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[ OcWay StÞ lr
Copyright ro 1998
One Way Street. Inc.
PO Box .5077
Englewood. CO 80155
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ISBN 1-58302-136-1
Copyright tn I �198
Om Way Strcft. Inc.
PO Rox 5077
Englewood. CO 80155
(30:!) 790-1188. 1-800-569-4537
I ¡1lp:/ /V "w.onewaystn•et.rom
Pt>rmis�ion is graned to the purchaser or rhi! book to mak( ropiP� ncressary for your pt>rsonal use in
your own churrh or ri11isrry. J11 other tpying i! prohibited. Permi!sion is NOT grantCd for \Í´ as
handouts in sCminars or workshops.
le& tXtBe It ... Blacklight
iaB1e 0Ï Cmems
Introduction sssssssssssss++s++++++ss+++++ss+sss+sss+s++ss+ssssss+ssssssssss+ssssssssssssssssssss+++ 4
Blacklight Puppetry s+ssssssssss+ssssssssss+s+ss+sssssssssssssssssssssss+ssssssss++s+sssssss+s 5
Blacklights s++s+++ss+++s++++++++++«++++++«+««+++++++«+++ssss++ss+++ssssssssssss++ssssssssssssssssss+s 5
Performance Aea ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss 6
Getting Started ssssssss+sssssss+ssssss+ssssssssssssssssssssssss+s+ssssssssssssssssssss++ssssss+sss 7
Making a Prop Rack s++s+sssssssss+sss+s+ssss+ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss+sssssssssss 8
Preparing the Performers sssssssssssssssssss+sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss+ssssss+ss++ 9
Fluorescent Materials +++++++s++s+ssssssssss+sss++ss++s+sssssssssssssssessssssssssssssssssss 10
Finding Fluorescent Materials ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss 11
Lettering ss+ssssssssssssss+sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss++++s+++ssssssssssssssssssssss+++ss+sss+ 12
Protecting Your Props sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss+sssssssssssss++ssssss 12
Fluorescent Paints sssssssssssssssss+ssssssssssss+ss+sssssssssssssss+ssssssssssssss+sss+sssssss 13
Working with Fluorescent Paint sssssssssssssssssssssss+sssssssssssssssssssssssssss+ 13
Puppets, Props and Scenery ss+sss++ssssss+sssssssssssssssssssssssss++s+ssssssssssssssss 16
Special Fluorescent Materials ssssssssssssssss+sss+++sssss++ssssss+ssssssssssssssssssss 18
Coating on Flexible Solid Surfaces sssssssssssssssesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss 19
Choosing Perfrmance Material ssss+ssssssss+ssssssssssssssssssssssssssss+sssssssss+ 20
Resource Helps ++++sssss+ss+sssss+sss+sssss+ss+s+++sss+sssssssesssssssssssssss+ss+ss++++ssssssss 20
U Puppetry Resource List +ssssssssss+ss+sssss+s+sss+ssssssssssssssssssssssss+ssssssssss 22
One Way Street Resources sssss+sssss++«++«++«+++++sss+ss+ssssssss+sssssssssssss++s+sss+s 23
Fluorescent Sun Puppet Pattern sssssss+sssssssssssssssss+sssssssssssssssssssssssssss 24
Lei ixe1e Be =»« Blacklight
Many yPars ago at a Fel\ow�hip of Christian
PuppPl eer's conference. Marilyn Watkins from
Norrh Carolina and her ream performed a lively
blackligh1 puppet version of �This Little Light of
MineH usi11g singing lightbulb puppets.
It was so impressive that it captivated thf audi­
ence! This txperience o
ened my eyes to how
powerful a quality blacklight presentation ran be.
Sincf then. our puppet team and many or her pup­
pet teamf around thf «orld have used this song
and other songs to WOW audiences and drive
home 1he n1cs�age.
Over the years. we have used blacklight regularly
w providt cxrilemcm and variety to our
mances. Wp'w seen audiences of 1.000 or more
ci¡1•·•• ett¬¢l """"' sç\ .. t7t¬t¬t.v1!`` t·@•·x1¬±• v·1•·••
the blacklighl ,uppets come ou1. We've seen lil-
e·ally huo1re1:olpuµµt| teams UlP 1lò|lll[0|
One Way StrftI would likf to thank Marilyn
Watkins for her creativity in pioneering the use
of bla:|li¿h1 with puppets. Her book A lwi/f
Cuidt 10 Blarklig/Jt Puppetr has helçed rhousands
8iln 1nro1111at1on 011 uw eflecllve use or 1lack­
ligh1 in puppN ministry. This book is being pub­
lished as an expsoded re:ourtr ki paµµtlttö
informution LI tu11c11l lt:UUrCt) iHIO
techniques for using elsc\light -h-ct|velywith
puppet ministry performances.


Dale VonSeggen
Presiden1. Ont Way Street. Inc.
Blacklight Puppetr
Oru• of t hf bigest
lrends in the world
of puppet ministry
has hfen 1 lw use of
a speci al type of
l ight ing known d
bl ackl i ght . It i s
easy r o s ee why.
Dlacklight is an ef
fecc that i s very easy to use. yer it raptures an
audifnce's auention l i ke n0lhi11g else. Imagine
ynurSPlfsi t t i ng i n church expectinR a traditional
service. But something is diferent. Today a pup·
pct stage sits in thar spot usually occupied by the
d1oir. Suddenly the l i ghts go off The room i s com­
pl etel y dark. The music starts. and soon the µup­
pet stage is fi l led wi th puppfIS amt pro11s glowing
brightly. These puppets are proclaiming the mes­
sage of Jesus Chrisl. and thfy have thf ful l atten­
tion of every child i n that room. Imagine the
i mpact those puppets will have. Now here' s lhe
bPst part: adults love i t as much as the kids do.
So what is black light? Let's get tfchnical for a mo­
ment. Blacklight i s the popular name for near­
ul traviolet radiant energy. which fl lsjusr outside
the visible spectrum. When this light hits ccnain
nuoresceni marerials. it rauses them m nuoresce.
or emit visible light. The invisible blacklight wave
is absorbed by the nuorescem material and is re­
nected at longer wavelengths visible to the eye.
The visible wavelengths of thP electromagnetic
spectrum range from 380 to 760 nm (or nanom­
etei. a unit of measurement fr lightwaves. One
nanometer i s one bi l l ionth of a meter) . Wavt­
lengrhs longer than 760 nm arf cal l ed infared
l i ght. Wavelengths shorter than 380 nm are cal l Pd
ul traviolet (UV) or black l i ght. UV efciency Is
measured by peak lumen emi ssion from nuores­
cen1 materi al s. yel l ow and orange being the
brightest. bl ue and purpl e the weakest.
In common language. blacklight makes nuorcs­
C<nt puppets and props seem ro glow in a power­
fol and exciting way. The bright colors of a black­
l ight pPrformancf ofers audiences a real treat.
Rl ackl ight can add variety to a ltgthy program
and give punch or i mpact to something you want
your audience to remember. However. blacklight
is an efect that shoul d be used in moderation. In
a way. devoti ng an entire performance to bl ack­
light puppetry takes away from its effPcrivmcss.
Il ixeae Be- Blacklight
In a perfrmance consisting of seven or eight seg­
ments. pNhaps only two are performed undcr
blacklight. Be selective i n choosing how to use
this .crecial effec:.
There are three basic ingredients needed fr black­
light puppetry: blackl ights. fluorescent materials.
and the abi lity to darken the perfnnancc area.
There are many types of blacklights. but not al l
work well fr puppetry. The most commonly used
are 18-inrh. I 5 watt blacklight tu hes and fixtures.
These are very affordable and are avai l abl e from
various puppet companies as wel l as many nov­
elty stores. The 18-inch fixtures are preferred be­
cause rmmy have holes on the back which allow
fr several e�y mou1lling melhuds (sec Mount·
ing the BlackHghts). Their compact size makes
them a bir easier to travel wi th.
There are 48-i nch bl ackl i ght bul bs and fxtures
available fom l i ghting and theater supply com­
panies. These do an excellent job: however. the
fixtures are quite a bit heavier. more expensive,
and rhe hulhs are much more fagile. If treated
harshly. a hlac:kligtu can pop l i ke a balloon.
Conlrary to popular belief. there is a good range
of high intensity. long-throw UV fixtures avail­
abl e through theatrical l ighting companies. One
of rhe nmst c:omprehensive l i nes i s carried by
WildOr, Inc. They carry UV foodlights. UV
noods or spot �·resnels. and even UV spotlights.
These fxtures range i n abi l i ty fom 75-150 feet
throwlengths. at a beam wi dth of 15- 100 feet .
Some arc narrow beamed. some wide beamed. bul
all arc profssional qual i ty lighting instruments:
however. they can be quite costly. The least ex­
pensive of Lhesc fx1ures starts around $1,(lOO and
the rcsl go up from there
You do. however. get
what you pay for. The resul ts are spectacular. One
of these l ights shining from 40 feet away i n con­
junction with a rew 1 a· blacklights underneath
gives a phenomenal bri l l i ance wi thout shadows.
Whi l e working on rhe live attraction of a famous
Iheme park's animated musical.
chese black.ghcs were used and
they were actually coo powerful
fr the performers' black poly/
cotton hoods and clothing. They
couldn't move lhe ca1walk. so the
entire cast had to wear black vel­
vet to become rruly invisible.
A more cost efenive long-throw
instrumem is the UV-702 fxture
fom Atman Stage Lighting.
This unit is half as expensive as
the ones listed above. yet h's still
effective fom 20 feet away. These
blacklights arc perfct for lhe pro­
fessional troupe using blacklight.
or for groups faced wilh cover-
ing a very large stage area with one or 1wo fx­
tures. For those on tiglner budgels. several slrale­
gically placed 18 inch blackights will do an ex­
cellcntjol  .
One thing 10 avoid is the round. light bulb sha�
blacklighcs. These do not project nearly as well as
the blacklight tubes. Avoid the MwhiteM blacklighlS
many hardware stores sell also. The blacklighcs
you should use appear black when turned of and
purple when illuminated.
Fluorescent Material
For hlacklights to work properly, the materials you
use must be hlacklight reactive. Be careful when
selecting your materials. Don't wait until perfr­
mance time lO find out chat something doesn't
fuoresce. An emirp section of this book is devoted
to materials that will nuoresce.
Perforance Aea
Befre arriving a1 a perfrmance location. you will
want to have a good idea of the lighting situa·
tion. Every church or auditorium is different. so
you will need to be prepared Fr many different
situations. Some churches have large windows
1t1at can be a real nuisance for blacklight puppetr.
ff you know your perfrmance will takC place af­
ter dark. then h's nol a problem. but during 1he
daytime is another sLory. Ask your host about this
kind of thing ahead of lime. You may even want
ro check ouf the church yoursrlf several weeks
before the performance. Ask irthtre are shades or
curtains that can be drawn to cover the windows.
If not. it's always a good idea co carry with you a
supply of black plastic material to cover the win-
dows. Most hardware SlOrfs ur lu111l>r yunb
should sell black ground cover. This mal�rial is
One rr covering the window:. You may waru. ro
have a s1epladdcr With you. as some of these win·
dows may he hard to reach. Be sure to ask frst
befre covering rhese windows.just to be courte·
ous of your host.
Now. what about the actual lighrs i111he church?
You will wane co find out wherE thE controls are
fr tht lights. Are they in the front of the church
or thC back or 1he church? Are they at the sound
booth? /re th<y all in the same spot. or are there
S!veral difrtnt switches spread o�•t around the
room? Whatever the answer is. chances are un·
less they happen 10 be located behind when• your
puppet stage will be. you will need somebody out­
side of your pupper team 10 operate the lights.
Check wirh your host ahead oF rime and make
sure there will be plenty of adults available lO help
you out. You should always have several copies
thf person who will Optrace che lighcs fr you,
and make sure thar it clearh: indicates when Lo
tur them off and on. You piobably want to take
a Few minutfS and talk rhrough the order of pro­
gram with tha1 person to make sure he under­
stands what he is supposed to do.
Occasionally you vill encounter those big old
halogen lamps that are often fund in church and
school gymnasiums. You kno" the ones I mean.
rhey takl 5 minucf to come bck on. If this ls
something you fare often. an eas\ slution would
be co pu1 your blarkligh1 numbers at the end of
lhP pfrformanre. However. this doesn't always
work whPn tr�·ing to structure a show. The next
logical step would be to invest in a lighting sys-
1em fr your puppet :Lage. This would allow you
ro have cornplete control over when the lights
are on and when they are off. There is nothing
that says you have to go wirh an expensive light
system. For many teams. attaching nood lamps
10 stands {PVC pipe or aluminum tripods) does a
good job as a light system. Of course. One Way
Strtt and various lhearrital supply lOmpanies
�II lighting syMems that are excellent fr puppet
ministry. Whichever route you choose. there are
two ktv things 10 remember. The first is control.
You «anto be able to turn thf liglus on or off
when you nee it. To achiEVC lhis you will want
to purchase a dimmer box of some sort. The sec­
ond is to remember 1ha1 ligh1ing is no1 so much
the casting of ligh1 as tl1e casting of shadows. You
want your lights to be high enough so that the
I dtlt ,_ Blacklight
shadows are cast down. into rllf puppet srnge. and
noi back onto rhe slage·s backdrop. Remember. a
light ing sysrpm is not a necessity. but it 1;urf helps.
Though blacklighl work.' best i n complete dark­
ness. i l i s not an all or nothing dral . By uti l izing a
fllow spotl ight or a small pin spotlight. you can
ilJuminalc l1t part of lhe stag< Wi th whi lt Jighl
whil e blacklighr is used elsewhere. Even under
normal or di mmed l ight. blackl ighl can give cer­
tain puppets and props a nice soft glow.
