Sunday, July 29, 2007

I make puppets.

It's true. I make them. Now, I make blog posts, too.

This is one of the first finger puppets I made. Super Chicken.

It started when I was asked to put my hand puppets into The Trunk Space, a local art gallery here in Phoenix. I had mono and couldn't get up to the sewing machine to make any more hand puppets, so I grabbed my piles of fleece and started making finger puppets. Hamburgers, penguins, whales, mushrooms, lions, cats, dogs, giraffes, monsters, ladybugs, etc. all made it over there. I think I gave them about 35 of them.

I discovered making finger puppets was addictive. Instant gratification. Unlike a hand puppet which takes a lot of time before you get to the fun part of giving it a face, hands, tongues and the what-have-you, with a finger puppet you can add all of those things in about an hour! My living room was covered in thread and fleece. My bedroom was covered in thread and fleece. I think I actually broke our vacuum cleaner because of all the thread that wound around the brushes (really, it was on it's way out anyway...I just finished it off).

A friend of mine was urging me to join a website called Etsy. I figured I had my hands full enough with trying to keep the Trunk Space supplied, so I didn't do it for several months. She finally came over to my house and set up my shop for me. She took me outside to take pictures of my puppets (that picture there is one we took that day) and then we came inside to list them. That was about a year and a half ago. If Etsy has done one thing for me (other than give me some money to fund my puppetry habit), it has been to force me to better my artwork.

By no means do I know a lot about puppetry or puppet building. I have been fortunate enough to work with and for the Great Arizona Puppet Theater, who has one of the most kind directors you'll ever meet. They have done nothing but encourage me and guide me in my less than mediocre puppet building over the last 5-and-a-half years. Because of them, I'm doing what I dreamed of doing as a child. I only regret not having done it sooner.

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