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Help with Making Marionettes

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by charlie bird, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    Hi again
    ok, so the title says it

    I've made aboute 5 marionetes and realy need help.Is there anyone here who has any information on making the parts of the marionete.I usually use clay or fabric for this.Paper mache is to much of a hastle it is sooo coplicated and is not guarenteed to work.

    ok with that being said what I need are tips and advice on what youve found to work best.

    Thank you,Ben
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    Hi Ben,

    Most marionettes are either carved from blocks of wood or sculpted in clay and cast in some sort of light weight material. Paper mache (or papier-mâché) is popular too, although most people only use it for heads and hands.

    All of these techniques take some time and patience to learn. Papier-mâché is probably the easiest of the three if you have no experience; wood carving is pretty easy too, but takes practice if you haven't done much wood working. It also requires specific (but affordable) tools.

    I'm not sure what difficulties you've had, but when it's done properly papier mache is a very reliable and very low cost way to build. Mathieu Rene is probably one of the best puppet builders working in papier-mâché around. You can check out his portfolio here almost everything in it was done using papier-mâché.

    There is a good overview of how to carve a marionette from wood at http://www.puppetsinprague.eu/instructions/technical_drawing/hip.html

    If you don't want to make your own marionette body parts, you can buy them pre-made from Spectacular Dimensions - http://www.puppetparts.com

    The Puppets and Stuff Forum is a good online community and several of the regulars there have a lot of experience with marionettes and may be able to help you - http://puppetsandstuff.com

    I hope this helps!
  3. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    I forgot to add that there are a bunch of marionette-making videos that might be helpful on this page - http://www.buzzoplex.net
  4. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    Thank you so much!It helps so much to get good advice!

    I am so stuborn when it comes to paper mache and I hate waiting for things to dry!haha.Ill try it again though.What do you use for paper mache?

    I also tried needle felting and loved it!I do believe you posted some where about making puppets that way first I made a plain doll to see if I liked it.I plan to make only the head and hands with this method.

    I am verrry interestid in wood carving ,but dont know the first thing to do!

    tahnk you for all of the help,Ben
  5. There's a lot juicey progress photos from some very talented Marionette makers on PuppetHub.
  6. Rockwell

    Rockwell New Member

    What I do to make marionettes is to sculpt individual pieces of clay and then use A&D ointment to moisten the suface. I then use plaster gaws (sp?) to cover the clay surface. The A&D ointment makes the plaster cast easier to remove. The individual plaster casts are attached with hook screws hot glued in and fishing line.
  7. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    omg i have to try that! what clay do you use?
    thank you
  8. BenjaminJ

    BenjaminJ New Member

    wow cool thank you verry much Ill have to try it
  9. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    awsome!I like how you made that.do you by any chance have any pictures of the control you made.it would be verry helpful thank you bunches


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