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Give the little lady a hand…

A little wire, a lot of masking tape, some polyester stuffing and polar fleece fabric and —-voila!
A lovely pair of posable puppet hands ready to grace Aunt Acid on the right and left.

She’s always been blessed with the constitution of an ox as well as The Constitution Of The United States, which gives her the right to bare arms.  Now, thanks to the digital arts of her Medical Plaesthetics team, she has working hands as well. No stranger to the politics of the Right OR the Left, Aunt Acid herself is in the middle of it all.

Here is the completion of the story of her amazing origins!

This modern miracle of personal design and construction is not for the easily disturbed. Viewers are advised.

 

The construction of hands begins with a wire armature.  20 gauge coated copper wire is cut into two foot lengths and bent to form each hand shape.

Each two foot length becomes a hand (while the two foots on Aunt Acid are already finished and need no further wire.) Excess wire is bent around the forearm area to help stabilize the hand.

It is best to form both hands at this juncture so as to make sure that they are the same size to begin. Attention must be paid to see that they stay a fitting pair that includes one left and one right.

Polyester Fiber-fil stuffing is placed to lightly pad the arm and hand areas. The forearm is stabilized first by wrapping with masking tape.
Fingers are wrapped with the tape starting at the top and working towards the palm.

The thumb is also wrapped in the same manner. The tape sticks to itself if overlapped slightly. This forms an armature that is can be bent and posed. Polymer clay can later be baked over this armature as the stuffing, wire and tape can all withstand 275-300 degrees F, or a cloth skin can be used instead. If polymer clay is used, greater detail can be achieved, but the hand will no longer be flexible.

Note–flexibility was ultimately of far greater importance to this client than adherence to cosmetic realism.

Two inch sections of the tape were placed to cover the tops of each digit. In this picture, the tape is first placed on the back of the thumb.

The second finger shows how the tape is then wrapped around the finger leaving the top section ready to bring forward over the top of the finger.

The third finger shows how the tape is folded down and around to cover the tip. More tape is used to unify the arm and the thumb, as well as to build up the palm area and integrate the fingers.

Be sure that the hands are formed so that there is one right and one left, and that the hands are the same in size. Minor differences are acceptable as these hands are meant to be an internal armature.

One of the hands is traced to create a paper pattern for use in cutting the fabric for the skin.
The polar fleece that is used is bulky, and enough room must be made in the pattern to allow the hand armature to fit inside.

1/4 seam allowances were added to the pattern’s outside edge when cutting the material. Two pieces of fabric are cut for each hand. Because these hands are like gloves that fit over the armatures, care must be taken to make them neither too large nor too small. Right sides of fabric are placed together and  seams are stitched carefully beginning at the thumb and continuing around to end at the top of the forearm.

The fabric at the “v” of each finger is clipped  to facilitate ease of movement, and great care is taken not to cut across the seam itself. Turning the hand right-side-out is tedious, and the fabric must be carefully pushed but not torn. A wooden chopstick is very helpful in this process.

The very tips of the fingers required small amounts of stuffing. Then each hand armature is placed into the hand fabric. Stuffing is added as needed to pad out the rest of the forearm, and the hand is then stitched closed along the forearm using a sharp needle and polyester thread for strength.

The fingers can be posed in many ways. The arms are ready to be attached and sewn into place at the bottom of the arm units.
Use small neat stitches with matching thread and the polar fleece fabric helps to hide where the parts are joined.

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