Hello, and welcome to the School of Puppetry podcast. Each month I talk to a puppeteer about their work, their insights and their techniques.
I know a lot of you out there are keen to learn more about how to make caricature puppets - that is, puppets that look like real people. Not knowing how to do this myself, I thought it best to talk to someone who has some experience doing it. So this month’s interview is with Brian Hogg of Hoggworks.
Each fortnight I post a question related to puppetry. It’s up to you to figure out the answer, and the first person to guess correctly gets a shout-out on the site. There’s only one rule: you have to post a citation for your answer, and it can’t be Wikipedia (yes, you can use this website instead ). Let’s face it, Wiki just makes it too easy for people… The answer and winner will be revealed on each following Friday (ie. at the end of this week).
This week’s question was:
What does the ‘three piece head’ method refer to?
Surprisingly there were no answers sent in to me this week, which is a pity because last week’s kind of leads into this one. If the ‘nip and tuck’ method mentioned last week referred to cutting and folding foam, the ‘three piece head’ method refers to carefully patterning and constructing foam heads using three pieces: each one forms a quarter of a sphere, with the fourth quarter being the hole where you fit your hand. A good diagram for this is Billy D Fuller’s on PuppetsandStuff.com. Note that the gap between quarters 1 and 3 is where you would put your hand; the gaps between quarters 2 and 3 is the mouth. See this diagram as well. (Billy has many other diagrams and patterns available to view in his gallery so do spend some time there!)
One of the many small improvements I’m making to the layout of School of Puppetry includes updating the images. With that in mind, I’ve now added pictures to the list of different types of puppets. So it looks like: image, title of puppet, short description; image, title, description, etc. I know this improvement is very minor, but I think it makes things easier for those looking to learn more about the types of puppets in a visual way. Especially in light of the fact that quite often a description in text format doesn’t help distinguish between some styles of puppetry in a quick and easy-to-understand manner.
And just in case you were wondering: I am indeed working on a new pattern for the site. It won’t be ready for another couple of months though, so in the meantime, just enjoy the golden oldies for a bit longer; and of course the new podcasts/quizzes as they are posted.
I know I said I’d steer clear of doing local puppetry news updates from now on, but because I recently posted my interview with Ronnie Burkett I thought I would update my subscribers with the discovery that Ronnie will indeed be making his way down to Australia this year!
He’s bringing Penny Plain, his most recent - not including the cabaret mentioned in the podcast - show. It’s on in August at the Vic Arts Centre.
Normally I’m aware of his movements, but his own agent’s website does not list this performance. I’ll be booking some tickets, so if anyone is in Melbourne and wants to go together let me know asap and we can get a group booking.
Australians may want to buy locally. Where? I explain here.