Contact
Workshop leader
Marcus Clarke FRSA
Ocean Life is a Craft Foam Puppet Making Workshop for Schools and Colleges developed with support from Arts Council England. A challenging Design Technology all day Wokshop.
Puppet Making Workshop

Puppets made and available to make in our Puppet Making Workshops include a Tiger, Lion, Wolf, Elephant, Shark, Dolphin and Clamshell.

Land Animal Puppets can be used as either a Hand Puppet capable of Lipsinc or as a Masks.


The idea was for me to Design and Create Puppets that could be made from another material other than fabric, something that could be printed out and on something. Puppets that were simple enough to be made by both adults and children and with only scissors and glue. This is it.


Patterns are available for your own use for free. At your own risk!
See Shark Pattern 1 2 3 4 5 6
Shark on the right was made by a Florida 2nd Grader and his Father using these patterns and instructions.


See Dolphin 
Pattern's here 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 with instructional and 'how to make'

See Tiger Pattern's here 1 2 3 4 5 6

with instructional and 'how to make' videos on line at you tube.
see. Videos



Puppet Patterns are also suitable for printing on Cardboard Packaging and Puppets can then be made out of that too.


OCEAN LIFE PROJECT STORY
As I began this Arts Council supported Arts project in January 2010 I also began working with Creative Partnerships.
Teaching Puppetry for the Screen in two East Midlands Secondary Schools.
This enabled me to gain feedback from Children to compliment that of two Art and Design Students from NTU who were also feeding back to me.

I began by experimenting with different sized and shaped Origami style mouths using thin card and soon realised that the scale and shape would be mostly governed by the size of my hand and the need to get it inside the Puppet. Some trials with remote, mechanical and animatronic devices showed promise but would prove needlessly difficult for students with a low craft base to make. I decided around the hand it would have to fit.Experimenting with card and foam style card I decided on Hobbycrafts' FabFoam which had a thickness and warmth that was comfortable and came in a wide range of colours. It could also be quickly glued with Hotglue which helped assembly speeds. No curing or drying time.



I designed some Clam Puppets. Learning that I could score and shape them by using the Hot glue to distort the Foam.
I got positive feedback from an NTU student and so proceeded with an evaluation Workshop of the Clam Shell Puppets at Rufford.



The attendees of Puppet Making Workshop made these Clams right.






I then made Dolphins and Sharks as below and called them Japanese Puppets as they had such clean lines and then held other Workshops for people to make these.




Next came some extensive work to create a Turtle Puppet.
The need to hide the hand in the Puppet led to a lot of scale issues. I had hoped to combine a Sock for the neck joint but it confused the look. The Puppet then became more and more complex as I tried to solve joint flexing issues by design.
It became more and more like a suit of Armour.
I eventually called this Puppet Design 'Armoured Turtle' so called because it was like a Medieval suit of Armour. It was obviously going to be to complicated and take too long for people to make so I abandoned it.
I experimented with creating the simpler Turtle design above and decided to evaluate them in a Rufford Puppet Making Workshop.
The attendee's made them quite easily and enjoyed doing so. As well as performing them on
Camera. These are some of the Turtles they made.
 

 


As I moved on to creating an Octopus it became clear that again I was going to be boxing in the hand and restricting movement and performance. I also had issues creating a small mouth with my large hand in the head. There was only one way really for the arm to come out and that was through the bottom too confusing the eight legs.

I thought and thought about a way forward.
I was becoming moribund so I decided to re-invent the project and create a wider variety of creatures. Land creatures.
I decided to mark this juncture by renaming the project 'Jungle Life'.
I made two prototype Jungle creatures. A lion and an Elephant and gained very positive feedback.
 
I then considered that they could also be used as Masks. Tried them and they worked fine. After a trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park I hit upon the idea of ditching the sock puppet bottom part that I had been trialling for lipsing and instead created a drop down mouth for them. Tested it and it worked.

I worked up the Elephant design and 'Puppet  and a 'Make Workshop' for it.        
As I was returning to the Lion I thought of Jungle Book and considered making a Tiger. A Shere Khan with the same drop down mouth. Easier said than done.
 
And on the way came up with a Wolf Design using discarded Tiger Pattern that could be re-purposed.
I made another of the eventual Tiger Puppet design and Filmed myself doing so and then put this instructional Video on YouTube. I then contacted a retailer/manufacturer about putting the Patterns on otherwise discarded cardboard packaging so that Scouts and other interested young people could get free copies of the Elephant, Tiger and Wolf Puppet Pattern. I got useful feedback from TV Broadcasters too. Then I became interested in Teaching more.







How to make a Puppet Tiger 'Shere Khan' As we did in a previous West Bridgford Puppet Making Workshop. Patterns are available above. Teeth are up to you?  Instructional Video's below are on You Tube Bambooshoe





Working Puppet Tiger
How to make it Part1
How to Make it Part2


For the Projects evaluation in West Bridgford the consensus was to make the Tiger. Which all made successfully.






Outcome.
Well all of the Make Puppets would take a day's Workshop to make realistically. But they're all good, solid original and inspiring makes. I have my Sock Puppets that can be made in a variety of times from an hour to four. Depending on how complex we want to make them. This Project has given me the Original 'Puppet Makes. A Clamshell and a Turtle. Ocean Life. Also combined Puppet and Mask Making Workshops for Schools, Kids and Adults in the form of the Tiger, Elephant and Wolf. Jungle life.
And of course much more besides to build on. I learnt a lot about design, duplication and pattern cutting. Marcus Clarke
Previous projects include.
Puppets 4 Learning Project  information