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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The glove puppet is perhaps one of the most recognisable types of puppetry, made famous by that old standard, Punch and Judy. A glove puppet is, quite simply, a specially made glove which fits over one’s hand. Glove puppets are also best known as their other name, ‘hand puppet’; to me this term is just plain wrong, so I stick to calling them glove puppets.
Typically, the puppet has three ‘fingers’; the middle finger becomes the neck and head of the puppet, while the two other fingers make up the arms. By holding the third and fourth fingers of your hand down (leaving the thumb, index finger and pinky pointing up), the puppeteer can manipulate the glove. The thumb sits in one of the arms of the puppet, while the index finger sits in the neck of the puppet. The pinky sits in the other arm. By bringing the thumb and pinky together to the palm, makes the puppets arms meet; by bending the index finger downwards, the puppet’s head bows.
Glove puppets are typically used for street theatre and children’s theatre, but the size of the puppets mean that performances are often held for small audiences. Part of the reason why these puppets are enjoyed so much is that they can simply convey issues to a general population, while also being very easy to manipulate on the side of the puppeteer.
Most of the time glove puppets are performed from within a ‘booth’, or from behind curtained frames. Glove puppets can pick things up, and despite what you’d think of as a limited range of movement, in actual fact they can do lots of different things. These puppet types can be an excellent starting point for beginners, and are often used in teaching children how to make and use puppets.send feedback / have a question?
Australians may want to buy locally. Where? I explain here.