I'm a puppet maker with a degree in theatre. A former lighting techie, stage manager and producer. And I like to think that with puppetry, the only limit is your imagination. More...
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Unless specified, all text, images and files are © by School of Puppetry, 2007 onwards. This means you can not use any of the text, images or files without my permission, unless specified.
You may want to start with the Beginners’ Guide to Puppetry. This is more about tutorials that are really really specific.
As explained in this article [link to be added], there are literally billions and billions (and billions) of different ways to make a puppet. Just as there are billions of ways to make lunch, clothes, or anything else requiring some form of aesthetics. I really can’t be expected to build everything in every way and then provide a tutorial on it, just to make you happy. So I stick to the basics, and provide tutorials that cover a wide range of ideas or basic design concepts. Some puppets I will refuse to make into tutorials for lack of experience (ie. a bunraku puppet), or for lack of money (ie. a ventriloquist doll or animatronic). If there is a large enough interest, I’m happy to reconsider my position; and if anyone is willing to donate some materials, a kit, or anything else, then I’m more than happy to change my policy completely.
Yeah, what most people don’t realise is that a tutorial like that, with photos, video, patterns, and step-by-step, so-easy-a-10-year-old-could-do-it instructions are worth about a month or two of my time. And time is money. Because puppets can be anything, I’m not going to spend months and months working on a tutorial that only one person wants. More than that, I find that those people who want those kinds of tutorials are either a) not willing to pay for it, even if it costs them less than the materials themselves, and b) so unwilling to put in the effort that what they really mean is "I want a puppet. I want it to look like it came out of the Henson workshop. And I want it for free". Anyone who has that attitude is probably not actually interested in learning about puppetry, and more interested in just having a token piece of whatever performance/TV show/movie they are fans of.
Besides which, as the home page clearly points out, there’s a whole bunch of ways to make things, and a Henson puppet is different to making those ‘people’ puppets; making a step-by-step guide is really great if it applies to one really specific design, but not so great for making another really specific design. Any tutorial you find will require modifications to your needs, so no, I’m really not going to cater to just you. There’s just too many options to do all of them.
I’m a puppet maker. Not only do I not want people ripping off my designs, but I wouldn’t want to see my fellow puppet makers (some of whom are friends of mine) ripped off too. Just because you see replicas, or want to learn how to make a replica, doesn’t mean it’s legal, or ethical. You want a replica? Buy official merchandise and read these articles [links to be added]. Otherwise, really, get your own ideas. It’s honestly not that hard. Rick Lyon earns this much from his puppetry: replicas really do steal profits from hard-working and honest folk.
Australians may want to buy locally. Where? I explain here.