Monday, 2 December 2013

Giant Puppets!

Two Giant Puppets

December is upon us and my schedule returns to normal madness rather than total madness, which is quite a relief to myself and my nearest and dearest. I can now also perhaps find a little time to post about some of the things I've been doing recently. 

Giant's evil side

Giant's good side

One of the projects I've been working on has involved making three giant puppets to go down to Chester for their Winter Watch parade. Following on from the Pageant in Carlisle over the summer Impecunious, an artists collective of which I am  a part, made a bid to the City Council to fund a project to make some puppets to go down to Chester. The aim of the project was to work with some of the participants from the summer project to help build their skills and confidence and to keep the momentum from the summer project going.

Polar Bear

We based our puppets on a local folk story about the Carle of Carlisle; a fearsome giant that Sir Gawain of Arthurian legend lifts out of enchantment. We chose to make a giant, a bear and a boar. As the project developed so did the characters of the puppets. For example, the bear became an icy polar bear. The puppets are made by first creating a willow frame which is then covered with latex and tissue paper. The puppets are then painted and costumed. 

Boar (made by Ali McCaw)


One of the participants suggested that the giant should have two faces, a good side and a bad side as in the story he at first appears quite evil but once the enchantment is lifted turns out to be quite a good character. We ran with this idea making a giant that can face each way. Costuming the giant was quite a challenge because of the size and the fact that he needed two fronts but I think overall we were quite successful.

We showcased the puppets at The EDS North Hub Christmas Fayre at the Old Fire Station in Carlisle on Saturday and the puppets head down to Chester for the parade on Thursday. Let's hope the weather is fine for them!

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