When I started thinking about this assignment, I was initially inspired by the giant puppets from Disney’s Broadway musicals. I loved how the initial class prototype with dowels (that was a collaboration with Ola and Gil) moved when it was attached to me. However, I usually work on a much smaller scale, and thought about how to make a smaller kind of mechanism for a hand puppet. I wanted to explore different ways my hand and fingers could move if attached to a hand rig. I remembers how I would use my hand as a child to make shadow puppets or just two legs using my fingers. I really liked how the level of resistance I could achieve with the little plastic zip ties, and the square base of the zip tie seemed like the a sturdier way to attach the zip tie to either a dowel or cardboard for the first two prototypes. For the last prototype, the square base acted as a catch/stopper for the sliding motion I experimented with.
Finger Wings Mechanism: The zip ties appealed to me because they had a nice bendy-ness to them but enough tension to spring back into their original, straight form. I used hot-glue to attach them to the wooden rod and to secure them at the tip of the wing. I had a dream of moving my thumb and little finger in a rowing motion on Friday. I initially was going to use fabric, but then I thought it would be too heavy and would mask the delicate wing structure underneath. I wanted the structure elevated on my hand to give the illusion of a more dramatic range of motion for the wings. There are two videos, one on a plain background and one with a more cluttered background, but the cluttered one has a slightly better angle to show the bending movement. I think what I would change in the future would be to add a dowel extension between my middle finger and the rubber band so as to be able to push the rubber band down further.
Finger Extension: I love machines and joints. I was fascinated by the slight notch at the end of the plastic zip tie which looked like the end joint to a finger and made the structure curve downward ever so slightly. I wanted to see what range of motion I could get from just attaching the plastic zip tie to my fingertips with just some cotton thread. I found that I had to make the thread very short in order to get a better response from the zip tie when I moved each finger.
Slide Mechanism: I like how things slide along a track. I also like how magicians use slight-of-hand tricks to hide cards up their sleeve. I also had one zip tie left and kind of wanted to maintain a similar zip tie theme throughout each prototype. I was interested in exploring a different type of motion that involved pushing rather than pulling. I thought that eventually I could attach an object of sorts onto the square base of the zip tie so that it could retract up my arm.
All prototypes were held onto my hand using thick rubber bands. I wanted to keep some level of consistency throughout each prototype. My building materials included wooden dowels, cardboard, plastic zip ties, rubber bands, cotton quilting thread, hot glue, and Scotch tape to help keep things from slipping out of place. Each prototype took roughly 15 – 20 minutes to assemble.