Below is a selection of puppets I have created over the past 5 years, some from wood, some from wire, foam, silk and miscellaneous nuts and bolts! I first learnt to work with wood on a 5 day ‘carve a wooden puppet’ course in 2013, tutored by John Roberts, artistic director of Puppetcraft. This course gave me the wood-carving bug and I have been practising ever since!

From 2014 to 2017 I toured as a puppeteer in two shows with Puppetcraft:Monkey, a traditional marionette show, and ‘The Tin Forest, a table top puppet show. In 2016 I attended the Curious School of Puppetryunder Artistic Director Sarah Wright (Little Angel Theatre) where I learnt more about the process of creating puppet theatre.

In Autumn 2016 I created my own show 'The Fisher-Knight’s Tale’ under company name Wild Toy Theatre with a grant from Arts Council England. ‘The Fisher'-Knight’s Tale’ toured to libraries, art-centres, festivals and theatres across the south west in 2017.

In 2018 I took a break from theatre projects to focus on my wood-carving craft. I launched my online shop, selling a range of wood-carved jewellery, pendants and art prints.

In 2019 I co-directed and co-produced a new storytelling and puppetry pieceIron-Brow and Thorn-Coat, working in close collaboration with Hedgespoken storytelling theatre. This piece will be touring throughout 2019. For more info visit www.hedgespoken.org. For more on the creative process, visit my blog posts about the making of Iron-Brow and Thorn-Coat, part 1 and part 2.

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Cat and fiddle marionette

This puppet was carved in 2015 on a six day ‘carve a wooden puppet’ course, tutored by John Roberts, Artiststic Director of Puppetcraft. From 2015-2016 I puppeteered in Puppetrcraft’s production of ‘Monkey!’, a touring marionette show written by Michael Rosen. It was here that I learnt to operate traditional marionettes.

Iron-Brow and Thorn-coat
by HEDGESPOKEN

Hedgespoken’s new storytelling piece ‘IRON-BROW AND THORN-COAT’ is a retelling of a classic Lithuanian folk-tale. Steeped in old magic and half-familiar memories, this beguiling tale of magical transformation, love, betrayal and endurance brings together storytelling by Tom Hirons, puppetry and masked performance by Helen Aldrich, music by Louis Bingham and Griselda Sanderson, design by Rima Staines and co-direction by Howard Gayton and Sarah Vigars. For perforamance dates, visit www.hedgespoken.org. For more info on the creative process, visit the making of Iron-Brow and Thorn-Coat Part 1 and Part 2.

Puppet carved by myself and Rima Staines (with assistance from John Roberts and Jan Zalud).

Production photography - Lawrence Galloway

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Hare puppet

This table top rod puppet was my first wood-carved creation, made back in 2013 on a 5 day ‘carve a wooden puppet’ course tutored by John Roberts, Artistic Director of Puppetcraft. Since making this piece I have developed a bug for woodcarving and haven’t stopped since!

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Puppet arms…

A private puppet commission from 2018

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Dragon Puppet

This puppet is made from a wire frame and clad in silk and viscose fabric. It was made for Puppetcraft’s 2014-16 production of ‘Monkey!’, a touring marionette show. Unlike the other string puppets in the show, this puppet was operated on rods by two puppeteers.

Puppet legs…

A private puppet commission from 2018

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Heron puppet

Made from silk, plastazote foam, piping and a few nuts and bolts, this puppet was developed for a busking act in 2015. These days I prefer to work in wood, but I’m still proud of this guy nonetheless! Foam is a good material for larger puppets as it’s lightweight and therefore easier to operate.

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A simple rod puppet

A private puppet commission from 2018