Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day #45: Wild about rod puppets

I've had fun putting together all the Little Red Riding Hood stuff, because I enjoy stories and their various structures. But, structurally speaking, I love rod puppets most of all.

I spent a good chunk of time in the studio today and I knew that I wanted to build a non-glue-stick puppet today. Rod puppets are my forte, but they are usually time-consuming and detailed and...wait a minute! Surely I could think of something that I could put together somewhat quickly, right? I mean, that's what all the stuff that I have in my studio is for, isn't it?

I will say that my studio is pretty well-organized. Supplies are categorized and accessible. I have a great studio.

I took stock. Dowel rods -- of course,  I have lots! And tubes...and paper cups...and lots of fabric...and cardboard.

Great texture on this sponge-painted fabric made by some former students.

Sometimes I get my inspiration from fabric. I love fibers and textiles of all sorts! I have several pieces of hand-painted, sponge-textured fabric that were made by students I had done a residency with about a year and a half ago. Great kids -- and they loved anything that had to do with painting! We made these really large giraffe and zebra body-puppets. I still had some of the fabric. Ah-hah!

Well, OK, but does it really move?

The method behind the movement of this rod puppet is pretty straightforward. There is a dowel rod attached to the head. Surrounding the rod is a tube that is connected directly to the body of the puppet. This means that the head and the body can be moved independently. It's very simple and we've used this for a number of puppets -- mostly in our Little Bread Hen show for all the chickens and the sheep dog.

Enjoy the video -- especially the backside wiggle at the end!


  1. Love the wiggle! It's fascinating getting to see this behind-the-scenes look at puppetry.

  2. Have I mentioned lately just how much I love your blog?

    Well, I do.