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puppets and things that tell stories
I frequently make puppets and various kinds of figurative objects as part of many projects exploring stories. I love making puppets with children and am always in awe of the ideas and energy children show when creating their own worlds and telling stories.
I think this connects with a real child-like desire to explore the world around you by inventing characters and places. There’s also often a sense of humour within this, when you make a puppet (and I use that word in the widest of terms) you can add exaggerated features,
or leave many features out. You can place figures in unexpected places and test out loads of hypotheses and ideas (what would happen if you were as small as an ant or if a woman had a birds nest on her head…).
Cardboard boxes can form the most wonderful puppet theatres and I use them a lot as a base for creating so many stories with groups. I also regularly use my set of shadow suitcases, which links with one of my other great loves – giving new life to things found in charity shops.
Puppet-making in recent projects has included shadow puppets (see also work on shadows and light), peg dolls, potato-figures which we animated, sparrows made from old books, clay and plant pirate parrots and figures made from sticks.