Mechanism: A Moving Finger

I successfully created a model of what I am intending to develop further for the final piece.  It all started with looking at puppetry, and I watched these clips on how puppets are made, and a little bit of their history.

  • Involved wood cutting
  • Once painting the eyes on, the puppet truly comes alive
  • They are made to be timeless
  • Needs to continue having practisers to survive

This metaphoric video compares traditional pupptery to modern puppetry:

  • Puppets were used to entertain people
  • “Magical dance of strings”
  • Then, human puppets were created, people high in the social hierarchy would control those lower than them
  • They were controlled and manipulated
  • The clip explains that traditional puppetry is now dying, due to human puppets being created

I also read about puppet arm rods, and came across a tutorial on creating one, however I did not attempt it because I did not have the right materials at that moment. I was also just interested in creating a single moving finger, and I found the perfect template and instructions from this site:


After following the very simple instructions, I created the curling finger with the ability to straighten out too, just as our actual fingers do! All I needed was string, tape and cardboard.

When the red yarn is pulled, the finger is curled up and when the blue yarn is pulled, the finger straightens. I used yarn, not knowing that it snaps really easily, so next time, I will use string. Other than that, this mechanism was successful and I’m really happy it worked, as it sparked a lot of new ideas, and a potential FMP final piece sketch too.



This head piece is what I think could be one of my final pieces. With a lot of fingers embedded in a skin tone woven head piece, a group of hands can pull the strings and the fingers would move whilst slime is attached to them. This looks extremely grotesque, and with the mechanism, it is even more extreme. I would also like to film this piece as well, as it is being pulled, so that viewers can understand how it works in an exhibition.

Now, I am going to refine my design more, and try it out with the slime too, so that I can confirm the potential it has to actually work for my final piece. I am glad that I have found at least one successful way of creating a moving mechanism.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s