Clay recipe from workshop

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sculpting is fun! During our shows at the National Archives of Australia, we showed audiences how you can make your very own clay from things found in your kitchen! Here’s the recipe and some photos of our sculptors in action!

You will need:
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- about 1/3 cup water

Method:
- Mix salt and flour together in a bowl.
- Add water a little at a time. Squeeze the dough with your hands until it is smooth.
- If the dough gets crumbly, wet your hands with water. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle some flour over it and squeeze again.
- Store in plastic bag, glad wrap or in air tight container ready to use!

Colouring the dough:
To give your dough some colour, add food colouring to the water before mixing.

Puppet making:
To turn your creating into a puppet, simply poke your finger in the object for a finger hole and it will become a finger puppet! You can also attach paddle pop sticks or other sticks to turn into a stick puppet. NOTE: If oven drying, please remove all sticks and objects attached to the dough before baking. Once baked, you can reattach objects, details and sticks with glue.

Air drying:
- Place your creation outdoors in the sun for a few hours, or let it dry overnight on a table or windowsill. This way of drying is good for small objects.

Oven drying:
- Place your creation on foil and in a slow 105°C (225°F) oven with the door closed. Bake small thin objects for about fifteen minutes on each side. Bake thick objects for about one hour on each side.
NOTE: Children should not come near the oven unsupervised by an adult at all times. Objects will be extremely hot – please allow to cool before handling.

Painting:
To give your creation some more character – give it a paint job! Acrylic paint is best, but even water colours or felt tip pens work great too!

Finishing:
You can glue on extra decorations, such as buttons, glitter, fabric pieces, feathers, etc. If you want your creation to shine and to last, coat your object with a few layers of varnish or clear nail polish.

Shadow workshop at Botanic Gardens

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I will be facilitating a shadow workshop at the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ Luminous Botanicus II event this Saturday, the 5th of March between 8 and 9pm.

During the workshop, you will learn how to cast shadows, manipulate light and create magic through the oldest form of puppetry
using natural objects from the heart of the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Tickets can be purchased at www.anbg.gov.au/gardens or at the door if the event is not booked out in advance.

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

New roving act – debut at Enlighted Festival

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Introducing Luma, my roving black-light marionette, custom-made for the Australian National Botanic Gardens! I’ll be performing it at their Luminous Botanicus II event on the 4th and 11th of March, between 8 and 9pm for the Enlighten festival!

Tickets can be purchased at www.anbg.gov.au/gardens or at the door if the event is not booked out in advance.

Duffy Primary Residency: Goodbye students!

Friday, November 6, 2015

It’s been an incredible seven weeks of puppetry at Duffy Primary! I’m so proud of every single student on their various achievements! Across terms 3 and 4, I’ve worked with 19 classes, engaged all 380 students, performed 9 puppet shows, taught 62 workshops and created countless puppets!

I’ll miss walking around your school like a celebrity where everyone knows my name – or rather, shouts out “Hey Puppet Lady”! Keep puppetry alive at your school and in your home and remember my motto, anything can be a puppet!

To view the whole project, visit: www.puppetoodle.com/blog/tag/duffy

Duffy Primary Residency: Puppet Making

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Over the weeks as Artist in Residence at Duffy Primary, we created all sorts of puppets together! The year 3 and 4 classes were very busy bees and created some magnificent sock monster puppets! Some students even created short films as part of their technology lessons. During one of the lunch time sessions, we invited the whole year level to come watch the screenings of the films!

To view the whole project, visit: www.puppetoodle.com/blog/tag/duffy

Duffy Primary Residency: Griffin Unit

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Each week during my residency at Duffy Primary, I spent an hour working with a small learning support unit, called Griffin. The class consists of six students who have various levels of autism or other disabilities. I developed a special version of the work I do with the other year levels but is tailored specifically to their abilities and interests.

