Children and puppets go together like a hand and glove. Their natural exuberance and boundless imagination create puppet performances like no other. Even adults when using a puppet quickly become children again, and say the darndest things!
For the past 5 years I have been working in schools with Dunedin
storyteller Katrin Mcmullan, helping
students create puppets.
We blitz the school for a week with materials and designs targeted at different skill levels, to finish the week with a puppet show extravaganza to parents and public. What FUN!
For Puppet Makers
Designing and creating puppets can be a rich technology experience as well as a fabulous art one. From the mechanics of moving joints and ergonomics of controllers, to the processes of making a suitable paper mache to suit your project. I find the design and testing of each new puppet a rewarding technology exercise and there are always new ideas to try out.
Sometimes making a simple puppet is best. Just as much can be expressed with a very basic puppet if the puppeteer is in character. If the puppets look isn't right you haven't invested a lot of time in the making. However working with foam and mache is nearly always reversible and if you have the fastidiousness of an artist and you are after a unique look, it is a great process to explore.
If compressed, paint on foam tends to crack, which is why I continue to experiment with paper mache and gesso layers. Using a body of plaster instead of paper, mache pulp can be made completely smooth, sandable and even into a clay. The possibilities for texture and sculpting are unlimited! Click on the link for Maketoys Mache Recipies pdf
Puppets can be ANYTHING! There is plenty to explore on the web. These are some of my favourites.
See behind the screen of hilarious Australian shadow puppeteer Richard Bradshaw
The creator of the Muppets makes puppets for children out of the most basic materials.
Jim Henson 1969
A quick look at marionette body language with the Puppet Kitchen
How to Puppeteer
mouth movements by Puppets n Stuff
Amazing puppet designs
The horse puppets in War Horse
Simple puppets can be excellent
144 million views on youtube cant be wrong. Potters Pals, the mysterious ticking noise.