Following is a list of some of the materials we have used for the making of The Deliverer. Every and each of these materials can be replaced according to budget and circumstances.
Through almost 20 years of practice I have come to prefer some materials and brands over others among what is available on the market in Australia.
The materials I have marked with “BEST” I guarantee to ‘do the job’ in the most desirable and cost effective way. Of course, there might be alternative materials I haven’t come across and don’t know. What I can offer here is limited to my own experience and doesn’t by any mean expect to be exhaustive. The suggested suppliers are also limited to my personal research and practice and are mostly based in Melbourne and around the Woodford’s region.
Bamboo are chosen for their versatility and for being light weight and strong. Bamboo is considerably lighter in weight when it’s dry rather than freshly cut. Fresh bamboo can also be attacked and spoiled by pest insects. Any bamboo will do the job yet my preferred type is the one listed below. It is treated against pests and it is the strongest and straightest I know. We used two different kinds of bamboo for two different uses: split and whole poles. Split bamboo is good to create shapes and structure with directional functions (for The Deliverer we used split bamboo for the arms and for the inside of the head). Whole bamboo poles are best to create strong structures (as for the main frame of the puppet)
Rangoon Poles (Whole)
CS Smith Marine
Bambusa Chunii(split bamboo)
Ron’s Rare Palm and Cycads
CS Smith Marine
The preferred fabric of choice is only known by its generic name of “bunting”. Many fabric come under the same generic name since it describes the usage rather than the fabric itself. Technically it’s woven polyester. It is no longer manufactured in Australia and it is hard to find. As a replacement, I use Trilobal fabric (known as Flag fabric) and I source it from Broadway textiles (the website doesn’t list this fabric but it can be purchased via phone). We haven’t used any in our workshop but it has similar features to the ‘bunting’ fabric: light weight, see-through, tear resistant, cheap and takes paint very well.
We used calico fabric as well for its quality of being of light weight, relatively cheap and readily available from Spotlight
Broadway textiles (http://www.broadwaytextiles.com.au)
Spotlight and others
We haven’t done many mechanism but it’s important to know that the best rope for mechanism need to be of the “pre-stretched” type. Pre-stretched is an indispensable feature for best result in any lever and pulley action and it also offer good friction when run through a pulley. Since these kinds of ropes are used in the yacht industry they also come in sizes that match pulley mechanism sold in the same marine shops. The strength and quality of the yacht ropes is definitely an overkill for the usage in puppet. Similar ropes can be find at Bunnings in the Grunt label range and offer very similar features at more affordable price.
Pre-stretched braided rope
CS Smith Marine
The best pulleys are from the yacht industry. The best quality are the Ronstan brand range yet again they’re way better (and dearer) then what it’s needed. Fortunately CS Smith marine stocks (cheaper and just as good for puppets) alternative brand to Ronstan.
The range of pulleys offered by Bunning is very disappointing and I do not recommend using it. They break and they cost lot more than they’re worth.
CS Smith Marine
Different tapes absolve different tasks. We have used clear tape (any brand will do) and Gaffer tape (cloth tape). When it comes to cloth tape there is only one kind that is worth buying and it’s listed below. No other brands is comparable to the one listed below.
Gaffer Tape: Nashua 375
We used a range of Conduit and PVC pipe. Generic brand are fine and the choice is dictated only by required size of diameter
We haven’t used Velcro much but should you need it any I recommend to use only the ‘Velcro’ brand. Alternative brands simply don’t work as good. Refrain from the temptation of using self-sticking Velcro and opt for Velcro to be sewn on.
Velcro can be found at Spotlight and Bunnings but it is a lot cheaper if you buy the full roll at specialized suppliers. Most suppliers of Velcro also sell buckles to fit.
The foam sheets we used are of PE30 (PE=polyethilene). The nimber 30 indicates the density. The higher the number the denser the material. EVA30 is just as good a material for the same usage.
The sheets can be purchased from rubber foam manufacturer. I use a supplier in Brisbane but it’s not necessarily the cheapest one. It’s just the one I know of.
Both PE and EVAcan be glued with Contac Adhesive glue for a cheaper option or with the 2 parts glue we used in the workshop. More details under the Glues section.
PE30 Foam (or EVA 45)
Glue for Foam: 2KH2O Bond Adhesive (2 part water based)
Supplier: Shann Group (http://www.shann.com.au/product/2kh2o-bond-adhesive-2-part-water-based/66 ) !!! I could not find the Catalyst on the website. Contact the supplier and ask directly. The glue will not work without Calyst component!
Hot Melt Glue-stick
There is a variety of gluesticks brands on the market but not all work with every gun and are relatively expensive when compared with my favourite ones (listed below) which unfortunately can only be bought in bulk. The second-best option is the Bosch gluesticks stocked by Bunnings.
Bostik 6303 Hot Melt Glue Sticks 380mm