The witch's cat was tired to fly on a broom stick on Halloween night. Sure, it was fun at first but he wanted to get treats too. So, he made himself a mask with a jack-o-lantern and went to town. He lifts his pumpkin head to reveal his huge smile.
Just turn the handle and he will show his face.
Here is a view from the back.
In order to create him, I first made a rough draft of the way it would move. Then it involved two separate steps.
One, making the puppet:
I drew the cat and planned the moving parts so his arms would be long enough to lift the pumpkin fully over his head. I tried to calculate it but in the end, I just drew and measured. Then I turned his body and head on one block on the mini-lathe. I used carving tools to make his ears and glue them on with wood glue. I sanded and painted it. I made the tiny pumpkins for the decor with a scroll saw. The pumpkin mask is made of papier mache with orange tissue paper.
Second, making the moving mechanism and the box.
I had planned to put a cam under the main rod to lift and lower the cat but I then realized that I would need a box twice as high as the cat! So, I decided to make a gear and a specially indented rod to go up and down. That took less space but needed more precision and a few tries to get the dents to fit in the indentations. calculations, drawing and paper model were necessary to get it to work. For example, you can not have 6,5 dents on the wheel! Then, I made them in wood. I had to find a way to keep the rod vertical and really close to the wheel, hence the bottom where the rod slides inside. I added a few pumpkins to decorate the bottom but still left the box open so one can see the mechanism at work.
I made this for my partner in the Vintage Halloween swap. I hope you enjoyed.