Here workshops centre more around hand-eye coordination, developing their creativity, showcasing their individuality and working with more sensory, play, movement and game focused activities. I designed the workshops in a way so that students could work together as an inclusive group as well as have individual one-on-one time with me. Some of the most successful workshops were focused around shadow puppetry and building characters. I believe because the students can hide behind their puppet, even the most shy students felt they were able to perform with a puppet in front of the group.

Non-english speaking students from year 1 were also included in many of these classes, as language and communication through puppetry was almost always addressed as the main focus point for each lesson.

All teachers and support staff commended my work in these classes and as weeks progressed, students became more and more confident using puppets and always excited for the next session. Many teachers mentioned how they continued to incorporate activities I’d created in their daily classes, as they had proven to be extremely successful to engage and focus their students.

Duffy Primary Residency: Hand Puppets

Friday, October 23, 2015

In almost every class during my residency at Duffy Primary, we’ve been practicing lip-syncing, hand-eye coordination, eye focus and character development with sets of coloured socks and eye balls.

After all that practice, we’ve now graduated to using REAL puppets! Activities included performing improvised sketches such as Little Red Riding Hood, singing and dancing to music, games and creating more in-depth characters.

To view the whole project, visit: www.puppetoodle.com/blog/tag/duffy

Duffy Primary Residency: Lunchtime Puppet Club

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lunchtime Puppet Club was a optional club for years 5 & 6 to come learn puppetry. This group would vary from size week to week, but tended to have a regular following of students eager to come hang out, learn, talk all things puppets and of course – play with puppets.

As this group volunteered their lunchtime to be there – they were extremely motivated and passionate to learn as much as possible. In the short amount of time we had – I felt the students quickly learnt quite hard puppetry skills and techniques, as well as having a bunch of fun each week!

Here is a little insight into our unique lunchtime club!

To view the whole project, visit: www.puppetoodle.com/blog/tag/duffy

Duffy Primary Residency: Shadow Puppetry

Friday, September 25, 2015

This week as Artist in Residence at Duffy Primary we’ve been exploring shadow puppetry.

Year levels preschool to year 6 experimented with casting shadows on different surfaces, using different types of lights and different types of puppets. Through shadow puppetry, we also worked on various skills such as performance, character development, story telling and script writing!

Here you can see a video of the preschoolers hard at work with puppets and shadows screens they had made themselves!

To view the whole project, visit: www.puppetoodle.com/blog/tag/duffy

Duffy Primary Residency: Paper Puppetry

Friday, September 18, 2015

As Artist in Residence at Duffy Primary we’ve been exploring all types of puppetry over the last week. One that students had a lot of fun with was creating puppetry with paper.

The freedom and flexibility of paper, in particular newspaper, allowed children to feel less inhibited by not using expensive art supplies to allow them to be as creative as possible. Paper has many qualities on its own, and we explored its texture, sound and the way it could change shape. Then, by adding a movement, we could bring a simple piece of paper to life as a unique character!

To view the whole project, visit: www.puppetoodle.com/blog/tag/duffy

Finished custom marionette

Monday, September 7, 2015

Here’s a closer look at my finished custom marionette puppet, created specially for a school in the likeness of a board member of the school.

I created this puppet in under two weeks – complete from the design, sculpting, painting, sewing, creating the costuming and the details.

Building a custom marionette

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I just received a very special job; to create a marionette puppet in a likeness of a very special person to a school.

With a very short window to complete the project, I set to work sculpting, sewing and bringing a character to life. The costuming was the biggest challenge, as the puppet is quite small – trying to create very small detail work on a very small costume was incredibly intricate!

Duffy Primary Residency: what is puppetry?

Friday, August 7, 2015

During my second week as Artist in Residence at Duffy Primary, I taught 12 workshops across all year levels. During the workshops we used several different styles of puppetry that explored what puppetry is all about – the act of bring the inanimate to life!

To view the whole project, visit: www.puppetoodle.com/blog/tag/duffy

Duffy Primary Residency: First week!

Friday, July 31, 2015

During term 3 and 4 this year, I will be working with students and teachers from Duffy Primary across all year levels teaching them the art of puppetry. The year levels included are Kindergarten, Preschool, years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 and the Griffin unit (learning support).

