Flak J. Frog, Talking Storybook Hand Puppets
50.FLAK J. FROG HAND PUPPET
The bug-eyed gentleman in the camel's-hair coat with the carnation in his buttonhole is a super-drummer, an advertising man. His hands are permanently fixed to his stomach because the operator's whole hand is up inside his head. His smile is flexible and liquid because his head is made of rubber, or to be more exact, latex.
There are several commercial latex mixtures that dry without oven curing. Pliatex is one of them, sold by Sculpture House in New York City. No separating solution is needed with Pliatex. The casting rubber is mixed with a special casting filler, the proportions depending on the amount of flexibility desired. Flak J. Frog was cast from a mixture of three parts rubber to one part filler. The filler should always be added to the rubber. The mixture is poured into a shim cast plaster mould and allowed to "build up" to desired thickness, usually from 15 to 30 minutes. The excess liquid is then poured out and the mould is allowed to drain for 10 minutes or more. It is then removed and allowed to air dry or is dried in an oven at 150 to 180 degrees. Flexible latex casts can be decorated only with special latex paints, available wherever latex is sold. You can make a rubber patching compound by mixing casein glue with Pliatex filler.
51.TALKING STORYBOOK HAND PUPPET
His face is a flexible latex mask fixed to the front of a false book. There is a hole at the back, through which the operator reaches, fitting his hand into the nose and lower jaw to open and shut the mouth.