Puppeleers should always be careful when han­
dl i ng or worki ng around blackl ighlS. Blackl ight
bulbs are quite fragile: in fact, the larger the bulb.
the more fagi l e i t i s. One thing to wuch out for
are your puppet's arm rods. Out-of-control arm
rods have been known lO shatter blackli ghts.
Blarkl igh1s do not gee as hot as some light bulbs
do. hut don't be deceived. You still need to hi care­
ful . ll's never a good idea to touch a l ight bulb
1hat i s lit. Also remember that you are working
with elertri ci ty. ThNC have been questions asked
concering the Jong-term effect.of blackl ighc. We
arc no1 aware of any problems or dangNs. how­
ever. i f you have any lteal th concerns in thi s area.
i t would be best to consult your docwr.
Getting Started
So. you've decided ro add blacklight to your pr

gram. Usually the first quescion out of every
mouth Is. "How many blackli ghu do I need? Tlus
depends on what you arc trying 10 do. U
sing ch
18-inch blackligh1s as our examples. thmk of it
thi s way: one blacklighr wi l l cover appr�xi mately
1 hree reec of performance area. Tht mam perfor­
mance area of mo�t puppe1 stages cends 10 he be·
1ween si x and nine feet in ilngth. Therefre. about
two to three blacklights LÎJ each perfrmtnce level
usually does the job. I lowlvcr. you wi l l want to
expcrimem and find ouc fr yourself what works
besc. You may find tha1 three blackl ighrs do a fine
job. but fur blacklights make thing�stand out a
Ji nle better. This is not an exact science. Many
puppet teams wi l l have \·al l to wall blacklighting.
covrring every inch or performance area.
Positioning Puppets & Props
Blarklights are a finicky breed. To be efective. rhey
n<fd to be relat ively close to che subject thty arc
l i ghting. but not coo close. The proper d
hecwcen ligh1 and object should he approximately
Ii mat M- Blacklight
eight to tfn inch1·s. If the puppets arf rnuct1 fr·
ther away from the blatkliRhl. they will look di m­
mer and begin to appear ki nd of ruzzy. maki11g i t
more din1culc fr your audience to fcus on thPm.
Pos i t i oni ng t he puppets roo cl ose to t he
blackl ights wi l l rr�ate hot spots
These hol spots
will sfem to wash our some of the bright colors.
In al l honesty. bl ackl i ghts work hes1 when they
shine down on their subject fom abovf. Unfr­
tunately. with 1he type of puppet stages uspd by
most teams. thi s i . al most imposible to achieve.
Therefore. the blackl ights are mounted inside the
puppet stage. just below the horizontal crossbar
of the stagt. This al l ows the bl ackl ights to be our
of view of the audience. yet close to the puppets
and props. A helpful hint when using slg11 props
in blacklight is to l i l t them toward the blackligln
slightly. This helps them shine a bi t brighter. Do
not place the bl ackl i ghts on the noor inside the
puppel stagf. This i s too fr away fom the sub
jeers to bl effective. Such bl ackl i ght fixturlS wi l l
al so be in the way of the puppeteers. I f you have
a theatrical l i gh1 i 11g system mounced on overhrar
supports. you may t hi nk ahout adding a few
blackl ights to it. This wi l l al l ow you to have some
blarkligh1 shi ni ng down from above. Howeve�.
the distance or l i ghti ng Trees from the Stage Îb
usually too great for these blarklights to be effec­
ti ve al l by themselves. Even sn. such lights can do
a ni ce job of fil l i ng in where shadows may occur.
Mounting the Blacklights
There are stveral good methods fr mounting your
blackl ighrs. The quickest and easiest method i s
use small metal hooks and si mpl y hang the fix­
tures on rhe crossbar of the puppet stage. The
hook' ran insert into the holes on the back of the
J 8-inch fixtures. If your fixtures have no holes.
the hooks could be serurcd wi th duct tape. These
hooks are avai lable from One Way Strt t. or you

-� .
¯ " ..
- -
can make your own out of hangers. A drawback
to using hooks Is that the weight of the bh1cklights
can cause the crossbar to bow. depending on thf
sturdiness and leng1h or the puppet stage. How­
tver. fr a quick set.up. lhis is the way lo go. This
method should only be used with the 18-inch fix­
tures as largfr fixtures are too heavy to hang on
most puppet s1age crossbars.
Makg a Prop Rck
Making your prop racks is rclarively easy and should
only take you 1-2 hours.
Materals you will ne:
I. 1/4" Pine Batt Trim Wood (You will need at
least as much as the lfngth of the ;rea you
wish to light plus some e)nra.)
2. I" Finishing Nails
:t WoodGtue
4. Six inches or Vinyl Tubing (1/4- ID)
5. 2 U-Bolts with wing nuls and washers
Tools you will need:
I. Saw. preferably eleClrir
2. Fk'Ctrlc Drill with a 114- Drill Rit
3. Hammer
4. Tape Measure
Step 1
Oettnuine how long
of a space you wish
to cover with your
prop rack. A good
length for a main
perormance area Is
somewhfre between
six and nine feet.
Once you've figurPd
out that distance.
add to inches to It
and iut the pine
batt to that length . .... I" ._.. _
Step Z
Next you will cut
spacers out of the
leftover wood. Cut
six of them 3.5 lo
4.5 inches long. de·
pending on the size
of the U-bolts you
Another popular method or mounting blacklights
is the use or a prop rack. Prop nu:k: are made or a
ligln wood trim ma 1erial . Using U-bolts. the rack
is attached m the vertical poles of your stage. The
rack will run horizontally on the inside of the
stage. just hfneath the crossbar that holds the
curtain. This type of prop rack also works great
fr mourning your blarklights.
are using. Now glue and nail three or the spacers 10
ea ch end or the prop rark. Make sure that you se·
cure them to th< same side or the prop rack.
Step 3
Using your tape mea­
sure. draw a center
line horizontally
across your !pactr�:
lhis will tell vou
where to place Îhe
holes fo rt he U-bohs.
If you are using U
PVC pipe puppet
stage. use 2- U-bohs
at least 4 S long. for
aluminum t ripod
stages. use I .5 • U­
bolt s. Put the cncs or
the U-Boh on the
center line about an
inch from the edge.
Usinf a hammer.
lightly tap the U­
bolt: this will leave a
dent iu the wood to
help gui de your
drill. Now drill your
holes using the
guides: try to drill as
straight as possible.
Step 4
This final step only
applies to 1hoS<' of
you using alumi·
num tripod stages.
It's a good idea to
take some vinyl tub
ing and place it owr
the cured section or the U-bolts to provide some
padding bftween the bolt and the rripod. Applying
too mud1 pressure to the aluminum may caust! it to
dent: this will help avoid that. You may have to slit
the tubing in order to gel it over the bolt.
lei 'Htlt It- Blocklight
Attach the Blacklights
Now you're ready to attach the prop rack to your
s1age. Simply put the U-bolts around your verti­
cal stagE µolts. place th< prop rack over the U­
bolr. am serurf with the wi11g nuts. Thl prop rack
should now be attacl1ed on tl1e inside of tl1t• stage.
- When you
art• ready
to secure
tht black­
lights. you
will use the
holes on
the !ack or
the ISM fix­
Simply mcasurf the distanrf between the
two holes. thtn 1wist two screws into your prop
rack thar are thC' samf distance a pan. Then you
ran mounl your blackligh1 on the sacws. You will
most likely want to 11100111 more than one black
ligh1. so be sure to evenly space thfm. This mounl­
ing method tak� a bit longer to set up. bur docs
an exccllcmjob of holding the fixtures in place.
It is often a good idfa to use a Jiule duce cape to
help keep the blackliglu fixcures SCurc. Of course.
a drawback to this method is that you won'r he
able co use as much of your prop rack for props.
Cords Cords Cords
Getting the blacklighcs mounted is just the firsc
part of th< job. Next you need to figure out what
to do with all chose power cords. A good idea is to
have a cemrally locatfd power supply. Consider
placing a power strip or a mullichannCI powCr
source near one of your vertical stage poles. You'll
wane to hf sure you carry wich you a large supply
of excension cords of varying lengths. Other im­
portar ilcms include various adaptors. such as
ones tt1at take 1hrff outlfts to onf plug and arlap­
tors fr converting a grounded cable (3 prong) co
a two prong plug. The key to managing your cords
is co keep chem out of the areas where the puppe­
ceers will be. Run your cords along the inside edges
of your puppPt sragf. and he sure to secure chem
with duct tape. Taping your cords to the Ooor will
reduce the risk of someone tripping on chem and
getting hurl. or possibly unplugging che
blacklights during the perfrmance.
Always hfware of overloading electrical circuils.
An individual blackliglu is not a huge power
drainer. hut several of them. plus whatever other
lights and special effocts you arc using. could po·
lt1 m1e It- Blackl;ght
lfnllally ...,.,,,
¬ :11c [�rcW1Lzv¬. I>·×••¯t •>1+g ¸¡<�.
blacklights into 1hE• same source as your main
lighting system. Try to spread things out. Note:
It's always a good idea to have somebody there
who knows where the circuit breakers arc.
Stage Curtains
When you begin using blackllght. some spfcal
considerations should be made concerning your
puppet nage curtains. Rlack tends t be the lJcst
color for cuM_ains when doing blackligtu perfr­
mances. Ocher colors or curtains. like hlue or red.
may not be nuorescenc. but they may not com­
pletely vanish under blacklight conditions.
Often. the material puppet stage curtains arc made
from is not quite dense enough to block
blackliglucd items behind stage. You may be able
co see the puppE·ts and props through the curtains
when th< black lights are on. This doesn't mean
you have co makt thicker curtains. Get some dark­
colored material and pin it to the back side of your
curtains. This creates a lining and should make
the curt<ins thick enough to stop light from show­
ing through.
Preparing the Perfrmers
As you prepare for your blacklighr puppet perfr­
mance. there are several things you want co con­
sider. The firs1 is what the puppeteers are wear­
ing. It is always a good idea fr the puppeteers co
be dres'ed In black for a blacklight perfrmance.
This should consist of black pants and a black
long-sleeved shin. Hoth should be made out of
fairly light material so the puppeteers don't gel
coo hot. In some cases. a short-sleeved black shirt
can be used. provided chat the puppeteers also
wear black coverings on their arms. Take some
hlack socks and cut the toes out of them so they
can slide over the puppeteers' arms. Sometimes
this is not as hot as wearing a long-sleeved shirt.
Wearing the black sleeves is something that
should be done even when doing puppetry in
regular light. It ensures that the fesh of the
puppeteer's arm never shows.
Puppeteers also need co be careful about what they
wear u11der 1twir black clOhing. BelitVC it or not.
some uridergurments have been known lo nuo·
resce and show right through the puppeleer's
clothing during blacklight performance$. Avoid
this potentially embarrassing situation by having
a dress rehearsal in which the puppeteers wear
exaclly what they will wear to the perfrmance.
Blacklight puppetry allows the puppeteer to come
out from behind the curtain and not be seen, that
is. only if they are completely covered in black.
To cover the puppeteers' heads, they must wear a
hood or some sort. The hood should be made or
light material and should allow fr the puppeteer
to see out. One Wy Stret sells a black hood
with a mesh front that is very lightweight and
easy to see out of. Puppeteers should wear the
hood while practicing as it ofen cuts down on
their field of vision in addition to making things
a bit hotter.
Fluorescent Materials
Now that the stage Is glowing with hlacklight. you
need perfrmance materials that will react with
the light. De very L�1eful when selecting your ma­
terials; looks can be deceiving. The tcnn ftfuores­
centft is one that many people use rather loosely.
The average person may apply it to any bright
looking color, so simply because something is
called Mfuorescent" doesn·t mean it will fuoresce
under blacklight. When ordering items through
the mail. be sure to ask ff they are blacklight reac­
tive. When shopping at your local stores. Lake a
blackight with you. Don·t hesitate to ask the clerk
if there is a dark room (maybe a bathroom) where
you can go Lo test the ma·erials.
The colors that are most commonly used under
blacklight are yellow, pink, and orange. There are
also shades of fuorescent green. red. white. and
blue. It is very important to look at these colors
under blacklight condilions. Many times they
look quitf a bit different under blacklight than
they do under white light. for Instance. r. hat lovely
orange pumpkin prop that you made might end
up looking red under blacklight If you're not care­
Two colors to be especially careful with are blue
and white. Rlue is the darkest fuorescent color
available. Therefore. when too much blue is usfd.
the puppet or prop begins to seem to blend In
wil h the black background. I becomes very dlfi·
cult fr the audience to fcus on It. Blue should
be used carefully. In the case of white. people as­
sume it Is fluoresrent. but this is not always the
case. In order to achieve fluorPscent while. you
might need to use special white paint that will
react with the blacklight. Be sure to test all white
materials befre using them.
Creative Use of the Color Black
Keep in mind also creative use of the color black.
Since black will not show under blackUght. it can
be used to hide things or even highlight things.
When you think about the colurs that are impor­
tant to a blacklight performance. you might never
cunsider tht color black. However. black can re·
ally makP ·he¡oeoimas|nçprops a lot easier. For
example. imagine making a prop featuring big
fuorescent letters that spell ouc the word "LORD.M
You·ve decided to cut your letters out of fuores­
cent pink posterboard 8nd mount them on a sheet
of foamhnard that has been painted black. All tl1e
audience will see are the letters. After tracing the
letters with thf help of the overhead projector,
cul them out. but only cul ou1 arnund the out­
side edges of the lelltrs. It"s difficult to cut out
those inside holes on letters like 0. R. and D ... so
why bother! Just take a black marker and color in
the inside holes. Under blacklight. the audience
will ncvPr be able Lo tell the difference.