During my first week at the school I performed NINE puppet shows as an introduction incursion! After each show we had a Q&A about being a puppeteer, the puppets and the show! It was a lot of fun and all the students had some really imaginative questions and responses!

The Artist in Residence program was made possible by funding and support from artsACT and the ACT Government.

To view the whole project, visit: www.puppetoodle.com/blog/tag/duffy

Portrait puppet commissions

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Over the past year, I’ve been commissioned to make all sorts of puppets, including puppets that look like people! Here are a couple recent ones that I’ve made and the owners sent me photos of them with their puppet likeness!

Creating these puppets for people, their friends or partners is a really special job. As I work with clients from all over the world, I establish a conversation with them over a series of emails, sending each other photos back and forth (they send photos of the subject and I send photos of the works in progress). It’s not often that I get to see my finish puppets being brought to life in their new home, so these photos are very precious to me.

School Holidays at the NMA

Friday, April 24, 2015

For the past two-weeks, I’ve been working full-time at the National Museum of Australia, performing puppets and facilitating puppetry workshops during the School Holidays in their Discovery Space. It’s been an amazingly rewarding experience and it’s been so great seeing the fruits of several months and many hours of work all come together!

For the program, ‘Play with Plays’ I was commissioned to design a foldable toy theatre in the theme of the Museum’s loop, that could be printed on an A3 paper, both for downloading from their website and also for the school holiday activity. Click here to download the PDF and instructions to make your own theatre with puppets! It was a real joy to see more than 100 kids every day paint and create the theatre I had designed!

I also created seven large scale puppets to facilitate the performance workshop element of the holiday programs. I based these on an actual Toy Theatre from the 1800s in the Museum’s collection. The puppets currently on display are the characters from Cinderella – so this was the story we choose to present during the program.

During each workshop, I would tell the story of Cinderella using the puppets and then invite kids from the audience to use the puppets and perform the story! It was a lot of fun for everyone involved!

There were many elements part of the program which the NMA staff put together to really immerse participants in the puppetry and Toy Theatre world; such as iPad versions of the original Toy Theatre in the museum’s collection, iPads to record your own puppet film, soft puppets and a stage for toddlers to put on a show and a huge range of wonderful art supplies for everyone to make their puppets and stages.

It was a fabulous program all round! Many thanks to Kellie and Kate and the whole crew at the NMA for hosting such a fabulous creative program!

For even more photos of the Play with Play holiday program, visit the Museum’s flikr page here.

Educational ‘how to’ video for NMA

Sunday, April 12, 2015

As part of my commission work for the National Museum of Australia, I helped created an instructional video on how to create a toy theatre and puppets so that students across Australia and beyond can access the program and materials and share the magic of puppetry!

Download instructional PDFs and print outs to make your own theatre and puppets!

Artist in residence on the Gold Coast

Friday, March 27, 2015

After working long-distance with the All Saints Anglican School on the Gold Coast for the past year, designing and building a series of 10 wetland animal puppets, the school decided to complete the wonderful project by flying me up to the Gold Coast from Canberra to work with their entire year 7 grade (175 students). I taught a total of 7 workshops to the students exploring the art and magic of puppetry, teaching basic principals and techniques as well as allowing students to develop their own characters.

As well as bringing in a series of different puppets for students to work with, we also explored the different characters and techniques to operating my custom-made wetland puppets!

During my time at the school, I also did a small performance and talked to the student body and staff about what it is like to be a full-time artist in a Q&A format. I think it was incredibly inspiring for everyone involved, including myself. Some of the students also did a small presentation of some of the work we’d done in class and also demonstrated the 10 wetland puppets, all finally together in one place!

I would like to extend a massive thank you to Chantelle Flint, who has been in correspondence with me every step of the way and spearheaded the project; Patrick Wallas, the Headmaster of the school, who has been so supportive and encouraging of the project; the drama department for having me and of course the amazing year 7 students who really got involved and made the experience so magical for me.

