Like a puppet’s mouth, we start with the inside of the sock, we fold it, and then we use the inside of the sock to put the mouth on the puppet’s body. A mouth with a rubber band is an exact clone of the inside of a sock! The puppet gets a mouth at the end of its sock, and it looks very natural.
How does a real puppet mouth look? How do they talk?
Here is a dummy puppet that is talking to his master, Mr. Smith, and you see a puppet mouth with a rubber band. In this image, you can compare it to the real mouth. The puppet mouth is completely fake. It is made in the very same way. The rubber band is made by sewing together two strands of wire. Then the wires are taken apart and the rubber band is sewn into the puppet mouth. This trick is a form of a tongue. When your mouth closes, it is a closed tongue.
Let’s make two more mouths. One a real mouth, which I call a “sock puppet mouth”, and another “gag mouth”. The puppet mouth “sock” is more realistic. It opens to let air in and the elastic band in it is pulled away. The mouth is also closed, but the elastic band stays put. If you put the lips near to each other, you will get a real gag. I put the gag lips near the real mouth and it will give a very realistic mouth. If you have an old puppet that’s been in your house for many years, don’t try to make something that’s in the same way. You can make it very realistic, but it won’t work.
Do you remember what makes the inside of a sock so elastic, a sock with a rubber band inside? The tongue. The inside of a sock contains muscles, nerves, blood vessels, skin, etc. When you are touching the inside of a sock, the muscles will be stretched. We are just bending the elastic band. This is one of the most popular tricks in sock puppetry.
When we touch this puppet’s mouth, we can see the muscles in his nose. When we touch his nose, a little elastic band goes between the thumb and the forefinger. When we pinch down on that band, the elastic band loosens. The muscle of the nose then contracts and keeps the rubber band attached. It is amazing how elastic some muscles are.
I use the band to control the elastic of
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