The reverse will create an entirely different visual
effect. Placing black leners on a OuorescEnt fam­
board will make the audience see a sign rather
than foating leuPrs. Choose which efect you
want and make your prop acrordingly.
Berause black doPs not show under blacklight
rom.Jitions. it can be used to make puppets or
props seem to suddenly appPar or disappear. Let's
say you havP a large cross prop you want to have
disappear quickly. To do this. simply paint the
back side of your cross black. At the moment you
want it to disappear, quickly turn the prop around.
If your props are attached to a handle of some
sorL. your handle should be painted black. This
makes the props appear to be foating under black­
light conditions. but this rule applies to regular
puppet performances as well. Trim wood usually
works well as a prop handle. There are a couple
different ways to attach the handle to the prop.
Using some scrap roam, simply attach it to the
back of the prop with glue or duct tape to form a
pocket that the handle can slide into. This allows
t"r betrer storage of thf props. since the handles
can he removed. Another method is to use a piece
or sricky black velcro on bnth the prop and the
handle. It's a good idea to decide early on which
part of the velcro (hook or loop) will go on the
props and which part will go on the handles. and
use this through all your prop making adventures.
This way. any handle can be used on any prop.
111 &XIII B- Blocklight
Finding fbric that fuoresces is easy: finding a
variPIY of colors and fabrics is not. Any good poly/
couon white T-shirt will glow brightly. By far.
white is thP easiPst fuorescent fabric to find. Go
to any fabric store and Lake home ten swatches of
white rbrir cotton, lycra, knit, even take fur. More
often than not. seven out of ten will glow a ghostly
bluP-whitc undPr UV light. If all you're doing is
crealing durable flat props with fabric. by al l
means buy white poly/cotton and spray paint it
whatever color you like. But if you're looking to
sew fuorescent puppets and costumes in a vari­
ety of rolors. you're going Lo have to do a liule
more legwork.
The most common colon that Ouoresce are
pinks, oranges, greens. and yellows. These
color., especially orange and green. arf often thl'
most common. regardless of Lhe type of material.
As explained earlier. thf nature of UV renection
means violet and deep blue colors fuoresce thf
weakest. so ir's rare to find them. Also. many fab­
rics that appear one color under normal light.
appear a diferent color under U light Pink looks
red. orange appears red. and yellow looks yellow­
green. These are a few reasons why you always
test swatches! Never assume a garishly bright
color will fuoresce just because it's garishly brlgtn.
Most long time puppeteers have a yard or two of
fabric th(y were positive would fluoresce. and it
didn't. Test everyLhing. no mailer how !empting
it looks. You can rnrry a blacklight with you. Or
even better. carry a UV fashlight. What? A bat­
tery poYered black light? Wildfre, Inc. has onP
available. Also. vou can find them from scientific
companies. wh-re thfy're used fr bug collecting,
rock huming. and bactfrial detection. One of
these in a fabric store i� convenient and takes out
thC guesswork.
The greatest var!Pty of colored fuorescent fabric
that can br fund in the average fabric store is
Jycra or spandex materials. Since bathing suits are
made of bright. often loud colors, fuorescent fh­
rics af r:mmon here: and since lycra is a stretchy
kni1. ic's a great material for making costumes or
fuorPscent puppets.
Thf next most common fluorescent material is.
oddly enough. ripstop nylon. This shiny. almost
vir1yl-like sheeting material is usrd fr windbrEak­
ffS. waterproof garmcnis. rent bags. etr. Ar first
glance. the malcrial sefms too dull to actively fuo-
III IHtll 1- Blacklight
rfSCC. hul H×jIN1IP IC UV will CO15L· í1 l+ QÌ1»
vividly. It's available in green. pink. orange, and
yellow solids. but rarely in prints. You can make
your own prints by block-printing with a sponge
and liquid fuorescent acrylic. especially on a non­
porous fbric such as I his. Rips top nylon is an
excellent material fr blacklight costuming.
Finding good fluoresceni prints is becoming in­
creasingly dificult Blame this on the vagaries of
fashion or cullure. but getting good cotton or
cotton polyester prints on a regular basis isn't easy
to do. One place to look is the craft and novelty
fabrics section of your local fabric store. ThP best
time fr this is around Halloween when people
arc looking for costume materials. Be sure to stock
up on good prints when you find them, since you
may not have the chance later. Theater House
in Covington. KY has a good selection of nuores­
cent lycra. satin prints, and chiffons available by
the yard. as wel l as fuorescent ribbons. sequins.
fringe. and many otlu�r items.
Ry fr. the greatest selection of fuorescent mate­
rials isn't fund down the street. but across Lhe
country in numerous fbric outlet�. costuming
supply houses. and theatrical companifS. Unfr­
tunately. you'll have to search these out. Hope­
fully. this book and its resource guidC will help
point you in the right direction.
Fluorescent Paper Products
The most <:ommon use of UV reactive materials
in Christian puppetry today is in the creation of
props and scenery. usually fr a song presenta­
tion. Ry no means is this the "end-air of black­
light peppetry. but since it's the most common.
that's where we'll bPgin.
The most commonly used material fr props and
scenery is white foamboard. This board is com·
posed of two sheets of heavyweight poster paper
laminated to a corp of extruded polysryrene (EPS.
commonl y known as styrofoam). The board
comes in two thicknesses, :i/16" (5mm) and 112"
(l3mm). Ir is widely available from ofice supply
stores. art stores. even hobby shops. Standard sizes
indudf 20" x 30" (Siem x 76cm). 30" x 40" (76cm
x 102cm}. and can also be purchased in 4' x 8'
( 1.4111 x 2.8m) sheets. usual l y from art stores.
Foambnard can be easily cut with a razor knife.
drawn on with marker pens. spray painted, traced
onto, pinned, glued, etc. All the properties of pa­
per apply to famboard, including the disadvan­
Lages. It will bubble and curl when exposed Lo
water dro) or high humidhy. It will easily creasf.
and the edges will oft.en dent a�d (�ay. It's n�t as
durable as plast.c or wuud, hut 1t 1s Easy to find.
easy to work with. and firly inexpens�v�. Note:
regular famboard does not Ou�r�sce 1t
like paper stock. Howpvcr. since 1t is white. ir
cepts fuorescent p<int well. The cross and the sign
(above) are both cut from fa�board'
and show
how easy il is 10 work with this material.
Fven more readily available than famboard is the
UV.reactive poster paper and copier paper.
Don't overlook the myriad of possibilities of these
inexpensive materials fr signs. homemade con·
ftti. or props and scenery. These products are
available in the standard pink. green. orange. and
yfllow. and offer thr added
advantage �|being
able to be copied and laser printed. We witnessed
one puppet team use numerous pieces of Ouores·
cent poster board to create a large fip card efect
to spell out words. similar to what you might see
<one hy a group of fans at a stadium sporring
event. Easily cut with scissors. glued, or stapled.
nuorescem paper is a very versatile material.
Many blacklight props involve depicting words
or numbers. These c<n be cut out of posterhoard
or farboard. or painted or drawn onto a sur­
face. An importaru thing to keep in mind is that
your letcers must be firly large. large enough so
lhe audience can SCC them clearly. The lettering
on your props should clso b( nea1ly done.
The easiest way to achiev( clean. dear lettering is
to use a computer. Type out your word! on your
computer. make them firly large and experiment
with some different fonts. When you h<ve the
look you W<nt, print out the page and 1he11 trans­
fr ii lO< ShecI ofd*<r lT;1sj1-O¯etíc¿ j•¬Ler¡n1. P�m
using <fl overhead µrojtcrnr. prqject 1h P words
onto a piece 1•rroetnloarr nr [m5¡Otl3CHt¢ H¥11 <!zr1-
ply trace the word! with a pencil.
This same technique can be applied 10 painting.
You can trace your lllters on 10 a piect• or bro
butcher paper. then cu1 out the lencrs. (Tll': 1Mf
che sce11ci/ over ;1nd :pray with U Uglu coar of spray
adhesive co 110/d the stencil in plarf while
ou ar
working.) Now place stencil over your
surfac�. and
paint tile letters evenly with spray pa1111. This can
also work in reverse. place the cur out leuers on
the surfce and paint. the background.
Protecting Your Props
Fluorescent paint is transparent: it shows dirt eas·
ily. It's also a very soft paint and easily scratches
or nakes. Fortunately. minor sr.ra1.ches and dents
are undetectable under UV light. but cvcncually
most UV props need to be remade or repainted.
How can you protect your props. especially foam·
board or J>per props? Good quality laminating
sheets or plastic sleeves are clear bu1 non-fuores·
cent making them the best way 10 wat-rproof and
prolect fuorescent posterboard or paper.
T protect famboard or other paimed dimen­
sional props. you can use adhesive backed Mylar
sheets (available fom art stores). For rhree·dimen·
�ional props. a brushed on coaling of clear acrylic
1s an excellent way to protect the paint. Minwax
makes U pruduc1 called Polycrylic whkh b Jn�x.
pensive and a wonderful protective coating for
fuorescent and non.fluorescent props. It's wacer­
based and safe to use on EPS (styrofoam). fam­
board. wood, plastics. etc.
lt& IXtlt I- 8lacklight
Pluore•cent Palnts
'l h(
Îl ¹



MLl ¬Pa n: of �
m±t et| ±| : | : by
wal i ng t he ma­
teri a
rescent pai nt .
Qual i 1y fluores­
cent pai nts are
tasy ro fi nd. es­
µedal l y i n �µray
C<ns. Every hard­
hobby. or
painl store has at
least one can uf fuorescen:green or orange si t­
ti ng around. Unfrtunately. that' s often limes thf
extent of rhei r variPty. Fluorescent tempera anti
l umi nous poster paints can even be fount at your
local grocery store. and work well under UV light
Costume stores wil l ohen carry "glow-in- the-dark''
makeup. al l owi ng the puppeceers to get into the
act 1 hrmselves. Bue where do you find the real
hard color: fuorescent white. blut. purples. tVen
Ouortsc11 fesh tone!? Fortunately for us therf
arP a number of optiom.
Paint manufacturers rarely sell direct lo the
public. but they arc happy to give you the name
of a dis1 ributor ·tore nearest you. Makers of Ouo­
rescent paints such as Krylon distribute nation­
ally and international ly. so rrack dowf the rrod­
ucr fom the soum:•. if you |ave t o. Huorescent
spray pai nt s only come i n about si x color.: pi nk.
orange. red, blue. green. and yell ow.
Theatrical supply companies are the best lo­
cal and reRion;l source fr a variecy of qualily tuo·
rescent paints. Any city over 200.000 i n popula­
tion should have at leasÎ one theater supply com·
pany. Someti mes t hey are nothing more than a
glorified costume shop. but a good theater store
can order nuorescent paints for you. even if rhey
don· r carry them normally. Al l che major metro­
politan areas i n the U.S. havf numerous theatri­
cal supply companies. and most will shi p any·
where i n the rnuntry. For those i n rural areas who
can' t travel . fnd the one dosest to you. get a 1ata­
log and order away.
ln ixne M- Blacklight
One of thf names toremember when purchasing
jQC•`C.5ÇC! painu h Rosco. Rasco is one of th�
l arg(st and be!( -nown rnanufacrurers of :heat:i ·
cal equi pment and materials i n the world. /oy
Q¸crM ¬�¡ j:j1l j lOO�L* wi l l Slock th(fr p:od l l / 1
ough :i»y c

e sp
ray p
aints, ··.·..
�+a�-::-a·pa1ms are water based and avai l ahl c
l p1ms. qwms. and gal l ons. They carry a wi de
range of colors. i ncl udi ng fuorescent white
Tl earcolour uv· paints (which are rransparen.
i n normal light) , and many other colors. A note
to the artists oul there: since we're dealing whh
pai nt. nuorescent pigments can be mixed and
¬atched to achieve diferent colors. Tl1e onlydif·
ference is you' ll wam to do lhe mixing under UV
l ight Some amating rolors can be arhieved. i n·
el udi ng fesh cones. browns. and grays. Your
imaginalion and skill are the only li mitations.
Working with Fluorescent Paint
The most accurate means of applying Ouo­
rescent paint Is with a brush. Fluorescent
pai nt (in UV l ighl) i s especially forgiving when it
comes to brush strokes. so this is a great oplion.
and we use it a lot When pai nti ng foamboard.
brushes ran cover the EPS core thac spray pai nt
solvents attack. Brushwork is ci me consuming. but
il remains the method that gives you the most
control. The quickest way to apply paint to
a surface is with a spray can. As long as you
don't need a special color. this will probably be­
come your preferred method of painting. There's
no cleanup. Just remember to spray i n an area
with good ventilation and to mask noor and walls
if you don't want overspray. Here's a step by step
guide to spray painting nuorescenr. colors.
Create a Spraying Area
Unless you have a workshop space. or your church
staff <lolsn'r mi nd paint on lhe noors. you' rf go­
ing lo need to mask off a spraying crea. This is
cruci al . because there' s no physical di fference be­
tween gra ffi ti vandal i s m and prop- bui lding
oversµray. (Th< graffiti may aCtually look bet tN! )
Don' t paint on unmasked surfoces. Don' t create
<'nemies out of your church staff. mai menancl�
crew. or properly neighbors. This is supposfd to
he ministry. not a lire-or-death prop crusade. Thin
plastil' drop cloths arc cheap. easy ro Ond and dis­
posable. Use them. reuse them i f you can. and
throw them away. Newspaper i s fine also. but
make sure it masks the tabletop or noor com­
plcrely. Taµc ir together. because spray paint of­
ten finds the crarks you 111issec. If ptinting out­
doors. he aware thar UV pair aurarts insecls.
