Jay Lake Colon Build: Day 1

FoamI started working on the colon for Jay today by cutting out a simple rectangle of 1/4″ foam. Ironically, we call this type of foam “crap” foam which I was not thinking about until I started writing the blog post. It simply had the right pore density for what I wanted.

Barging foamI headed for the ventilation hood to Barge the edges of the foam. Barge is fantastic glue, designed for shoe makers, and has the winning combination of being incredibly strong and toxic. Mm-mm, good. It takes a minimum of five minutes to set, but is workable for up to four hours. Gotta love it.

Sticking barge together Once it’s dry, I just had to pinch the edges together.

Tube o foam Ta-da! A tube o’ foam.

Cutting tea-strainer On to the “mouth” mech. Normally, I mill my own mechanisms, but in this case, I was looking at my tea-strainer and darn if the thing wasn’t the right size. So, I took the rivets out and popped it on the bandsaw to trim the front of it off.

Cutting tea-strainer more intelligentlyBefore turning the saw on, I played the game, “Know where your fingers are,” and decided to get a pusher so that I was not in such direct proximity to the blade in case things decided to shift.

Which they did. The first cut was a piece of cake. When I got to the second one, the blade caught it and tossed it across the room. I’ve still got no idea where the thing is. I’ll have to pick up a new one tomorrow and try again. With pliers this time, so I have a firm grip.

Begining to "skin" the colon Though I wouldn’t normally start skinning a puppet until the mech is in place, because of how I’m doing this one, I can put the skin on and leave it loose at the end where the “mouth” will go. The biggest challenge here is that the seam is just going to show. I’m making it fairly organic, instead of a straight line. When the rest of the treatment is in place it will, hopefully, be fairly discreet.

I knocked off work around 9:00 so I could catch up with the folks who’d gone to the Shirley Jackson reading tonight. The Puppet Kitchen is on the same street so I’d actually gone over at 7:00 to hear the reading, but it was too crowded to get in. Later I heard that there were seats up front. It’s just as well, I suppose, since I was able to get some work done.

Plus, it meant I could join the gang for Chinese food afterwards. I had the colon in my bag. Nick Kaufman asked to see it (blame him) so I hauled it out and made it say hello. Strangely, people found this disturbing. I can’t imagine why.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

14 Responses

  1. Pingback: [links] Link salad, in which I apparently have a lot to say | jlake.com

  2. Mike F

    Are all the building tools in your house, or do you have a workshop? I like the game, “know where your fingers are,” but I always get too scared that I will lose them anyway. That is why I don’t use power tools. 🙂

    So, was dinner over before you pulled out the colon puppet?

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal

      I have a a workshop at home, but I’m working at the Puppet Kitchen, which is a studio some friends of mine have. I don’t need that much space for the colon project, but I’m working on it in and around working on the dog that I’m building.

      I pulled the colon out before dinner and by request. It’s still not actually a puppet yet, more of a tube of foam.

  3. Cynthia K. Dalton

    You know, colons are attached to their blood vessels along a line, so a straight seam would not be inappropriate.

  4. David Loftus

    Was anyone able to tell you what was read at the Shirley Jackson thing? In my “Story Time for Grownups” readings in Portland, I’ve done “The Lottery” (of course), “About Two Nice People,” and “The Most Wonderful Thing.”

  5. Suzanne

    Have you found a jar yet? I just happen to know a great container supply company.

    Might something like this work?
    http://www.industrialcontainer.com/Item.asp?itm=B030&size=Gallon&prd=Plastic%20Bottle

    I think you have to buy the lid separate, but they’ll be able to help you with that.

    Here’s their contact information:
    INDUSTRIAL CONTAINER AND SUPPLY COMPANY
    Telephone
    (801) 972-1561

    Fax
    (801) 972-1269

    Postal Address
    P.O. Box 26668
    Salt Lake City, UT 84126

    Warehouse Address
    1845 South 5200 West
    Salt Lake City, UT 84104

    Electronic Mail
    General Information: info@indcon.net
    Sales: sales@indcon.net
    Webmaster: webmaster@indcon.net