Filming at the National Museum

Thursday, March 19, 2015

As part of my upcoming work with the National Museum of Australia for the April School Holidays, they’ve contracted me to design the workshop materials and also help present an educational video so that students across Australia and beyond can access the program and materials and share the magic of puppetry! The video and materials should come online soon!

On set at the National Museum of Australia

On set at the National Museum of Australia

Final wetland puppets!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Over the past year, I’ve been working on a series of 10 custom wetland puppets (see all previous puppets here)! Here are the final two – the Dusky Moorhen and the Spoonbill!

Some exciting news about this project: The school I’m creating all these puppets for (All Saints Anglican School on the Gold Coast) have loved my work so much, they’re going to fly me up to the Gold Coast to teach their students puppetry later this month!

Custom puppets - Dusky Moorhen and Spoonbill

Custom puppets - Dusky Moorhen and Spoonbill

Sneak peak – new puppet for Museum show!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

We’re getting excited for Australia Day! Can you guess our new puppet?

Renate, the painter

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Meet Renate. She’s a painter from Holland and loves painting everyone’s portrait. Perhaps you’d like to sit for her sometime or send in a photo of someone you’d like her to paint?

Meet Renate, created by Marianne Mettes, PuppetOOdle

Meet Renate, created by Marianne Mettes, PuppetOOdle

Renate doing a portrait - by Marianne Mettes, PuppetOOdle

Renate doing a portrait - by Marianne Mettes, PuppetOOdle

Renate loves to paint - by Marianne Mettes, PuppetOOdle

Renate loves to paint - by Marianne Mettes, PuppetOOdle

New wetland puppets

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Over the past months, I’ve been working on a series of 10 custom wetland puppets (see previous 5 puppets here)! Here are numbers 6, 7 and 8 – the eel, the snake and the fish!

Toe puppetry

Monday, November 24, 2014

I had a new idea – why not make a marionette that I can operate with my toes? This way I can play guitar at the same time.

More videos and photos coming soon!

Toe puppetry - Marianne Mettes

Toe puppetry - Marianne Mettes

Finished film!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I’m very proud and excited to present you my short film, ‘Namahey’, that I produced after being awarded the Fuji Xerox Australia Sustainable Art Award and grant through CAPO Capital Arts Patron Organisation.

Every aspect of this film was made using only 100% recyclable materials, such as the puppets which are made from toilet rolls!

This film was created to help raise awareness about how much waste we throw away everyday and how valuable those ‘waste’ materials are. There is so much life and beauty in everything around us, so next time you throw out that cardboard box – think about reusing, upcycling and reducing the amount of waste that is destroying our Earth.

Special thanks to Ainslie & Gorman House Arts Centres who have provided me with a temporary studio space through “The Project Space” in which I produced part of this film.

Behind the scenes in drawings

Monday, September 29, 2014

While I’ve been working on my short film ‘Namahey’ sponsored by CAPO, I’ve simultaneously been working on a personal project where I make a drawing that captures a moment of my day, everyday. Instead of showing you some behind the scenes videos or photos, I thought it would be nice to show you some behind the scenes through my drawings!

To see more of my drawings that I create everyday, visit: mariannemettes.tumblr.com

Filming sustainability short film

Thursday, September 18, 2014

After a long process of pre-production, music composition, set-design and rehearsing I’m finally filming my sustainability project that was funded by CAPO Capital Arts Patron Organisation through the Fuji Xerox Australia Sustainable Art Award.

The video will be published online in the next couple of weeks, until then – here’s a sneak peak!

Gorman the puppet

Sunday, August 17, 2014

While getting settled into my new workshop space (The Project Space), I thought I’d make a new puppet. Meet Gorman (named after Gorman House Arts Centre where my residency is). He’s gonna be helping me with upcoming workshops I’ll be presenting in the space! More details coming soon! #projectspaceCBR

A closer look at the fox puppet

Friday, August 1, 2014

Here’s a closer look at one of my favourite puppets I’ve made to date! This Fox puppet is one of the ten custom wetlands puppets I’ve been making. He’s been one of my most challenging builds, as he required a moveable mouth with a hand-sculpted, lightweight and durable clay head! Here’s a video of him in action, just after I’d finished making him. There’s nothing more magical then those very first moments, playing with it and bringing it to life.

