Big Malcolm Turnbull and Barbnaby Joyce puppets

It’s been a while… almost three years since I last posted. So some catching up.

Following on from the ‘Real Big Tony’ Abbott puppet, I made a ‘Real Big Mal’ puppet head of Malcolm Turnbull (when he replaced Abbott as Prime Minister in September 2015). His handler, Matthew Armstrong, repurposed Real Big Tony as the Ghost of Tony – not much has changed! – and for a while both puppets appeared together. Prior to the 2016 election I also made a big Barnaby Joyce puppet head. At this stage Matt did away with the large body suits, just wearing the heads on top of ordinary suits. I think all three puppets may now have been retired.

The Lionheart Project


This is cool – for The Lionheart ProjectShauna Richardson has made three giant hand-crocheted lions that will be displayed in a custom-built, mobile, glass case like a taxidermy case, and will travel around the East Midlands as part of the London Cultural Olympiad.  I like the studio photos showing the process, and the way the patterns in the crochet are used to emphasis the muscle shapes.


lionheart project crochet lions

An origami shell

This is an origami shell sculpture I made a while ago for a special present. It’s folded from a large brown manila envelope, and measures 20cm both lengthwise and across the widest end. The ends are held in place with wires threaded with tiny beads.

Awesome whale sculpture

Mocha Dick whale sculpture

(photo credit: David Gilford/complexify @ Flickr – thanks for the CC license)

This beautiful sculpture of the notorious albino sperm whale, Mocha Dick is by the artist Tristin Lowe, made in collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. It’s huge! – 52 feet long and 10 feet tall – and made of industrial wool pieced over an inflatable vinyl understructure. The gallery at the Virginia Musuem of Fine Arts shows some other great images including a close-up the barnacles.


This is some new experimental sculptural work I’m busy on at the moment.

This face is essentially calico over foam.

New work in progress

The following one is foam at the moment, but I am going to try a cracked surface on it.

New work in progress

New work in progress

New work in progress

How my shell is coming along


Here are a few photos of how my tissue paper shell came out of the mould.



Yay! a Fail Whale card!

My fail whale card from Yiying Lu!

I’m really happy – Yiying Lu sent me one of her cool Fail Whale cards! Here it is with my little sculpture. Thanks so much Yiying :)

3D Illustration


Chris Sickels at Red Nose Studio makes real figures and scenarios that are then photographed to produce cool 3D illustrations for papers, magazines and books.  The 3D illustration above is his cover for Cory Doctorow’s  story The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away. Before seeing this I had thought of 3D illustration as more a virtual rendering process.  In this real form it is closely, and interestingly, allied to my work making puppets and props. I recently had a picture of my 3D fail whale published as an illustration in the Japanese computer magazine WEB+DB PRESS. I suppose that is fairly close – the only difference is in your intention when you start making an object?

(via @LolaLulu)