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5 out of 5 stars
BONGO is an amazing, unique, eccentric looking work of art. He is a fully functioning, five movement (maybe 6 if you count the squirting flower or 7 if you count the arm rod for hand movement) ventriloquist figure. He is full of character. Jimmy (artist and builder) adds details not seen in other figures, eg, reflectors in the handmade eyes and crystals in teeth to catch light, hand panted/printed fabric for the costume, etc. Every little detail enhances the character of the figure. That is the touch of an artist. I asked Jimmy to change the controls from right hand to left hand and he immediately did so. He kept me appraised of the process. His goal was to make me happy with his work. I am! Totally!!
5 out of 5 stars
Viola is a true work of art. She is a unique one of a kind figure that drips with character. She is a full 5-movement ventriloquist figure that came with two (2) bodies (one conservative, lady-like and the other less so! LOL). Her "look" is so well established that a backstory writes itself! Jimmy (the artist/builder) puts little details into his figures that enhance the character. Here it is a lazy eye, missing teeth, cigarettes and wrinkles upon wrinkles. Jimmy is a great communicator insuring that you are totally happy with your purchase, the figure itself, and keeps you updated on the process of getting the figure to you. She shipped quickly, well packed, with tracking so I could follow her process. She is a delight to look at, work with, and to display. She is pure functional art!!
5 out of 5 stars
This is as much a work of art as it is a ventriloquist figure. He is full of "character". This figure has details that are not seen in others, eg. hand panted/printed clothing, handmade eyes with reflectors installed to catch the light, little assists (bumpers?) on the butt that helps him sit securely on a chair or shelf, and more. Best part of this figure is the eccentric and unique "look". It drips character. As Jimmy (the artist and builder) says "it will never be built again." it is truly a one-of-a-kind figure. Jimmy is a great communicator! He talks to you to insure you are getting exactly what you want and expect, keeps you posted on the process of shipping, and simply makes sure that you are happy with everything (how can you not be with that attention to detail). He packs and ships his work with loving care
Building Puppets has always been my greatest passion.
I have been a practicing Artist, Sculptor and Puppet builder since 1977. Performing with but mostly building all types of puppets, constructed out of every material imaginable.
I honed my craft from 1982 through 1986, while studying at Central Washington State University. Art related course studies include but are not limited to, Kinetic sculpture, Painting; Color theory, Metalsmithing, Clothing design, Pattern making and Children’s Theater.
In 1993 I moved to New York City. Here I built my first Ventriloquist Figure, with a goal to earn money in the Central park. I have been building my one of a kind Figures ever since.
On July 1st 2009 I launched my online business “Ventriloquist Sideshow”, selling directly to collectors and professional Ventriloquists. My very unusual, highly mechanical, figures are created with a variety of materials. Today I join you here on Etsy.
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Frequently asked questions
Are your puppets truly one of a kind pieces?
Each of the figures I design and create are individually crafted and only built once. Each of the characters I sculpt are truly one of a kind works of kinetic art and will never be created again.
How do you come up with the characters you create?
My entire figure making building business is branded on the theme of “Sideshow”, this includes the characters I individually create. The unusual physical attributes of the characters I build, come mostly from the thousands of people I see every day on the N.Y.C. subway system.
What materials are used to build your one of a kind figures?
I use a verity of materials to create my characters. The head and hands are almost entirely crafted of an ultra durable waterproof paper Mache process, that I created nearly forty years ago. This very unique paper Mache is layered five to seven layers thick, then it is carved like wood. The bodies are framed out in wood and cover in padded cotton canvas. The clothes are custom made for each specific character, sewn out of hand printed felt.
Can I commission a custom one of a kind figure?
I do and have created many custom pieces for art collectors and performance artists. Custom work is a great way to tailor my new traditional figure style, to your needs as a performer or your desires as a collector. The process is about four months. Please contact me to request custom work policy, it explains the entire process.