Most nowPrS Lht UV marki ngs to attract hugs fr
pol l i nati on. Your large nuorescent yellow sign
looks like the biggest daisy t hat bumblebee' s cver
seln. so clun'c be surprised f f i t wanes t land on
your freshly paince< surface. Paint UV props iu­
doors i f you can.
Paint in the "Dark"
Since these arc nuoresccnt props, it's best to paint
chem under UV light Fluorescent paints are so
bright u11der normal light that one coat looks n11e.
until you gN ii under blacklight. Either paint it
under a UV fixture, or have a bl ackl i ght nearby
i n a dark room to check your progress.
light Coats, Straight Strokes
Fluorescent paint seems notoriously thi n. partially
due to i rs Lransµarem narurf. You can ltVtÎ
achieve a good even coat of paint in ont coat. so
don't 1.ry. Always use an i ni 1 i al lighL rnat fl lowed
up by ont or two additional coats. Small props
can bl supported on a stand or hand held. which
allows a more pven spraying stroke than laying
the prop nat. Always use a straigh1. back and forth
stroke when spray pai nti ng medium to large slzd
props. Don' 1 go back and try 1.0 cover the same
area unti l ii looks good. This is a sure \ay to an
uneven <:ntt of pai nt. or even paint runs. Cover
lhe entirP prop wi t h a consis1enc. 1 hi n, l i ght coat.
Use later coats to nil in the gaps.
Use Fluorescent Paint's Transpar­
ency to Your Advantage
As stated before. UV pai nts are transpareru. This
means that whatever's on the surfce of thP piece
you' re pai nting will show through the coat or
pai nl . You rtn use thi s effcr to your advantage.
Figure I 4a shows a foamboard sign chat' s been
lettered prior lu painting. Overspraying tht lct­
terin� wi l l crcace a UV reacti ve sign where the l et
tcring is sti l l clearly visible. The main reason fr
lhi s "cart befre the horse" approach i s thal il" s
much easier to get good leccering wi th a 111arker
on unpainted paper. LettPri ng after pai ruing
works. hue it" s much tougher on the marker. gum­
ming up the felt tip with paint You can tlso brush
; u
Figur 14b
lt1 IXtBt Bf_ Blacklight
on or marker on black onto lhe oversprayed let.
ters (Figure 1 4 b) .
This is lhc way to good looking props and seen·
cry using the standard fuorescen1 painl colors.
Bui whal aboul speci al colors? What <0 you do
when you wanl lo spray a color that doesn' l exist
con1111ln:ially. or is available i n liquid only?
Make your own spray
paint. Li qui d pigments are
lhc most versa1ile way to ere·
ate special colors. All you need
i s a way to spray the paint.
ri ght ? Any el ect r i c pai nt
sprayer can spray t hi nned
fuorescent paints. Unfrt u­
nately. pai nc sprayers of this
type are loud. best suited for
larger scale areas. and they re­
qui re a lot of cl eanup. Any
ai rliru:l i (a pani t· ularly accu
rate tool) can spray fluores­
rfnl pigments. but airbrushes
require compressors. and both
t ool s are expensi ve. Fort u·
nately fr those who have nei­
ther of the above items. therf''s
a nifty gadget cal led a Preval
Sprayer. Manufaclured by
Pred1lon Valve Corp. of
Yonkers. NY. t hi s devi rE is
con1prised or a 6 oz. ( 1 80 ml)
glass boule with a screw-on
aerosol spray unit. By pouring
i n a suftciently thinned mix·
cure of paint and screwing the top on. you' ve in­
stantl y created your own spray can. These dfvict-
<re quick. e�sy 10 use. and easy to dran up. They're
also a bit pr1Cl'Y· and there's not a 101 of air in that
aerosol uni L. One unit wi l l spr;y H good si7.ed piece
of foamboard. and that's it. Bui fr special colors
<nd CU5t of use. you can' t beat this tool. Preval
Sprayers are avai lable al bener ar1 ;ind paint stores.
Mixing and Spraying U Paint
Sprayir�g thi �ned or mixed paints using spray
guns. air gu11 s. alr�r�shes or aerosol sprayers ( i . e . .
I SprayEr) isn l a complicated process. bu1
it is a ti
me consuming une. The time involved is
mostly U preparation and clfanup: the frmer wi l l
ensur� dgood resul t. and the l atter wi l l preserve
�our s�ra�er. Most of the prfparation involvec is
M achieving good color and a spray able mixlLre.
lea &Xtlt It- Blacklight
If you'rp crea1 i ng a special color. always do thi s in
small amounts. and test the paint on a scrap of
your materi<l . Color mixing is a science: if you
have the right palette. and the right percentages.
you ran 1rhlev 1ny rolor. Some of i t is elemen·
tary: equal parts yellow and bl ue produce green.
J r you vary 1.hc amount of the pigments i n rela­
ri on to each other. different hues of green are
possible. Add white and you brighten the hue.
Jdc t hree colors togEther. and you get secondary
and complementary colors (A color wheel can ex­
plain this in beuer detai l) . UV paints are no dif­
ferent. except i n their appearance i n the vi si bl e
spectrum. Generally. fuorescent paint' appPar
darker under normal lighting than they do under
blacklight. For example. WlldDr UV paints can
bE combi ned to create a "while· fesh tone under
ultrnviolet liKht. The frmul< Is 2 µarts Deep Vio­
lft. 2 p<rt' Bri ll iant Yellow. and I part Invisible
Bl ue. I n normal li ght. this mixture is the color of
di rt. I n hlarklight, it looks nl most pnstcl. Addi ng
more Violet i n relation to the Yellow wi l l darken
the skin tone. Adding Bright Red would change
the basic hue. This VfrSti l i ty is why you must
takf thP ti me to get the color righl. Guesswork
won' t get It done.
Once you've got the right mixture, mix up
enough to get the entire job done. Running
oul of a custom color usually means redoing the
whole t hi ng. You're now ready to thin the paint
to a desired mi xture. llectric pai nt sprayers (such
as Wagner pai nt sprayers) can often handl e
unthi nned pai nt. but most other ai r guns and
sprayers require thi nned painc. Fortunately. most
theatrical nuorescent paints are water-based. J
mi xture of 3 parts paint to 2 parts watPr (3/2) wi l l
gi ve you a ni ce sprayable consistency. Two parts
to one could work as well. depending on your
figure 15
paner works well as long as you remember lo
Ub UV-reactive materials fr the eyes. The note
puppet pattern can easily be made i nto a lluores·
cc1u pup)t . just by using nuorescent spray pai nt .
The human arm shi rt pattern can be used to cre­
ate nuorescent costumes for human arm puppets.
and i f modified. costumes fr other characters.
One of the neatest thi ngs to do ls lo adapt exist·
ing puppets and puppet clements into new and
di fferent characters. We' ve used the nuoresccnt
performance gloves as a basis fr simple hand
puppets. Glue two l ' i 11 g-Pong balls to the top. add
pupib. and you hav< a simple hand puppet. Hcre·s
anothCr use for che nuoresccnt gloves.

� . .
Hands for Puppets Without Arms
You can add a new di mension lo blackllghr pup­
pets like the l ight bulbs. candles am.I other non­
human charac1ers. Si nce many of the available
Ouoresctnt puppets out lherf are made from yel­
low fabric (often the exact same fabri c) . you can
use t hf UV perfrmance gloves as " hands" for
these characters. Above is a One Way Street
l i gh1bul b puppet with one nf thte ' " hands: The
next photo demonstrates just one of the gf>tures
avai lablt• LO this Funzle character with an added
hand. By adding a second puppeteer ro do both
hands. a puppel could use sign language during
lhe prlSnl ation.
Another advantage of using thfSf hands under
blackligh1 is 1 ha1 the hands can go anywhere as
long as the puppeteer is dressed in black. HP sure
to wear black sleeves on your arms whenPver per­
frminr. especi ally under blackl ight.
Ifl 'Xtlt It- Blocklight
Fluorescent Trims and Notions
Costume companies and fhric outlets are thP hest
places to find UV reactive lrims and notions. The­
ater House has a good selecti on of nuorescent
rH1lo1 1 . chifon. fringe. Squins anc stretch sequin
braids. Thly also carry UV costumi ng, including
top hats. derbies. vests i n numerous colors. and
bow tifs. Theater Hous's selection of colored
UV-reactive knit gloves is uni que. buc be sure to
use the "Gl o" colors only. The ot her colors do not
01 1 oresce.
There arc nuorescem fke furs out chere. hue these
arc difficult to find i n any quantity on a consis­
tem lmsi:. Most of the mill� that producr these
furs will only run them on the condition that you
buy the entire run which can be 300 to 1000 yards.
Priced per yard. this gets very expensive. There
are a number of brightly colored furs that do fuo­
resce. howt�ver. Unfortuna1ely, it' s a hit-or-miss
proposilion. Often. bright pi nk. orange. and yel·
low fur will fuoresce. White fke furs almost al­
ways glow that ghostly blue. Cet swatchesor carry
your blacklight to the scort with you. and you
may be surprised what you fi nd.
A very popul ar and useful materi al for blacklight
are feathers and feather boas. These natural fiber
producls are made from various bird feathers and
down. Once cl eaned, dyed. and braided i nto
lengths. boas make excellent puppet hair. Many
of the colors fluoresce as well. There are a variety
of names and sryl�s of feather boas. There arc
coquilles. chandelles. hand-printed ostrich. rur·
key and swan boas. The most widely availablt is
the maribou boa. which is the common three inch
diameter type you' ll sc1· i 11 craft stores. A larger
version of maribou i s the ostrich boa, which usu·
ally has a diameter of eight inches. Turkey boa i s
1 7
�omposed or i ndi vi dual fealhers cvet1cwo'|¤æ|


large. yellow �bJrd� on television is rov.
uh turkey fathers) . There are many types.
an _i_nost or the forger. nicer ones can be very ex­
pensive. The Whole Costumer's Caralogur l i sts a
number or feather c:mpanie!, one of whi ch is
Cindenlla Flowers and Feathers. The boa
lors thac fuoresce the best are whi t t. pi nk,
bright yellow. and bri ght green.
Special Fluorescent Materials
With the increasing populariry of ultraviolet ef­
ferto in the entertai nment and performance in·
dustries. new products are ronstantly being de
veloped that may be of great use w you. Somt• of
these materials have been around fr years. but
arc only now becoming accessible to the con­
The visual arts community has typically been on
the leading edge for UV-reactive materials. Fi l m
and television productior1 has spurred an increase
I n the number and quality or UV-produdng i n­
strumems and UV-reactive products. Not surpris­
ingly. most of these companies have a presence
i n or around Hollywood. If you're i n that area or
traveling there i n the future. I' d highly recom­
me11d a visit to so111e of the mmpanics and prod­
ucts we mention here. Many of them have a show­
room or t:an rlir<ct you to � d+;ler nearby who
carries their product. There's nothing l ike actu­
ally seeing material to get ideas and ask questions.
U Reactive Makeup
One of the more widely available special materi­
als is fluorescent makeup. UV-reactive makeup al ­
lows the puppeteer or perfrmer to achieve unique
effects on hands. arms and faces. Fl uorescent
makeup is especially useful fr any situation where
you want a much rore real istic portrayal of a
human fan• l hand. We've seen UV makeup
transfrm puppeteers wilhout hood and gloves
into "demons" that assail the protago11ist or U pup·
pet presentation. We've also seen it used to high­
light hands that need to really pick up and handle
props with more dexterity than a gloved hanrl
The obvious drawback when using fuorescent
makeup Is i n the preparation and cl eanup re·
quired. In hot and humi d areas. it can also be un­
comfortable to wear. Use l ots of powder i n these
circumstances to help prevent makeup fom stain­
ing costumes and cl othi ng. Also. there"s often a
tºn1| or-|ar|ior�iæaogyoung puppeteers '"
wear it. the guys don' t want to ¼ÜÜÎit because i r"s
makeup. and the glrls don' t because It's not their
makPup. Make sure lh< efect
esired ls im1�r-
u���%���crt::�::cr��:i\ �`��.�����.
As with any material applied to human ski n. b�
awart of al l ergic reactions that your perfrmers
may have to skin products. and ask questions
when you purchase the products i f this is a con­
cer. You may also want to limit your use of black­
llght makeup deper1di11g or1 y(1ur auli�t1ce. Need­
less to say. Jive atlOrs l urking around in the dark
wearing eerie glowing makeup may be a bi l too
scary for some or the kids i n chi ldren" s church.
Fluoresccru makeup is available in about six col­
ors. and can be purchased at many large costume
stores. Theater House and WildOre both carry
a selection. as wi l l any good theatrical supply
house. h' s fairly inexpensive. compared co other
UV resources. but it is perishable. Pay attention
to storage and shelf l i f suggestions.
Fluorescent Dyes
We've orten received questions about rrealing
your own fluorescent fobrics through dyeing. This
is possible. but fnding available dyes on a retai l
basi s is very difficult. The besc dyes (especially
synthetics) contain chemicals that require special
handl ing, and most manuFacturers aren" t going
to open themselves up to the l i abi l i ties of con­
sumer usage. The Rlt Dye brand used to carry
two fuorescent colors. Neon Green and Neon
Pi nk. but we haven' t seen them available i n stores
for two or three years now. Tintex brand dyes
also had fuorescent colors. but the brand itself
isn' t as widely distributed as Rlt. Also. the dyeing
process is cumbersome. messy and li me consum­
ing. Most fobrics nPed to be heated hvrn boiled)
I O insure a better c yc bond to the fabric. The
Whole Costumtl's Catalogue lisL\ a number or
dye companies but phunt cal l s to these railPd co
yi eld specifll· Ounr�scent dyfs. One company
Rupert Gibbon I Spider carries fuorescent
textile paints that can be thinned and sprayed.
