting hard work of the entire crew in the first two of three commercials.

In this first add, I played the monster interviewer.  I had so much fun performing the character because he takes up so much room on the screen.  It really gives him a sense of stage presence that smaller puppets can’t quite match.  The monster was a design of my own, simple and fun.  He had been built long before landing this gig.  So we costumed him appropriately and gave him a microphone.

I used so many of the puppeteering techniques I learned at my Sesame Street Puppeteer Workshop journey.  Notice how important the immediate focus of the eyes is in every shot.  Specifically at the end where the puppet HAD to turn directly to the camera.  Had he not, the shot would have been far less convincing.  I practiced the movement over and over until I was able to do it without effort.  I am thankful to be working with a director and crew that understand the needs of a puppet on screen and allow me so much creative input.



The second spot was very different.  Again, the owner is seen in the add but this time we use three characters interacting in the same frames.  I played Clyde the cat while David Hosay plays Sid the Squirrel and our director fills in as Bernie the goat.

The car shots were VERY difficult to get and a lot went into them.  Part of being a puppeteer is learning how to get uncomfortable.  Was it all worth it?  Judge for yourself.

More Progress on Blue Character.

So I have continued work on these characters and wanted to share some progress on this guy.  I am told the character is a weatherman.  His costuming will be awesome, and I can’t wait to add his facial features.  I went through a very long patterning process to get the head shape I wanted, but I’m finally happy.


This project requires a lot of hand stitching to properly contour to the shape of the foam.  Can’t say I mind.  I find hand stitching to be a very relaxing activity.10157363_10200852666037483_662381463_n1000647_10200852882482894_251522253_n

The next step will be to attach the head to the body and get his costuming work done when the arms are built.



And as always, if you have custom puppet creation needs, feel free to email me at sharklink@aol.com so that we can discuss your idea and quote you a price.


Original puppet patterns by James Kemp for purchase!

Just a reminder that jameskeppuppets.com sells two original head shape patterns designed by myself as well as fleece coverings for both!  They can be ordered by contacting me at sharklink@aol.com

First is the ever versatile oblong head shape as well as a depiction of the head covered in fleece and ready for use on a puppet!  This foam pattern is $30 and and the fleece covering is $10.


Our second pattern is a bit more intricate.  This is the human head shape pattern I sell.  The foam pattern is $50 and the fleece covering (not pictured) is $10

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Don’t forget to finish off your puppet with a body!  This body pattern is completely versatile, re sizable, and comes with fleece covering all for just $20

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Bed Bug spots by Sublime Media Group

Here are the two commercials we shot featuring the bed bug puppets I built.  The shorter bug is performed by me, while the other bug is performed by David Hosay.  Both pieces turned out to be really great local spots.  It took about five hours of shooting to get both of these. Much thanks to our director Austin Albany and everyone who worked on this.  Enjoy!  For more cool stuff, check out http://sublimemediagroup.com/   And watch for us again soon as we use puppet characters I have built in the past for some very cool ads for a local Toyota dealership.