Week 5:
Wigs, Wings, and Little Things

Karin L. Bostrom Fellow in Theatre Fabrication & Design

The Puppet Kitchen | New York City, New York

June 25, 2017

Over the last few weeks I’ve been put on projects that often dealt with fine details. This week continued the the trend as I was given a handful of 3D printed eyes for various projects that I was asked to clean up and paint. The 3D printing process often leaves support structures necessary for the print’s structural integrity attached to the object. On small pieces like those eyes, the only way to remove the excess material is by sanding them. It takes patience and a little elbow grease but the result is great looking features that can be customized for any size or shape of puppet. While sometimes it felt like I wasn’t accomplishing much with this project, the act of working on something so small was calming and the results were very satisfying to see. It felt like taking a little gem and tumbling it until it was shiny and perfect.

A layout of some of the eyes I worked on this week.

I was sent out into the field on Tuesday to make a cross town delivery. Chef Emily was working from home that day in Brooklyn and I was sent to bring her a puppet wig that she was styling. I left the Kitchen with the tiny wig in a plastic bag and an assortment of sewing and styling tools in my backpack. Two trains later I was in Brooklyn for the second time in my apprenticeship. I found Emily in Prospect Park with her adorable son. After the quick drop off I headed back to the East Village. It was a fun field trip and a nice break from the normal schedule at the shop.

I’ve never gotten lost on the subway thanks in part to the very helpful maps, like this one at the Prospect Park station in Brooklyn.


I got back to my scene shop roots later in the week when I was asked to use the band saw for a large cutting project. I was asked to cut out over 150 plastic moths for an upcoming project. The type of plastic I was using came in thin flexible sheets. The most efficient way to cut out that many moths was to cut the plastic into smaller rectangles, tape them into stacks of about ten, trace the outline of the moth, and cut them out as a stack on the band saw. While the Puppet Kitchen’s band saw is much smaller than what I am used to working with at Cornell, it got the job done in great time.

Stacks of flexible plastic that would soon be moths.

I accomplished another New York milestone this week and had my first New York hot dog. We went out for lunch one day and ended up at a small hot dog restaurant in the East Village. After we ordered Chef Micheal pointed out a phone booth built into the wall. He explained that in the evenings, that phone booth hid the entrance to a secret speakeasy. I may have to go back some night that I want to feel like a spy. The weekend brought the culmination of Pride month in New York with the annual Pride parade. I went along with my roommate to the most colorful parade I’ve been to. We didn’t stay the whole time, but I managed to get a sunburn anyway.

The beginning of the New York Pride parade.
Story-related photo for post 19637_3037

Amanda Bentz '18

Amanda is a theatre fabrication major from Scio, Oregon.