This may br the best option for coloring individual
puppPts out of fabric.
Fluorescent "Water"
l lav< you ever wanted a l i qui d c hat glowed
brightl y under ul traviolet l ight" ! Wiidfr, Inc.
carries a line of wacPr dyes that turn ordinary Hp
into 1 {2-glo! The yellow is especially brilliant. hut
111 'xeae 1t- Blacklight
chcy carry blue and green. aoong 01 oer colors.
This rnuld be a great idea for object lessons.
U-Reactive Plastics & Tapes
Mosr good thEatrlcal supply 1:umpanies will ca�y
uYre±:t|vecolored tape. as well as go tape which
not on v fuoresces but is photol umi nescent .
meanini t Ümi :s its own lighr after exposure to
llghl. Once again. Wlldfrc, Inc. Sfems :�hll u •
cmup;ny V. th 1 he wi dtsl selcc1l on. \ou I I oave
to ri nd the dealer ne.rr<1 you (check Tht!ir web
SÎ fP Hl www. wi ldfirela. <011 11 . bur · hi s con\panv
!. !! ¦ .. �: • J,!:: !·: .�'.'��'·� ·'"��! n� •- ·���-""-::��"!-·:.�·::��l:·, ".�
c|.�-ag·a ¯ a �rand name no longer applicable.
)o. sprodun .sa Oexible Ouorescem plastic tub·
agthat comes in a wide variety of colors and
wi dt hs. We s: | :coea this t ubi ng around the
mouths and eyes of non-Ouor�cent puppets to
create an outli ne effecr under blacklighr. It's also
very useful fr prop making.
I n additi on. Wildfr has a line of 1ransparem
acryl ic rods that nuoresce. These are made of tl1e
same material as those lransparenr fuores�ent
dri nki ng cups (often fund i n grocery stores).
whi ch also Ouoresce nicely. We cut up a whole
package of the green cups and used the transpar­
ent plastic as leaves on fowers. WHdfr also car­
ries indi vi dual plastic granules that fuoresce. and
a line or fuorescent wallpaper. incl uding a very
nify "star pauer" whi ch would make a great
background fr a space-oriented perfrmance.
Coating on Dexible Sld Sufaces
When using fexible plastics (such as vi nyl tub­
ing. ethafam. or pipe insulation tuhi ng). how do
you paint these
maceri al s wi th
f l u o r e s c e n t
pain1? Most UV
paints are flaky
and .o| o mean·
ing t hey neck
ri ght off or a
nexi bl e surface
that moves arcer
the pa i nt has
The key to get.
ting a nuores­
cenc coat i ng
t hat won· 1 fal l
lH ixeae It- Blacklight
figr 19a
of is 10 rreate a fexible surfce the paint can ad­
here to. Most of thesc plastics are nonporous and
inert to pai nt solvents. Usi ng a nexible coati
such as spray adhesive works well and Is a quick
fx fr this prohlrm. Figure I 9a shows a can or
"Super 77" spray adhesive and a can or fuorcs­
cent spray paint. The first step is to app
l y a light
coal or spray adhe5ive 10 the material (Figure 1 9b
shows a length of ethafam rod) . Noli ce that the
rod is t aped to a stand. and I ' m wearing l a
gloves. since spray adhesive is m�s5y to work with.
Figur 19b
Make sure that you' re coating the piece with light
coats of spray adhesive. You'll only nffr one or
two coars. but make sure the ("Oats are completely
dry. This means that the surface of the work piece
is tacky. hut the glue stays on the piece. The next
step is to spray one or two light coats of paint
onw the piece. Once dry. the ethafoam rod can
be bent severely and the paint won' t fakr away
{Figure 19c) .
This technique works for brusl1-on paints as wel l ,
and i t ' s also an excPl l ent proce5s for coating
polyfoam props and puppet!. There arc fexible
roati nps that do
the same thing
ava i l abl e from
theatri cal sup·
ply companies.
usually i n a liq·
ui d form. If you
don' t have a
spray area. these
mi ght he best
for you. But I
prefr the speed
and ease of
spray adhesive.
composed of individual feathers over down {that
fmous. large. yellow Hbird- on lelevision i s cov·
ered with turkey feathers) . There are many types.
and most of the larger. nicer ones can be very ex­
pensive. TM Whole Costumer's Cataloue l i srs a
number of feather companies. one of which is
Cinderella Flowers and Feather. The bu.1
colors that Ouoresce the best are whi te. pi nk.
bright yellow. cnd bright green.
Special Fluorescent Materials
With the increasing popularity of ul traviolet ef·
fects i n rhe entertainment and perfrmance i n·
clustries. new products are constantl y bei ng de­
veloped t hat may be of great use 1 0 you. Som< of
these marerials have been around for years. but
arc only now becoming accessi ble to the con­
The visual arts community has typically been on
the leading edge fr UV-reactive material s. Fi l m
and relevision produclion has spurred an increase
in the number and qual ity of UV-producing in·
strumentc itnr I IV-reactive products. Not surpris­
ingly. most of these companies have a presence
i n or around Hol lywood. If you're in that area or
traveling there in the future. I'd highly recorn·
mend a vi sit to some of the companies and prod·
uct1 we mention here. Many of them have a show­
room or can dirett you to a dealer nearby who
carries their product. There's nothing like ac1 u­
al l y seeing material to get ideas and ask questions.
U Reactive Makeup
One of the more widely available special materi ­
als is nuorescent makeup. UV-reactive makeup al ­
lows tl1 c µuµµcteeror perfrmer to achieve unique
effects on hands. arms and faces. Fl uorescent
makeup is especially useful fr any situation where
you want a much more realistic portrayal of a
human face or hand. We've seen UV makeup
transform puppeteers without hood and gloves
inco "demons" that assail thr protagonist of a pup­
�et pre�nra1 ion. We'vP also seen i t used to high­
light hands that need to really pick up and handle
���_�with more rcxr Priry than a gloved hand
The obvious drawback whPn using nuorescent
m�keup i! i11 the preparation and cl eanup re­
qui red. In hot and humid areas. it can also be un·
c;mfrtable to wear. Use lots of powder i n these
�1rcumstanccs to help prevent makeuµ fom stain­
ing costumes and dothing. Also. there's ofren a
certain reluctance among young puppeteers to
wear i t: the guys don't want to wear it because H' s
makeup. and the girls don' t because it's not their
makeup. Make surf the cffoct desired i s impor­
lanr anr effective. so that you can help your per­
formers understand rhe need fr al l the extra work.
As wi th any material appliCd to human ski n. be
aware of al lergic rCanions that your µNformcrs
may havp ro skin produCrs. and ask quesrions
when you purchase the produr1s if thi s i s a con­
l`t•l. You may also wa111 c o l i n1 i t your use of hlack­
light makeup depending on your audience. Need­
less to say. live actors l urki ng around i n the dark
wearing eerie glowing makCup may be a bi t too
scary for some of the kids i n chi ldren's church.
Fluorescent makeup is available in abou1 six col·
ors. and can be purchased at many large costume
stores. Theater House and Wildfre both carry
a selection. as wi l l any good theatrical supply
house. It' s fairly inexpensivt. compared to other
UV resources. bu[ I t Is peri�hable. Pay attention
to storage and shelf lif suggestions.
Fluorescent Dyn
We've often received questions abou1 creating
your own nuorescent fabrics through dyeing. This
ls possible. but fi ndi ng available dye! 011 a retai l
basis is very diffi cul t. The best dye: (especially
synthetics) contain chemicals that require speci al
handli ng. and most manufarturers aren' 1 going
ro open themselves up ro the l i abi l i ti es of con­
sumer usage. The Rlt Dye brand used to tarry
two nuorescent colors, Neon Green and Neon
Pink. but we haven't seen them available i n stores
for two or three years now. Tlntex brand dyes
also had nuorescent colors. but the hranr itsel f
isn' t as widely distributed as Rit. Also. the dyeing
process is cumbersome. mPssy and time consum­
ing. Most fabrics need to be heated (even boi led)
to in:ure a better dye bond to the fabrk. The
Whole Costumtr's Catalogue lists a number of
dye companies but phone calls 10 thtse failed to
yickJ specific fluorescen1 dyes. On< company.
Rupert Gibbon I Spider carries Ouorescent
tile paints t ha1 can be thinned and sprayed.
Ttus may be the best option fr roloring individual
pupµtts out of fabric.
Fluorescent "Water"
H�ve you ever wanted a l i qui d t hat gl owed
bri ghtl y under uhraviol eL lighr! Wlldfr. Inc.
�arries a line of water dyes thac turn ordinary H20
into H2-glo! The yellow is especially brilliant. bu!
�ti •xeae M- Blocklight
they carr.
v bl ue and green. among other colors.
This could bf a great idea for object lessons.
U-Reactive Plastics & Tapes
Most good theatrical supply companies wi l l carry
UV-rPar1ivP rolorEd rape. as wpll Ühglo tape which
not onl y nuoresces but is photol umi nescent.
meaning it emits its own light after exposure to
l ight. Once agai n. WHdOre. Inc. seems to be the
company wi th the wi dest select ion. You' l l haw
to fi nd the deal er nearest you (check their web
si te at www. wi l dfi rel a. com) . but this company
seems to make an amazing array or materials. in·
el udi ng nuorescent confet t i . One matPrial is
Lnelight ¯ U brand name no longer applicable
Thi s product i s U Oexible OuorescEnt plastic tub­
i ng that comes i n a wide variety or colors and
wi dt hs. We sti tched this tubi ng around the
mout hs and eyes of non-nuorescent puppets t o
create an out l i ne efftct under blacklighl. I t ' s also
VEry useful for prop making.
In addi ti on. Wildfr ha� a line of transparent
acrylic rods that fuoresce. These are made or the
same material as those transparent fuorescent
dri nki ng cups (often fund in grocery stores) .
which also nuoresce nicely. We cut up a whole
package of the gre-n cups and used the transpar­
tnT plastir as leaves on fowers. Wildfre also car·
rics indi vi dual plastic granules that fluoresce. and
a line of nuorescent wallpaper. including a very
nifty "star patter" which woul d make a greut
background fr a space-oriented performance.
Coatg on Flexible Slid Suaces
When usi ng Oexible plastics (such as vinyl tub­
ing. ethcfam. or piµe insulction tubing) . how do
you paint rhese
mat eri al s wi t h
f l u o r P S C P 0 1
paint? Most UV
paints arc Oaky
and thi n. mean­
i ng they fl eck
ri ght off of a
nexi bl e surface
that moves after
t he pai nt has
dri ed.
The key to get.
t i ng Ü fl uores·
cent coat i ng
t hat won· 1 fal l
Let &XtH It- Blocklight
off is ro create a ncxible surface the paint can ad·
hErE to. Most or tl1ese plastics arE nonporous and
inen to paint solvents. Using a flexible coating
such as spray adhesive works well and is a qui ck
fi x fr thi s probl em. Fi gure I 9a shows a can of
·super 77" spray adhesive and a can of nuorcs·
cent spray paint. The first step is to apply a light
coat of spray adhesive to the material (Figure I 9b
shows a length ofethafoar rod) . Notice that the
rod is taped to a stand. and I'm wearing latex
gloves. since spray adhesive Is messy to work with.
figure 19b
Make sure that you're coating the piece with l ight
mars of spray adhesive. You' l l only need one or
two coals. hut make sure the coats are completely
dry. This means that the surface ofthl' work pien'
is tacky. but 1 he glue srays on 1 he pirce. ThE next
step is to spray one or two light coats of paint
onto the piece. Once dry. the ethafoam rod can
be bent severely and the paint won' t nakc away
(Figure ! 9c) .
This technique works fr brush-on paints as wel l .
and i t' s also an excel l ent process for coati ng
polyfoam props and puppets. There are flexi bl e
coatings that do
the same thing
avai l abl e from
theatri cal sup­
pl y companies.
usually i n a l iq·
ui d form. If you
don' t have a
spray area. these
mi ght be best
for you. But I
prefer the speed
and eue of
spray adhesive.
Fig 19c
Choosing Perfrmance Material
As was stated earlier. blacklight is a special effect
that is best used in moderation. A performance
made up enlirely or blacklight pieces wi l l reduce
the i mpact of thf effect. Puppet directors should
be selective I n choosing what to perform with
When listeni ng to potential performance mate
rial . there are certain things you should look at
closely. One thing you may want tu do is to wrltC
out t he lyrics of the song. Now look closely at
what the lyrics say. Certain words or phrases may
lend themselves wel l to blacklight. Songs that
mention bright Cnlors often lfnd themselves well
to blacklight, as do songs that mention light, such
as MThis Little Light of Mine.
Many puppet mi nistries wil l give their perfor­
mances a certain theme. Some themes translate
well to blacklight. Fnr example, a song that takes
place under water, with a bunch of singing fish.
clams. and other marine creatures would work
well i n blacklight. The blackllghl effect would al­
low the fsh to appear to be foat i ng around. with­
out the puppeteers· arms showing. A circus theme
might work well in blacklight. as the bright col­
ors usual l y assnriated wi th that environment
could be util ized in exciting ways.
Since this book features a pattern for a fuores­
cent sun puppet. here are some ideas fr the ure
of a sun puppet.
