While I personally love animating clay, with it’s limitless flexibility for a puppet’s face, it’s not for everybody. I’ve had a lot of students who just didn’t like getting clay all over their hands, and were frustrated with the cracking, re-sculpting, and unintentional blending of colors. A painted rubber latex face may not be able to bend in all the directions you may like, but it will hold its shape, color, and detail throughout animation. The rule of thumb is that a clay puppet is faster to create but takes longer animate, while a stop motion puppet takes longer to create but less time to animate. Perhaps this tutorial can help you choose. This is a summary of the process I used to create a chicken puppet. The head is rubber latex and the body is covered in craft feathers and cloth.