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.
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.
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
Pattern's here 1 2
5 6 7 8 with
instructional and 'how to make'
Pattern's here 1 2 3 4 5 6
with instructional and 'how to make' videos on line at you tube.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
For the Projects
evaluation in West Bridgford the consensus was to make the Tiger. Which
all made successfully.
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.
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