One song that come.Iito mind immediately is the
classic chorus ftThis is the Day." The word "dayN
and the image of a sun seem to go together. The
classic hymn "Joyful, Joyful We Adore TheeN lends
itself well to the use of a sun. This song is pre·
sented in a bl uegrass style on the One Way
Street release �Happeni n' Hymns Vol ume 2. "
Check out these li nes from t he first verse: "Hearts
unfld like fowers before Thee. opening lo chi•
sun above. Melt the clouds of si n and sadness:
drive the dark of doubt away: Giver or i mmortal
gladness. fill us with the light of day." Wow! It
mentions 1 he sun. l i ght, and day - al l thi ngs that
ti< in wi th a sun puppet. You could have nuores­
cent blue clouds when the song talks about melt­
ing the clouds or sin and sadness. Your clouds
could even have the words ftSin· and "Sadnessft
pri nted on them.
The song •crcat is Thy Faithfulness" is another
possibility. I t Is presented i n big band style on
"Happeni n' Hymns. Volume l. " Look at t he line:
in that song: ·There is nn ..of turning with
TheP. " ".  by .Inew mercies I see, "
"�and winter and �and harvest,"
"S!. moon. and stars in their courses above.ft All
of the underlinPd words defl ni lely have some re·
lation to the image of a sun. Of course. keep i n
mind that thi s i s not the onl y way to present these
songs. Use these ideas as a springboard anc gel
your own ideas fowing.
Whal ever you decde lo do. t he most important
thi ng is that the message comes t hrough loud and
clear. Remembt�r t hat as a puppet mi nistry. you
arP above all else proclaiming a mcssage. It's great
to have a spectacular blacklight pCrformanr.e. but
in the end you don t want your audi ence tn re­
member the 8-foot tall blacklighl puppet you had
and yel completely forget the message that pup­
pet was presenting.
Resource Helps
Ni nety- ni ne percent of f'i ndi ng somethi ng is
knowing where to look. Truer words couldn' t bf
spoken when applied to locating quality fuores­
cent paints. fabrics. and materials. You start to
understand the importance of developing these
resources when you realize that every surface ex·
peeled to be visible under UV light must be coated
with, covered by. or created from fuorescent ma­
terial s. Add to that the l i mited use or these mate·
rials, and you st art to appreciate how valuable a
good source is.
Start ing a resource fe is a great way to becomP
knowledgable about blacklight puppetry, as well
as keep a ready list of suppliers on hand. I n other
words. become a pack rat. Collect catalogs, request
samples, swatches, etc:. ll is well worth paying a
few dollars fr a swatch book or paint card. These
thingIi are inval uable I n the long run.
Networkng and the Internet
One place to stare looki ng fr blacklight puppll ry
elements is to find the people who use them well.
Att ending One Way Stret puppet fostlvals and
other puppetry or theatrical con£ereru·es is the best
way t o get exposed to this area. Ynu might see U
group perform an i mpressive blacklight piece:
make i l a point 1 0 mecr them and ask questions.
There are often workshops devoted especially to
blacklight puppetry al One Way Stret evems.
Networking is a great tool.
Il ixeae a. Blacklight
The Ïtt Ictt t tl Cðt lC UI t•xceHent n•sl•ard1 l uol .
especiall y for narrow frus usage such as black­
li¿hlpappºtryl|ªrªãrªscmany ways tc||ca
i nformat ion on the i nternet . i t is difi cul t to l i mi t
uur reiommendations. but U good pl ace to start
is a si t e cal l ed the ·puppetry Home Page" at:
http: //wv·\\.sagecrarl.Com/puppctry/
I n addi t ion to cororate web pages, there are non­
proft groups. newsgroups. mai l i ng lists. and many
other organizations that discuss various aspects
of puppetry and creative arts issues. Many of these
groups are l i nked to the Puppetry Home Page and
also i n the l i nks for One Way Street' s home page.
We also suggest somt places fr you to perform a
srarch on your fvori te browser and see what
comes up - who knows. someone may have just
put a site on- l i ne that we don' t yet know about!
You can l ocate many UV materials. paints, and
resources through search engines such as YahoJ
Whi l e researd1ing to write this bnnk. we turned
up 2. 708 hits fom a simple Starch of the word
" bl ackl i ght " ( usi ng hotbot) . There were over
66. 000 hi ts fr the word "ul travi ol et"! Unfrtu­
natel y, of the fi rst 100 l isti ngs, only three wtre
useful resources. Most were poster shops. record
labels. and other unrtla1ed sites. A search on Ya­
hoo yielded fewer hits. but more useful ones. We
located very userul information for both Rosco
and Altman Li ghting. You can nnd useful infor­
mation this way. but i t can be time consuming
separating tht wheat from the chaff. Check the
fl l owi ng l ist fr somE useful on-line resources.
On-line Search Tools
I. http://ww.ask. com (ask Jeeves: kow-It-all)
2. http://ww.yahoo.com (search engine)
3. http://ww.infseek.com (search engine)
4. http://www.altavista.com (search engine)
5. http://www. hotbot. com (search engine)
6. http://www.excite. com (search engine)
7. http://www.webcrawler.com (search engine)
On-line Resources
I. hlt p://ww.onewaysteet.com (Fl uorescent
puppets, performance materials. accesrit
and UV lights: aJso. link to other sites)
2. http://ww.axtell.com (puppet manufacturer
and link to other puppet reources)
3. http://ww.altmanltg. com (Theatrical light­
ing manufcturer)
lll 11111 11- Blacklight
4. http: //www.rosco.com (Theatrical paint and
· expendables· manufcturer}
5. http://ww.wildfrela.com (\ paint and
products manufacturer)
hup: //ww.puppeteer. org (Puppeteers of
America home page)
7. http://www.sagecraft. . com/puppetry/ (Pup­
petry Home Page)
8. http://ww. thomasregister.com/ (Thoma
Register - Manufacturer Reference Index)
9. http: //ww.fcpfellowship.org (Fellowship of
Christian Puppeteer)
Books, Magines I Catalogs
Specific sources of fuorescent materials and tech­
niques can be fund i n cataloas and r
boks l i ke this one. The One Wy Street news­
letter is an excel l ent source of new materials fr
puppetry. i ncl udi ng bl ackl ight materials. TI (fo­
mery Theater Crafs Mazne) ls a high qual ­
ity profP!i onal publication fr set designers and
those i n theater arts. They publ ish an annual buy­
ers' guide ful l of useful suppliers. One extremely
hel pful source has been T Whole Costumer's
Cata'. available through One Wy Sr . This
book is packed ful l with lists of costumer's supply
houses. fabric stores, paint stores, and specialty
manufacturers all over North America. It also in­
cl udes a brief review of the particul ar resource's
products. There are a number of puppet compa­
nies who carry bl acklight puppet, which means
their catalogs are useful resources. (Some of these
are listed i n the resource guide.) I' d be remiss in
not mentioning One Way Street's catalog here,
since One Way Street offers a complete line of
blackl lght puppets and accessori es. One Way
Street is also the only major puppet suppl i er at
thi s time to ofer a stretchy nuorescent yellow
puppet feece fr sale by the yard.
For those bookworms out there, don' t neglect the
power or a good local liby. Thl? reference sec­
tion often contains very helpful materials. espe­
cial l y when dealing with specifc l isU1 1gs of paint
and fabric manufacturers. Copies of TCI maga­
zi ne may bt found there. The Tomas Rqster is
a mul ti -volume set of Indexes of every manufc­
tured item i n the USA. A search through the MUVM
section turned up several manufacturers of black­
l ight paints and materials. It is also l i sted on t he
internet at: http: //www. thomasregister.com/
U Puppetr Resource List
9. Altman Stage Lighting
57 Alexander St!t. Yonkers. NY Î070 L
(91 4) 476-7987 Ì -Ml R JLÂÞPÎ
hrtp: /1 w.altmanl l g. rnm
10. Califrnia Theatrical Company (Upaints.
water color. complete theatrical supplies)
1 32 Ni nth St. (Second Floor)
San Francisco. CA 94 1 03-2603
(4 1 5) 863-9236
NOTE: As of press time. all addresses. phone num­
bers and web silt' are correct. Due to the nature
of thi ngs. this list will at some point in the future
contain incorrect Infrmation. Companies move.
numbers change. area codes are altered. and no­
body tells us. Thi! list is intended to be a srarting
point. not a fnal compendi um of every blacklight
source in America. Contart thPSe companies. re­
quest catalogs when available. fnd new resources.
1 1 . Alcone
Comµany. Inc. (Large supply of
and begin to build your own resource me.
theatical makeup. paints, theatrical supplies)
1 . Onl Way Street. Inc. (Fluorescent puppets.
accessories and UV lights)
PO. Box 5077, Englewood. CO 801 55
(303) 790- 1 1 88 / (800) 569-4537
2. The Train DPpnt (Fluorescent puppets)
5020 Tampa West Blvd .. Tampa. FL 3:i634
(81 3) 885-5686
3. Son Shine Puppet Company
(Fluorescent animal puppets)
P.O. Box 6203, Rockford, IL 61 1 25
(81 5) 965-8080
4. The Puppetry Store
(Bookstore of the Puppeteers Of Amcrica)
1 525 24th S.E .. Aubun. WA 98002-7837
(253) 833-8377 fa: (253) 939-4 21 3
5. Theater House
(Fluorescent fabrics. notions. paint. makeup)
400 West Third Street, P.O. Box 2090
Covington. KY 4 1 01 2-2090
(606) 431 -24 1 4
6. Wildfire, Inc.
5200 W. 83rd Street. Los Angeles. CA 90045
(31 0) 645-7787 fa: (31 0) 645-9009
1 -800-937-8065
7· ±|
ysrUSsalsct| ·
rion. $50 year Canada)


t. Moris, IL 61 054-0470
8. Cinderella Flowers and Feathers Co.
(_eathers. feather boa. etc. )
�· ::���'· New York. NY 1 001 8
5-49 49th Ave .. Long Island City. NY 1 1 1 01
(71 8) 36 1 -8373
12. De!ign I .ab Chicago (Rosco nuore;rent paint!.
fam glues. theatrical supplies)
806 N. Peoria Slreet. Chicago. I L 60622
( 31 2) 738-3305
1 3. Baer Fabrics (Lg. fabric warchousc. UV fabrics)
5 1 5 East Market Street, Louisville. KY 40202
(502) 583-552 1
1 4 . G Street Fabrics
(Large fabric warehouSf. unusual items)
1 1 854 Rockville Pike
(Mid-Pike Plaza Shopping Center)
Rockville. MD 20852
(800) 333-91 91
1 5. Rupert. Gibbon & SpidPr fl"xtilc dyes and
rabric paints. lN textile paints}
P.O. Box 425. Healdsburg. CA 95448
(800) 442-0455
1 6. Rosco Lahoratories Inc. (Paint manufacturcr)
52 Harbor View Stamfrd. CT 06902
800-ROSCO NY (800-767-2669)
203-708-8900 fa: 203-708-89 1 9
1 1 20 North Citrus Hollyood, CA 90038
800-ROSCO LA (800-767-2652)
2 1 3-462-2233 fa: 2 1 3-462-3338
Oe Vav StReet Reice
Blacklight Fixture
Thi s great fol l - col or
ca1 al og has puppets
and lots of mat<rials
for puppet r y and
othl•r crcativP mi ni s·
t ri es. Make sure you
have a rnpy! I r you
gi n yours away. cal l
us for more! Pl ease
call Onf Way Street at
1 -800-569- 4537.
1 8- i nch blacklighr l1x1ur< and bulb wi t h n•ncctur
arid 011/oIT switch. Tl 1 C'SE mu�t b manually turned
on i ndi vi dual l y with d hol d down button bPfore
thty wi l l l ight and remain íl¡ during a pfrfr
mancc. (FX- 54)
Auto Start Blacklight Fixture
This I R- i nrh blackl ight fixture and bulb wi l h re­
Oertor has an auto starcing feature. Wi th this fea­
ture. these lights can be mounttd from l igh1 trees
or hchind cunai 11s on a prop rack. plugged i nto
ont sourn• and be turnCd on and oIT wi th a Ït~
mote conrrol . from your l i gh1i ng pantI control
board. or one on/off switch. (FX·OB)
Blacklight Replacement Bulb
It' s al ways U good idea ÎL h;w an extra bulb on
hand i n case you break one b<frp or during a
performance! (FXA·54)
Blacklight Hanger
Set of six heavy-wire hooks to quickly and Sfcurely
hang hladlight fixtures from a stage crossbar.
You'll need rwo hooks per bl ackl ighÎ . Buy enough
for back- up supply in your <mngenc�· kif when
1hese get misplaced. (FXA-55)
lei 'Xtlt I- Blacklight
Fluorescent Fabric
This brighr yel l ow polar feecf fobrir is available
fr you to make your own fluorescent puppets.
Mi ni mum order three yards. (PA-63)
fluorescent Gloves
Gloves arr made from our bright yellow Ouores­
Cllt material. Two siztS avai lable: Regular (PA-29)
& Large (PA-30) .
Black Perfrmance Hoods
You ca1 1 set oul : othtrs can' t 5CC i n. Made of l i ght­
weigh1 black nylon wi th a heavier nylon knit fb­
ri c i n t he face secti on t he performer can set
t hrough. OnP si 7P fits all. (PA-45)
White Performance Gloves
Nylon adult-size whi te gloves. Use rhem fr black­
light hand motions. signing. or wi th a mi me or
clown costume. (PA-27)
Black Perfrmance Gloves
Nylon adul t-size hlack glows. < rear for an al l ­
hl ack costume. puppetfers. or propatCers who
need t o " ' di sappear" duri ng b l ackl i ght perfor­
mances. (Pi- 28)
Puppet Director's Notebook
Puppet team di rectors must have this val uable
resource hook that i s ful l of how-to pages for pre­
pari ng. organi zi ng. rec:rui ti ng. rehearsi ng. and
planning puppC' team prrformances. It i ncl udes
reproducible forms sucl1 <s medical consenr . com-
111i t1nen1 contracts. ar1endancc records. pcrfr­
mante checklists. anrt more! (BPR-24)
Note Puppet Pattern
This moving-mouth eighth not. puppc1 Is made
from foam and pai111cd. Incl udes actual pattern
pites. dctailed instructions and photos. insLruc­
tions for a handgrip and a bl ack sleeve which cov·
ers thr puppeteer' s hand and forearm. Pupµe1 is
8'' across the mourh and 24" from tape of sta£f to
bottom of note. (PAT-07)
One Way Slrect . Inc.