Wetlands puppets coming along

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Along with several other projects, I’ve been very dedicated to my Wetlands puppet commission which I’ve been working on this year.

Here are some more of my finished puppets in this series; a fox, a black swan, a great egret, a black-necked stork and a heron. Still to come – a snake, an eel, a mullet, a spoonbill and a dusky morhen!

New commission

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Recently I received a commission from a school on the Gold Coast to work on a wonderful project, creating a series of 10 puppets based on wetlands creatures. Here is the first I’ve created in the series – a great egret!

Great Egret puppet, custom build

Great Egret puppet, custom build

How to make puppets… the video!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

In the next few days, I’ll be releasing a whole bunch of new puppets to buy from our online shop! To celebrate, I’ve made a special little video which shows you some of the magic that goes into making each one! Enjoy!

Sesame Street Workshop Commission

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sesame Street Workshop HQ in New York

Sesame Street Workshop HQ in New York

Back in August 2013, my colleague Matt Hopkins and I visited the Sesame Street HQ in New York City! I felt just like a child would feel visiting a real Willy Wonka factory!

Shortly after our visit, we were contracted by the Sesame Workshop to create a series of activities to be incorporated into various venues, such as Sesame Theme Parks, beaches, etc. We created simple step-by-step puppet-making activities, how to write and make your own puppet play activities, workshop diagrams, material and equipment lists, and more. After several months of research and development, we’ve proudly finished a successful project that we hope will make many children happy!

A snapshot of some of our activities for Sesame

A snapshot of some of our activities for Sesame

Sesame Workshop HQ in New York

Sesame Workshop HQ in New York

Making a green screen

Monday, February 3, 2014

After using a green screen constantly during my work teaching in the USA, I finally decided it was time to finish my own green screen. I will be using this green screen for filming short puppet films in my own practice, and also for client work and workshops. As you can see, a green screen comes in handy when you need to make an object appear like it’s in a different environment in post production (either for photos or videos).

As you can see here….

Green screen test

Green screen test

I have a few works in the making at the moment and I’ll post some videos when they are ready. For now, here are a few stills (without the green background replaced).

Sustainability project - currently in production

Sustainability project - currently in production

Custom puppet

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Just finished in time for Christmas, a special custom-made puppet! I created this puppet for a client to give to his girlfriend – a puppet that looks like her (a “Portrait Puppet” or a “Puppet Me”)! I was sent a photo of her so I could ‘puppetise’ her characteristics, face-shape, hair & eye colour and I was even able to find fabric so I could create a costume that matched her outfit!

Head of Puppetry Department in the USA

Thursday, September 5, 2013


While I was planning for my (second) big USA puppetry trip, I applied for a job, teaching puppetry, at a very specialised visual and performing arts summer camp for teenagers (Buck’s Rock) and I got it! The timing and location were perfect, as my training at O’Neil (see previous blog posts) would finish a few days before my position would start and was only about 2 hours drive away!


My job title was the Head of the Puppetry Department. It would be the first year of the puppetry department, which meant that the success of my time at the camp would dictate if it would be valuable enough to include in later years – which of course it would be. The department was partially funded by the Sesame Street Workshop (NYC) as well as some of the equipment donated from members of the Henson family (who greatly supported the department and the camp) – all of whom came to personally visit me and the workshop during my time there and loved it.


My responsibilities included setting up the entire workshop, managing budgets, sourcing and cataloguing all equipment and materials, co-ordination and training of other staff members, creating the curriculum and of course the fun part – teaching, mentoring and inspiring hundreds of students. I was not only commended for my work by the director of the camp, hundreds of kids, parents and colleagues – but also received a personal and heart-felt expression of gratitude from members of the Henson family and the Vice President of the Sesame Street Workshop, who later employed me to create more work for the Sesame Street Workshop.


