With a simple mouthpiece of the kind you’ve probably had before:
You can see I’m holding the two pieces of wood with a small pair of pliers, with some wire between them — this allows me to rotate the mouthpiece. I also cut off a small piece of wire to hold in the jaws. It helps hold the mouthpiece on the puppet when I’m in the air while I breathe — I like to keep a steady hand on the pliers as I put the mouthpiece in or take it out.
After I get a couple of these mouthpieces set up, I start taking them off of my air-cannibalizing puppet for real.
There’s a pretty small hole about halfway down the length of the mouthpiece; it’s sort of a slot. You can slide the wire through to adjust the size of the hole, and it also makes it easy to put the plastic jawpiece back into place.
The little slot at the mouthpiece helps hold the jawpiece on while we’re air-crawling.
The whole mechanism is really simple. I have to work fast, I need to make sure everything’s in the right position, but mostly I just like having these mouthpieces that I’m actually comfortable using while moving around.
If I’d had a better head piece, I might have started using it on the air-cannibalizing puppet without any holes. But the air-cannibalizing puppet does require more time, because there are only two small pieces of wood to attach.
I made the first two holes for the mouthpieces at the same time — with some tape on the inside of both holes in the plastic jaw. (You can get the paper clips for the head piece instead of tape, because you don’t need to keep pulling on that tape on the plastic part as you cut the holes.)
Next, I drilled two holes in the plastic part of the top of the mouthpiece, which keeps the wire from coming out. This is to prevent the plastic mouthpiece from coming undone.
Once the holes are made, I glue the wire into both holes. The wire should be pretty stiff (a little soft would work too, but we don’t want the jaw to break!). I’m using hot glue, because it’s easier than the glue on the outside of the plastic, and the glue is easy to apply.
I glue that wire onto the hole that’s closest to the back of the mouthpiece
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