• Englewood. CO 801 55
••• •
PO Bo·5077
303- 790- 1 1 88
ROU- 569-4537
Please call for current pricing and avai l ahi l i ty.
Blackllght Fixture
Thi s great ful l - col or
cat al og has puppets
and l ots of malcri al s
for puppet ry and
other crrativc mi ni s­
t r ies. M;kc surl you
have a copy! I f you
give yours away. cal l
Ub for more! Pl east•
cal l Om· Way stre..at
1 -800-569-4
1 8- i nch blackl igln fixtun· and bul b wi th renecror
and on/off swiu:h. Tl 1cse mus1 be manual ly turned
on i ndi vi dual l y wilh a ol+dO\\ ll buuon befurf
they will l i ght and remai n on during a perfr­
mance. {FX-54)
Auto Start Blacklight Fixture
Thi s 1 8- i nch blackl igtu fixturt and bulb wi th re
mocror lias an aut o starring ffaturf' . .i th this fea­
ture. thesf l ights can be mounted from l ight trees
or b-hind rurtai ns on d prop rack. pluged i nto
one sourre and be t urned Ll 1 and off wi th a rc­
mme control . from your l i ght i ng panel control
board. or one on/off switch. (FX.08)
Blacklight Replacement Bulb
It' s al ways a good idPa lO ha.P an extra bulb on
hand i n casf you break one before or duri ng a
performance! (FXA-54)
Blackight Hangers
Sel of six heavy-win• hooks lí quickly and securely
hang ll ackl i ght fixtures from a s1age crossbar.
You' l l need 1wo hook$ per bl ackl i ght . Bu.v enough
r. ba<k- ur .u,,l y i n your emergenn· ki r when
l htsc gel misplaced. (�"XA-55)
ltl IXfAt It- 9/acklight
Fluorescent Fabric
Thi� bright ytllow polar 0PlCf fabri c h a\· ai l abl c
fr _you to makt your own auo.esce¬puppPts.
�-t i ni mum ordfr 1 hrce yards
FluoreSent Gloves
Gloves arc made from our bright yel low fuores­
cen mattri al . Two size� <vdi lablc: Hcgular (PA-29)
& .arge (PA-30)
Black Perfrmance Hoods
You can sec our: others ran
t $eP in. Macie of l igh1-
weight black nyl on wi lh a heavier nylon kni t fab­
ri c in 1he facP sPct i on thr performfr can see
1hrough. One sizP fits al l . (PA- 45)
White Performance Gloves
Nylon adul t-size white gloves. Use the-!Or black­
lighl hand mot i ons. signi ng. or with a mi me or
clown costume. (PA 27)
Black Perfrmance Gloves
Nylon adul t-size black gloves. Great for an al l ­
bl ack <OSt ume. puppPleer�. or propalters who
need t o �di sappear" during bl ackl i ght perfor·
manccs. (PA-2H)
Puppet Director's Notebook
Puppet team di rectors must have this val uabl e
rcsourcf book lhat is rul l of how-to pages fr pre·
paring. organi zi ng. recrui t i ng. rehearsi ng. and
pl anni ng puppPI 1eam perfrmances. le i ncl udes
reprodudble frms such as medical cons1mt. corn­
rni 1 ment contracts. auendance records. prrror­
mance checkl i sts. and more! (BPR-24)
Note Puppet Pattern
This moving- mou1 h ei ghth not< puppet is made
from foam and pai nted. I ncl udes actual paner
piPces. detailed instructions and photos, in'lruc­
tions for a handgrip and a bl ack sl eev( which rnv­
Lh the puppe1eer's hand and frearm. Puppel is
I across the mouth anc 24" fom tape of staff to
honom o[ 11 01e. (PAT-07)
One Way Street. Inc.
•w_ Englewood. CO 80 1 55

æ æ

Box 5077
303-790· 1 1 88
800- 569- 4537
Pleasr call for currPnt pricing and avai l abi l i ty.
NDVÎMNOUtM ÏO&O ËU@@et Vattezw
by D<vf Privett
Befre You Start
Safety is No Accident!
Ra1.or blcuJps are (angerous. One sl i p can cnust U
.�·nr p;i n Thi nk about whal yuu' r" doing a� al l
ti mes. ALWAYS have adcquaw vPnr i l ati on when
using glues and spray pai nrs.
Tools You'll Need:
I. Mt•tal ruler & black marker pen
2. 20-25 singlt t•dgt.· razor blades
3. Sris<ors
4. Ho1 glue gun & 2 CLEAR glue sticks
5. Sewing maChirw
l. Contac1 cement and 5- 1 0 Macid" hruslws
7 Black acrylic paim & brush
8. Compass (Lhe cird�-making kind)
9. Duct or plastic tap!
IO. Straight pins
Bui lding •my puppet i s a co1111ni tmem or li m<.
and hard work. The finhhed product wi l l
only be as good as your execul i on of the paucr.
It wi l l take 5- 1 5 hours to bui l d t hi s puppet. de­
pendi ng on y(iur puppet
building experie
(2 1 c
r x 2 J crn) piece of foambo;rd
you' v" never attempted to bui l d a pupptt beforf. 2. 8" x 8" ( 21 cr x 2 1 cm) piece or velour firk
Uut have worked wi t h glue guns and
craft typ
< 3. 5- ( 1 3cm) lengrh of 2" (Scm) wide elastic
stuff. this shoul d be a good beginning puppet pat-
tern for you.
If you· re a compl
fi n
leng1h of 1 ·· (2.5cm) wi de e
1 0·· x . r (4 l cm x 4 1 cm) squan' of 1 ·· (2. 5c111)
thick polyfoam
mend wi th some craft experience to help you wi t h 5.
the lrst one. Remember:
Understand the instructions
G. 20- x 20" (S l cm x 51 tm) �uare of 1 /2"
(I 3mm) thick polyfam
Most folks wi l l read thPSf instructions. Make your 7. Fluorescent yellow & orange spray paint
job easier Uy not proceeding umi l you UNDER·
8 2 larg
e bl;ck hul t ons. black craft fam/fabric
STAND the insiructions. When you become frus
traced or i n doubt RELAX. Retrace your steps am.I
make sure you havcn· 1 made a misrakt.
9. 2
{5rm) squart of nuorcscent posterboard
Practice cutting and gluing foa
J O. Ccm1ac1 cemenr
fam "blouers··
Finding These Materials:
Mon• Than anytl1i11g else. 1hese skills wi l l i mprove
the fi11ishfd look of your puppet. Rt'rause this is a
fuorescPnt characrer. everything on the foam sur
face is visible. Uneven seams or excess gl ue WILL
show through th< fuores<ent paint.
Tl1L' Uni ted States is a nari on full of craft nuts. We
are h!Psstd wi th an abur1dancf ofs1uff \itl1 wl1 i d1
to make other stuff. cnd almost evCrythi ng on thi s
li st ca11 Ue found al a good cr<fl or discoun s1or".
You may need l fnd the aci d brshes. razor
blades. and spray paint ar a hardware store. (Aci d
lu 1xeae Be- Blocklight
brushes arf disposable metal-sleeved brushes used
fr soh· -nt s, Kl LL'�. cveu add. )
J you can' t fi nd good. sharp single-cdgN1 razor
blades. c ry using a11 -l r-tri c carving kni fe. Ust scis­
sors only as a last resort . since they won' t gi ve
you ¢ good straiglu gl ui ng edge.
Our sun·s mouth is rnnsrruct<d from two plates
of foambuard. Bl' <urf ro usf a strong plastic or
duct tape when tapi ng tht pl <tt� together. You
can use cardboard. and if you do. you can fl d i t.
avoidi ng the need f or two pl atfs taped mgethcr.
The brand of contact cemeni vou use isn't as im­
portant as how you use i t . our sun was put to·
gerher wi th Weldwod brand contact ccmcnl.
whi ch is wi dely avai l abl e. YOU CANNOT USE
Wel l . you can, but it' s nor easy and you probably
won' t be happy. Read the fol l owi ng section and
PRACTICE gl ui ng foam together.
don' t. whi ch means rhat you' ll ueed lo purchase
several acid brushes from a hardware store to get
the gl m• onto 1h-blotter. Fi�uce l shows a brush
loading up 1he »l otter wi th glue.
Dab the blotter onto the edge of your foam
piece. Qui ckly pressing the blotter down thC edge
of thC fam wil l apply an even coating of cement
<fi gure 2) . DONT APPLY TOO MUCH. You' l l li
surpri!ed how l i ti e yr>u need t mak- a strong
bond. Ser the foam piece aside to dr.
Gluing Foa Seams Precisely
ALWAYS use a foam blotter! One key to a
clean fam seam is evenly disuibuti ng the glue
al o11 g the edges of the foam. J n order 10 do that,
Flat Z
you must. use a foam blotter lO apply thl' gl ue. Line up the outer edges of the fam. Onre
You can make a bl otter by cutti ng a small pi P<e of thP ·-mcnt has gouen tacky. takf hoth pieces to
�crap poly fam. NEVER apply l i quid contac1 re- be gl ued. om• i n each hand. Carefully l i ne up the
rent di rectly ro a fam piece of your puppet. Not foam pieces. making sure that the edges on the
only will i t take frever to dry. hu1 the gl ue will outside (vhirh wi l l be visible) meet as pvenly as
continue to adhere to ns much of itself as I t ran, possible.
noticeable dent i n <he seam.
ÏbBw¡¦ MouthAssembly
Apply the glue to the blotter with a brsh.
I . With scissors. cut out the mouthplate pauern
Some cements have "brush in can" l i ds. but most
and t he mour h vel our pat t er n. Trace t he
muuthplaH· pauern ont o t he material you' re us­
i n
for t he mouth. whether that' s foarboard or
rarclboard. 1f you· re using cardboard, mr.e �he
patter twice with the Oat sides of e�ch tracing
forming the same l i ne. giving you a circle shape.
&>nd the cardboard along lhis l i ne.
flpt l
Lu 1xt1t ae .. Blackligh1
lf you' re using foamboard. trace and rur out �wo
separate mo111hplates. We used bl ack sided foam­
hoard. Usi ng a good qual i ty plastic or duct tape.
se1 the fat edges of the platl�S together. and tape
<long this seam. This is the INSIDE of the m�uth.
Fold rhe plales closec. and tape the oth-r side of
tht seam whil e the plates are flded. Now you
havl' a · mout h. M
2. Take the moulh velour pauern and trace it onto
the GOOD si de of the velour. You want the good
side. si nce this wi l l be against yecrh±oJB-sar-
'0 cu� Oul and mark the eight elasti c stitchline
markings. as you· 1 1 ne�d thf�l' IC l lnE Ç@l. ÎC PlHS
ti c straps. Using scissors. cut the two lengths or
elastic strap (check material.. lisc). Lint chese up
wi th ttw sti tchl i ne marks. and sew the elaslic
straps onto tht• piece of velour (Figure 3) . Try to
keep the velour from bunching up.
3. Usi ng contact cement.. appl y glue l i berally to
t he �outsi de'" or the mouth and sparingly to the
underside or the vel our gri p. Let the pieces gel
tacky. and then carefully apply the velour grip to
the mouth. Take your cime and avoid any wrinkles
i n applying che rabric. NOTF: Try che mouth as­
sembly on fr size. wieh four 01 1gers under the
wide elastic and your thumb under the smaller
elastic. The mouth should move easily. Feel fet
to adjust the elastic placement on future puppets.
For t•xample, those with longer thumbs may need
to move the small elastic forward.
Phaæ Z: Head Foa Asembly
I. The pattern page that i ndudes the sun face
fam and the sun ray fam patterns has been re­
duced 50% fr ease of printing. Before you can
use these paccerns. you· 1 1 need co enlarge them to
thPl r actual si. ThCrt•s two ways to do thi s. One
is to use a copier capable or enlarging 200%. The
other is to copy this sheet onto a transparency,
and then use an overhead projccor to enhlrgc,
trace. and cut out the pauerns. The copier is the
easiest way. by rar.
2. Once your patterns have been enlarged to their
origi nal si1.e. cue them out Take your shee1 or
l " (2. Scm) polyfam and pin the pattern sheet co
the fam. Traer rhc complete face pattern once.
then remove the pattern and RfVERSE it. TURN
tracP anoihor fre p;er•.
¦'��`,¨.�.����',�.�¦�`'· �'.�t;�,
,�`��i ll�l�;�.�1:;.�
the inside when you glue these pieces together.
3. You· re now ready to cu1 the fam pieces out.
MAKE SURE you' rf using very sharp. ntw razor
blades. Try cutting a scrap piece of fam. The hladf
should move freely through the foam. If not. get
a new one. Pract i ce c ut t i ng your l i nes as
wi l l makC' a diforCnce. Once you get good at 1his.
cut out your pi eces (Figure 4). and don' t be afraid
to start anew i f a piece isn"l as good as you want.
Figr 4
4. Once you have two usable fce µietes, s1an glu­
i ng the darts together. Be sun� t o gee the glue all
tlw way to the poi m of each dart (Figure 5). Darts
art all th< scams other than the mouth edge. Re­
fCsh yoursel r wi th the gl ui ng skills section dem­
onsrrated earlier. and carefully apply glue to all
che dares. DON"T CLUE THE MOUTH edges.
