Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inspiration Found Online: The Puppets

Let's get inspired, shall we?  After looking around the Internet for resource (more on that coming soon), I have found several videos and pictures of marionettes and productions that I have found absolutely inspiring.

The Rose Marionette

While built in 1942 and not a medieval marionette by any stretch of the imagination; this marionette shows amazing human body expressions.  Notice the intricate body movements that make the marionette appear to be a real person.  The Rose Marionette is a gorgeous example of stunning craftsmanship.  When I envision our plans for Stage 3 marionettes, this is what I see.

While I am sure that the controls are modified from the basic "airplane" style, it is the joints that help add to the realism of this marionette.  Notice how the head moves forward, back, and from side to side.  Additionally, play close attention to the hand movements and how the wrist joints work to create the illusion of reality.

How The Marionette Comes Alive

An amazing example of how wooden marionettes are created, from conception to stringing.  While The Batty Puppeteers are not at this stage of construction yet, however, this video makes a welcome addition to the inspiration list.

Note the control mechanism and how the joints are created; it looks like they were pegged with wood, a concept that I never put a lot of thought into until now.  Although the clothes are sewn directly onto the marionette (a technique that The Batty Puppeteers may or may not do), the whole video shows what needs to be accomplished and in what order to create these Stage 3 marionettes.

Marionette, Italian c1500 by Matheus Bane

This descriptive write-up on Italian rod puppets is full of inspiration.  The author goes into moderate detailed research on types and styles of marionettes, and documents his creation of his rod puppet.  The real treasure is in his notations on the creation of the rod puppet itself.  Additionally, the detailed images of the joints of the author's rod puppet is a good option to incorporate when working on additional marionettes in the near future.  The link to his article can be found here (PDF).

Popular Science:  The Art of Making Lifelike Marionette Bodies (Feb, 1936)

This was a find that completely astonished me.  Back in the 1930's, marionettes made a huge comeback in America.  As such, the vast majority of resource materials, such as "The Beaton Bible", come from this time period.  The article encompasses a lot of information from construction to stringing and is a good source of inspiration with all of the pictures supplied.   The link to this article can be found here.

Inspired Yet?

I know that I am.  The goal is to progress to the next level; to develop and create an intricate marionette that is pleasing to the eyes and functional.  Observing what other people have created and catching glimpses of how they do it will further my ability to create the next level of marionettes for The Batty Puppeteers.

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