7/6/12

Howie Olson Figure

From Dennis Chapman:

 During the 1950's I was a student (9 yrs old) of Howard Olson in Houston, Texas. He was the person responsible for getting me enrolled in the IBV and his teaching and encouragement provided me with many years of being able to entertain as a ventriloquist.....such fond memories. 

 I have not practiced Ventriloquism for some time but I really enjoyed it when I did and I no longer have the figure. He was damaged and lost in one of the many Hurricanes in Texas. It might be nice getting back into it at my age (67) because it is something unique and always entertaining. When I first started a friend made a figure for me and then later purchased a more professional figure. I will attach a newspaper clipping (about me) that you might find interesting.
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From Mr. D:  Howie was a good friend.  He often wrote columns for Newsy Vents.  and in the early 1970s he built several figures for us to sell through Maher Studios.  In fact, I still have a custom figure Howie built for me during that era. Howie intended it to be in the likeness of Fred Maher's Skinny Dugan built by the McElroy Brothers, but I never offered it as such. I did not consider the likeness true enough. But it is one of Howie Olson's larger and more rare creations, that's for certain, and for that reason alone I kept it on display rather than selling it. However, when we moved on 1996, I no longer had room to display my collection and all went into storage. I would be willing to sell it now. 
Original Paint, wig, clothes


40" tall  Never used.

Typical Howie Olson controls

Side-to-side self-centering eyes
Individual eye winkers
Raising eyebrows

7 comments:

  1. My favorite figure that I had as a teenage vent was Howard Olson's "Little Andy" that I bought from Mickey Hades International in the early 1980's. I called that figure Corky, and got a lot of use out of him. I really appreciated the way Mr. Olson set up his head stick (mouth control with thumb, and eye lever on front of head stick). It has sort of ruined me for any other set up.

    Speaking of his writing for "Newsy Vents", I still remember a wonderful article he wrote called (I think) "The Demonstrator" about the idea of not having too many movements on a figure. That idea has always stuck with me.

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  2. Anonymous7/06/2012

    What would it cost for the figure if it's up for sale?
    John Degel

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  3. I'm asking $500. And have had several inquiries prior to yours here. Let me know if you would be interested and I'll get back to you.

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  4. Anonymous7/07/2012

    Really nice pleasant looking figure. He looks brand new! What is the head made of?

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  5. Howie had a name for the material he made head and hands of, but it escapes me at the moment. It is a white casting material of some sort; perhaps a variation
    of plaster of paris.

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  6. I believe he called it "permatone."

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  7. You're correct, Keith. "Permatone" was what Howie called the material. Something of his own formula mix.

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