111 IXtlt It- Blacklight

e|the face halves
�lurd. appl�· n•mem to the renter seam edge
ihe· ii1�S a·,·1c·i t'1 :· 11w· . �u ;·;· • ���¦ 2?"����
s|ræ|ç|te1ge.ìOnce tacky. you can now puc che
fce halves together to frm a complele face (Fig·
ore 6) Make sure any pen marks are on the I N·
Sr DE of the face. Thi s is crucial for a nuorescent
puppet. And put tile seams wgNher CAREFULLY!
Take your time. and cry 10 gtt as smooth a seam
as pos�iblc.
Figur 6
6. Once you' ve got a fcE. look at the mouth care­
fully. Fig 6A s-ows wtm tht· 1 1 1 vulh )hould look
� ike right now. To allow the mout hplatcs to glue
into thf foam easier and better. .ou ll nted to re·
move somt of the fam in.idethe edge of the
mouth. This is called a l>e\'el cut. You can do this
with a new razor blade or razor knife. Simply push
the blade dire.tly into the fam inside 1he mouth
edge. Push i t straight back from t he front. and
then ,ull i t to one side of the mouth. cuuing the
fam so that it levels our and opens up the mouth.
Lt oxm M- 8lackli9ht
na z
Repeal this for the other side of the mouch. until
ou have a nice even edge (Fig. -s�Compare t
b(fre and af1er photos and you It see the differ­
-· · �� •>f
Þf¯ CUT rh- out er edge of the mouth
foam. You are onl y cu tung a new anKle fnside rttC
mouth edge. You·re now ready to glue the mouth
into the fam.
Ph 3: Gluing the Mouth A  em­
bly into the Fo Head
I . Take 1hc fam head you' ve just created and
grasp ii from behind
whh each hand near oppo­
SÌlC edgfs of 1 lu mou1 l1. In ont moti on, turn the
he<d i nside-out. Now the marker side is on the
OUTSI DE. Take a CAPPED pen and prop the
mouth open wi lh i t (Fi gure 7) . lpply contacr ct•­
ment ro the mouth edges. starting in the corners
and working out to the renter seam. Make sure
you get ,l .e into the corers.
Ftgu o 7
2. Take the mouth assembly and o,en up the
mouth. Using a compass tool. sec the compass to
a width of 1/2" inch ( 1 3mm) . Careflly pull the
compass along the edge of the mouthplates. trac­
tng B l/ZM ( l 3mm) line a\1 the way around the
inside fge of the mouth (Fi,ure 8) . Using a metal
t¢ tmt mouthplates on the out-
3. On Lhe mouthplate assembly. use the pattern
�o • .�arkthe cent�rs. Carefully take the insidf·Oul
lea roam and hne up the center seams with the
center mar.on �o;muuthpl ales. Make sure that
the TOP hand grip is being auached to the top of
t.he sun face (the one with two darts). Slowly, press
thf top foam onto the mouthplatc at the center
scam. Now match one corner of the mouth foam
into the corner of the routhplate. Continue at­
taching lhe fam from the cornlr to the CCntcr
scam. trying to folJow the gl uP line as dosely as
possible. Repeat this process for the rest of the
mouth (Figure 9). This is a DltHCULT step. and
your first efforts won' t le great. Do 1he best you
can. and you' l l get better with practice and the
next puppcl.
i nto place. and now you have a hal f-tured head
(Figure 1 0) . Repeat this step fr the lop of the head.
making sure you' re not pul l ing the foam away
from the mouthplatc. Figure 1 1 shows what the
tured head should look like. Often the fam has
gaps. especial ly i n the comers of thf mouth. You
can u� a roothpirk to put small amoun1s of con·
tact cement into the gaps. Let 1hem dry at leas!
five mi nutes. chen reattach lhe foam.
Phase 4: Painting the Head
I . You're now ready to pain! 1he sun ran• U fuo·
rescent yellow. We' re using spray painc for this,
so you
1 1 wane to mask the hack of the sun wilh
maski ng tape. (Don' t mask the inside or the
4. You're now ready to TURN rhe foam head to i ts mouth. The tape will tear the paper surfce.) The
normal posi ti on. Fig. 9 shows what the hear looks only thing we' re real ly worried with is the 1
l i ke whi l e sti l l turned inside out. Grasp the bot- (2. Scm) back edge of 1 hc foam that will gl ue to
tom jaw of the head. and at the same ri mf" push the þ]j rays later. Use small lengt hs of maski ng
against the bottom mouthplate with your other tape to cover t his edge. Spray pai nt tends to
hand. Continue pushing the mouthplate through weaken the masking tape glue. so makC sure the
as your other hand TURNS THE HEAD FOAM tape doesn't fall of by pinning i t into the roam
OVER THE MOUTHPLATE. The foam should pop
as a precauti on.
LH &xeae ae_ Blacklight
Z. Ir you haven·t pr"pcrcd a 111t!ked spraying area
y11 . do 5 now (see MCreate a Spraying Area-.
page 1 4) . Also. !tl up a blcckl i ghc I n a dark crca,
so you can check fr dull spots Ü you paint. Al­
way� w(ar old clothes when painting. and I highly
recommfnd some rubber gloves t pro1ect your
hands from overspray. A cheap al terncuive
is to
cape a trash bag to your arm.
3. Clean any line or dire from che surrace of the
face. UsinK a good Ouorescenr yPll ow spray painl.
spray a light coat of paint ontu the fam. scarcing
with the i nner edges of the mouth and working
outwards. Try to use straiglll strokes. and don't
stop while spraying or the paint will puddle.
When the enli re puppet has been rovrred. let it
dry fr a fw minutes.
4. Check the fam under blackight. Make a note
of where the streaks and dull spts are. (If you
can paint i n UV light. 1his will b a much easier
task.) Apply a second coat as evtnly as the first,
and then go back and spray the areas you noticed
again. You may or ray not nee a lllird coat. More
paint will make the puppe1 brigh1er. hut know
this: no amount of fluorcsccm paint i n the world
will cuver uneven seams or exces glue. Take heart
however. you' ll get beuer wich experience.
5. The final step in painting the face is to M re­
hfackPnH the i mi de of the mouth. We couldn' t
mask it earlier. so it's a dull yellow now. Take a
good small arlist's brush and a tube or bottle or
black acrylic or latex paint. Don· t use enamel
model paint! The solvent will weaken the glue
seams. Carefully paint thr entirf inside area or
the mouth (Figure 1 2) . Make sure ifs dry before
Lil 'Xtll 1- Blocklight
Ph 5: Sun Ry Asmbly
Ì . Enlargt and cut oul two copies of th� ray pat­
tern and tape them together to form a whole. Pin
the pattern to the 20· x 20· (5 1 cm x 5 l cm) sheet
or 1 12· foam. so it doesn't move as you trare it.
Carefully trace the pauern onto the foam. Then
cut out the fam rays i n one complete piece as
shown in fgurr 1 3.
Flgu.  13
2. Since you·re going c o paint the ray piece before
gluing it to the face. and you can' t glue efrectively
uver painted foam. you MUST mask the ray pat­
tern. Take your compass tool amt �Π1 he distance
between the two points at rve and onf-eighths
inches ( 1 :cm) . This will give you a traced circle
1 0. 25" (26cm) i11 diameter. Find a piece of paper,
poster board or cardboard big enough for lhis
circle and trcte I t. Cut uul ti 1 t drcle.
3. Carefully set the circle omo the UNTRACED
side or the foam. This will be the front when the
puppet is done. so you don·t want any pen marks
on it. l . iherally pin the circle to the roam. making
·..! hat 1 1 H ci rdC i s (\' t• nly 4 s. ·| ea.-)|uslJ-'hº
P•1f rfm (Figure
1 4) .
4 .
Rl•peat l h< pai ri ng proctss for ! l tt ray foa1 1 1
us1 1 1 g nuores:e1  or<ng1' or red pai 1 1 1 fr ! he ..,.
le �ure
to pa1111 hoth si<lf!. <nd to gC !on1c pai 1 1 1
down mt the crrvi cCs hCl wt>Pn i he ravs. Two

ts shoul

I bt> mon• t han tnough. \\' iwn t l w
pai nt has dned. rf1 1 10\'t' thf ci rdp < 1 1 d vc > u !l i oul d
haw a dPan foam edge 1 0 gl w· t o f fi gun• 1 5)
rh: µ|1:º1ºn'!|µinninç·|-syectc.. s`·. ·ia.-
1 l
1 t n hO gl ul' 1/wm Lll L f l il• fam
Cl i«tr huit . · �
\\ OJ Î l luure\ct. \o lw sun• to USf dear.
1 .
c_m o�1 \ uur 1 ur 1
ue pauer, and find H -m.l l
pn·u• nl n u oresrCnt posrerho.ird. Cut out t ht
101 1 Hl' a1 1 d dra\\ U bl ack l i ne l 1 al fw;i, dcJ\\ l l l h<
w· fom l h<' re;r. C<l lffr 1 1 11 1 0;1 gu�· l I l t ht"
mout h <1 1d hot il u<' ll down. You· rt dont' I i !un•
1 7 shO\\ ! \\ h<11 ! l w pupp<' l shoul d l ook l i kt Ul.ldtr
Ulackl i gl u .
I f you UTl<'f'l ood t l 1t• i nc1 ru ni o1 1! and di d1 1 · 1 g(1
lLL frust rat ed. you shoul d be t l u proud O\\ l ltr of
a fluorcsce111 foam \u1 1 puppt• l . ! 1 mav not l ook
rxanl v d¬ _vou \\ iH Ued i i 1 0. hut I guai· anh•t• _vou
1 1l at t he ncxl one wi l l be tl V· ast i mproH'ment
Not e: your l l CXf puppt>t ( " Uul d lw d cl oud or Ü
Omwr Or SOl l ll' O( ! J tr dlaral" ! t' f usi ng t he bitSifS
you l ta\ t• l earcd hfrl. Use what you· ,.C' l earrwd
Remember: .
Let us 1101 bC' fOl l l f Wtary i n <loi np
good. for c ¡ l t he propPr t i me \\ t' wi l l n• ap a l i ar·
¹tb\ i f we do not gi H up . .. ( Cal at i am ! NI \') .
15 God VV i l l bless ynn i n Hi ! ser\· k1·�
5. li bera l ly apply contact CC'lllt' l l l c o 1 l 1l' back t>dge
of tht• he<d fuan1 i l nd the dean edgC of 1hC ra\
foam pi (Cf. Once !hP ce11 1l• n1 has rl ri t•J t o d r ncki ­
llt'SS. rar<ful l y l i ne up 1l w t op Ct' l l t tr scan1 of l hl'
htad ÎL t he rop rre,· i ce of t he ray fo;.1 1 1 1 . l VlÀr­
e\'er you· d l i kt• i t . Pn·ss i i ro 1tu foam. l htl l l i nt
up t l w hottol l l st> am and pres! i t i n. Cont i 1 1 uf gl u·
i ng t he hl'ad pi <'Cf ont o tl lC ray pi Pn'. pi nchi 1 1g
and pressi ng t hP pit•cfs toget l wr.
Phase 6: Finishing the Puppet
I . /.c wi t h any puµpPÎ
_vou c<1 1 1 gt! d lot of diff'r­
l'lÀÎ " l ooks' " b.v usi ng vari ou! PYCS and tyCbrws
( Fi gure l fl ) . We used I .
( 2. :nn) solid bl ack hut ·
i ons 1 hat werC pul l Pd i nto tht· foam wi r h a few
!ti \rhes. <inri t l \n rei nforrl'd \\ i t h hot gl uf. Di f
firen si 11·d btut om \\ i l l gi n \" OU diferC'nt effl·C1\
A! fr a� 1 tw CXict evt• µlan·rent
Vt p\ ac(<\ our
PYl'S ri ght 01 1 t ilt' f i r ' \ hori 101 1 L<1 I ch in. 1 neasun· d
our from 1 tw crr l lcr sear < 1 i nch and or w-Pi gl nh
( 281 11 1 1 1 ) . and reJired t ht• Cyes t hNl'. Thi s l e<1 \ es
ilhOUI an i nch i n hCt\\' rCll lhC Pdgfs of" l hf fV(S
2. There an• 1 wo t•vebrow op1 i ons. \\I( cl losp t he
s11 1 001h curved pa11ern. and IH t hest' out ofhl <1 rk
craf1 frnnn. Any bl ack rlHlltri al t hat \\ Oil. I rawl or
sh<'rl i s sui t abl e t o usC for evPliro\' s. LktNmi nt
1 7
let tXfRt B t === Blacklight
, - \
SUN " mouth late pattern
(cut Z * foam board, c rdboard, or plastic)
SUN FACE " fam pattern
(cut 2 " l" polyfoam)
SUN RYS " fam pattern
(cut 2 " '!," polyfoam)
'When enlarged correctly.
"SUN FACE" pattern is
1 4 . 25" ( 36. 3cm) from
poi nt � to point ®:
· · suN RAY"" patter will
be 1 8" ( 45. 8cm) fom
point © to point ®.
One of the biggest trends in the
world of puppet mi nistry has
been the use of special lighting
known as blacklight. It is easy to
see why.
Blacklight is an effect that is
very easy to use, yet it captures
an audience's attention like
nothing else.
Here we acquaint you with a
variety of materials, equipment,
and techniques for using this
captivating effect with puppets.
We also i nclude instructions on
making a prop rack and patterns
and i nstructions for making a
moving mouth fluorescent sun
foam puppet!
This is the most complete and
comprehensive book on
blacklight puppetry available.
I S B N 1 - 5 8 3 0 2 - 1 3 6 - 1
© 1999 One Way Street, Inc.
P. O. Box 5077
Englewood, CO 801 55-5077

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