It was an amazing two months, and I came home so inspired – not only because of the work I had done, but also from all the amazing work the students created, who I felt had really evolved into amazing puppeteers! This video says it all.

Finished puppets!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

We’re pleased to show you our latest additions to the PuppetOOdle family, plus a new stage! We’ll be performing this ‘Punch & Judy’ inspired show, at the National Museum of Australia on the 13th of April. We’ll be performing several times throughout the day.

These festival days have been very busy in the past, so to be sure you can get in, pre-purchase tickets for the day here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5677048204

Our new puppet show!

Our new puppet show!

Our newest puppets to the PuppetOOdle family!

Our newest puppets to the PuppetOOdle family!

Punch

Punch

Judy

Judy

The Policeman

The Policeman

The naughty baby and the good baby

The naughty baby and the good baby

Hope to see you at the 1913 Country Fair!

New show in the making!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

We’re currently working on a commission for the National Museum of Australia, creating a ‘Punch & Judy’ inspired show for the 1913 Country Fair day on the 13th of April. Buy tickets for the day here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5677048204

Here are some photos to show you the magical process of creating a show from scratch.

We sculpted faces, created moulds, experimented with different casting mediums then painted and varnished them.

Creating the faces of our new puppets

Creating the faces of our new puppets and experimenting with different materials

Here we give the heads some shape and start painting the faces

Here we give the heads some shape and start painting the faces

Here are the finished painted and varnished faces

Here are the finished painted and varnished faces

We’ll post some more photos of the bodies and new stage soon too! See you on the 13th of April!

Finished commission

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I’m very happy to post that I have just successfully completed three months worth of work, creating tailor-made recycling-bin puppets for educational work about recycling, funded by ACT NOWaste.

For this particular commission, I created two sets of puppets (about 60cm high) and two sets of 20 fabricated items (recyclable and non-recyclable). All puppets and objects are created from a number of materials, mainly consisting of re-enforced foam rubber – so that they are very strong and durable.

Here are the results!

Initial sketches, working out my approach to creating the puppets.

Initial sketches, working out my approach to creating the puppets.

Finished puppets, commissioned by ACT NOWaste. Photo by Pete Butz

Finished puppets, commissioned by ACT NOWaste. Photo by Pete Butz

Sketch of series of objects

Sketch of series of objects

Prototypes of the objects

Prototypes of the objects

Finished objects! Photo by Pete Butz

Finished objects! Photo by Pete Butz

Close up of objects. Each one is hand sculpted, re-enforced, felted and treated for durability. Photo by Pete Butz

Close up of objects. Each one is hand sculpted, re-enforced, felted and treated for durability. Photo by Pete Butz

Close up of objects. Each one is hand sculpted, re-enforced, felted and treated for durability. Photo by Pete Butz

Close up of objects. Each one is hand sculpted, re-enforced, felted and treated for durability. Photo by Pete Butz

Finished puppets, commissioned by ACT NOWaste. Photo by Pete Butz

Finished puppets, commissioned by ACT NOWaste. Photo by Pete Butz

Puppet making commission

Saturday, November 24, 2012

We’re currently working on creating a series of puppets and soft sculptures for ACT NOWaste to help educate young students in schools about the importance of recycling. Here is an initial sketch of how we envisage the main puppet to look like! We’ll keep you updated on how this project develops!

ACT NOWaste puppet commission - draft concept art

ACT NOWaste puppet commission - draft concept art

Web series in the making

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Meet some of our new characters we’ve created for our upcoming web series Baz ‘n’ Snags! It’s about the adventures of a city bloke and his dog, moving to the Australian country side, to help run his grandfather’s sheep farm.

We’ve been filming the trailer of the show and learning all about the life of a sheep farmer, on the beautiful property of our lovely friends Chantel and Jason.

