I went with Dewi, who I had made some puppetry pieces with for ¡hen~dø, which was great because it meant we were learning the same technique and we had the same goals for our puppets (that they would definitely be used in performance, but we were feeling playful and open to who they would become). The pictures here are of both our puppets made in class and an extra head each which we made at home.
We began carving our a styrofoam head and using foil to add bulk where we needed it. The final layers are papier mache, which can be refined and even sanded for details.
The body is built up on a wire frame, which for me was the hardest part of the process. I'm used to either sculpting shapes from a solid block or using flat forms (a paper pattern for fabric) that are shaped when they are sewn together. The wire was somewhere between soft and hard and had a lot of spring. If I do it again I might find a solid block I can use to form the shapes around, though that would take away some of the organic development of the puppet, which I really enjoyed. I'm planning on making a stuffed fabric puppet since I have the sewing skills, but mainly as an experiment and to see what I can learn from doing so; the method we learnt here means they are nice and light and much more practical for performance. So, more practice forming with wire is probably required for me!
The taller, oval head is mine. We roughed out some sketches in the first week but as I hadn't planned any particular puppet in advance I was happy to let shapes and personality develop as I went along, rather than defer to the sketch too rigidly.