Every performance of The Wizard of Oz needs an Oz head, and after working on Little Shop of Horrors in Oct. 2012, I found my phone ringing to ask if I would be interested in making a 6 foot tall, talking head of the intimidating manifestation that Dorothy and her troupe encounter in the City of Oz.
It needed to be big and talk. So once again I go to my old standby; foam, and piping...

Step 1: The frame of the head

The head of Oz is usually stationary except for the movement of the mouth. I wanted the head to be able to move slightly from side to side and to shake with rage when it 'yelled'.
When operating a puppet, even on a large scale, the more direct interaction with the puppet the better. This puppet is made to be held in one hand while the other hand operates the jaw.
The foam allows the head to be huge but lightweight. The frame for the head doesn't have to be as reinforced as say, that of Audrey II, because it is not under as much strain due to movement or direct physical interactions with the actors.
<p>this is a gorgeous piece! What kind of foam do you use?</p>
<p>I should add, that before I found out about how to post &quot;I made it&quot; photos on Instructables, I also put a lot of in-process photos on my flickr site at https://www.flickr.com/photos/anselm23/sets/72157651327900455/</p>
<p>I have to admit, ours is nowhere near as awesome as yours, because I had to build and store it in a space that was behind a door only 5' tall and 2' wide, before it could go into the theater a week before first curtain. That limited my options. Also, our frame warped over the course of the winter, so that it flattened out. But mine has the lever that yours did, to move the jaw; we had to use muslin fabric for the skin, but we used a sheet of 'foam cloth' cut up (and stuffed with left-over bubble wrap) to form the lips, and the eyebrows and mole. The eyes were half-spheres of styrofoam from the flower arranging department at Michael's.</p>
<p>There is an OZ production locally in Seattle. Would it be ok if I used your design to fabricate a similar head for their production? As a fellow foam fabricator I want to respect the time you put into the design. Thanks!</p>
I love the tubing framework and airbrush technique. Excellent!
verrry nice
Awesome Work.
Really excellent work, I love the character and detail in this. I checked out your Audrey II as well and they're gorgeous! What sort of foam thickness/density/type do you use, specifically? And what do you find is best to sculpt/secure it?
Excelent jobs, my congratulation for you from Argentina...a great idea to do job for school or the theater, tnks <br>
Very impressive!
That is awesome!

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Bio: I am an artist in upstate New York who works in a variety of mediums including illustration, digital, sculptural and photographic. Currently employed as Director ... More »
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