We’ll be launching the trailer and lots of goodies in late 2012, along with a crowd funding campaign where you can get involved! The web episodes will be available in 2013. Until then, like our facebook page to see ‘behind the scenes’ footage, trailers, teasers and updates!

Introducing, Baz 'n' Snags!

Introducing, Baz 'n' Snags!

Filming the trailer

Filming the trailer

Baz and Hercules the Donkey

Baz and Hercules the Donkey

Team Shearer!

Team Shearer! (left to right) Pete Butz, Marianne Mettes, Jonathan Mettes, Jason Murray and Chantel Mcalister

Animatronic eye experiment

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

While PuppetOOdle had a bit of spare time, there were some animatronic experiments happening in the puppet workshop!

Animatronics is something we’ve have always wanted to work towards and the first step was to create a blinking puppet eye. Now aesthetically it’s not really looking very good yet, but it was just a basic prototype. Jonathan worked out some basic programming using an Arduino microcontroller and a servo motor. Marianne experimented with a basic wireframe to make an eyelid for the pingpong ball eye.
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Here’s a video of their prototype which blinks automatically on a random delay:

Close up on the blinking eye prototype

Close up on the blinking eye prototype

A few parts used for the experiment

A few parts used for the experiment

Silk Road puppets!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

As we mentioned in a previous posts, PuppetOOdle has been commissioned by the National Museum of Australia to produce a very special puppet show on the 15th of April, themed around their exhibition ‘Travelling the Silk Road’.

We’re currently very busy finishing our producing and rehearsing! We’re so proud of our finished puppets and can’t wait to perform with them at the National Museum! Here are some photos of my finished puppets!

The Lion and the Hare

The Lion and the Hare

The Golden Goose

The Golden Goose

The Stonecutter Who Was Never Satisfied

The Stonecutter Who Was Never Satisfied

Marco Polo

Marco Polo

Marco Polo, Marianne, Mr. Camel and Jonathan

Marco Polo, Marianne, Mr. Camel and Jonathan

Marco Polo and Marianne

Marco Polo and Marianne

Mr. Camel and Jonathan

Mr. Camel and Jonathan

Abdul the drummer

Abdul the drummer

Our performance will be at the NMA’s ‘Silk Road Festival’ which is a family fun day with free admission into the exhibition, at 10:30am on Sunday the 15th of April!

Silk Road – behind the scenes

Saturday, March 17, 2012

As we mentioned in a previous posts, PuppetOOdle has been commissioned by the National Museum of Australia to produce a very special puppet show on the 15th of April, themed around their exhibition ‘Travelling the Silk Road’. We’ve really enjoyed working closely with the Museum, discussing ideas on how the puppets should look and the tradition fabels will be told. We came to the conclusion that we would tell 3 traditional fabels using stick puppets made from balsa wood to give it a tradition feel and then have some comedic intermissions with hand puppets to contrast.

We’ve been very busy designing and making the puppets and I thought I’d share some of the making process with you.

Making Marco Polo

Initial sketch of Marco Polo

Initial sketch of Marco Polo

Marco Polo's head

Marco Polo's head

Marco's body

Marco's body

Making of Abdul

Initial sketch of Abdul the drummer

Initial sketch of Abdul the drummer

Initial foam structure of face

Initial foam structure of face

Finished mask for Jonathan to wear when performing as Abdul

Finished mask for Jonathan to wear when performing as Abdul

Work-in-progress Balsa wood puppets

Sketch of the Sun

Sketch of the Sun

Sketch of the hare

Sketch of the hare

Back-view of Balsa wood clouds

Back-view of Balsa wood clouds

Introducing ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For our latest show, Jack and the Beanstalk, I've created beautiful hand puppets by first sculpting their faces from clay and casting a plaster mould. Then I used the plaster mould to create little latex faces which I then hand-painted. Each puppet has a unique character and some have special features, like Bessie the cow, who has a 'trigger mechanism' that allows her head to move by pulling a lever.

Jack and the Beanstalk puppets

Jack and the Beanstalk puppets