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Chinese Oxhide Puppets

One of our well-traveled framing clients always brings back interesting artifacts to frame for their home. This shadowbox frame contains three oxhide puppets. These puppets are made from oxhide that has been treated to be stiff and somewhat translucent as well as colored. The segments are jointed and can be manipulated like, well, puppets.

We cut out platforms with rounded corners on our Wizard Mat Cutter, with the central one larger than the outside ones, using a reverse bevel on the edge. Then we, carefully, sewed each one down using a 6 lb. test monofilament line, as it is also translucent and nearly invisible. We used Bainbridge #4840 White Silk for the mat, as the yellow/white color perks up the translucently colored puppets. A dark mat did not work well with these.

We also put 8 ply mat board risers under each platform to elevate the puppets and give them some dimensionality. The central platform is taller than the other two, so the mandarin is in the foreground, while the dancers are in the background.

Glass is True-Vue AR anti-reflective clear glass, which is nearly invisible.The frame is by Max, being a gold foil with dark scratches (#1094525). We used a larger, silver version of this same moulding to frame a long, large, Chinese scroll the same client brought back from the same trip. It is shown elsewhere under Documents.

Framing designed, executed and photographed by Brian D. Flax, CPF
Images shown by kind permission of B. Speiser

Chinese Oxhide Puppets Shadowbox-Full viewNote the elevated platforms with the rounded corners. The center platform is elevated higher than the two flanking it. Rounded corners were cut into each platform. Puppets are fully jointed, made from translucent oxhide and sew down.
Chinese Oxhide Puppets-Mandarin Centered View
Chinese Oxhide Puppets -Left Dancer Detail