For this week’s video (8 minutes in length), we dove into the world of the performing arts to show you the very interesting process of how marionettes are made. Did you know that there are between ten and fifteen strings for each marionette? The entire process really is a work of art and takes several weeks just to create one puppet.
As you’ll see in the video, the first step to creating a puppet is sketching out a drawing. Then, they sculpt the head out of clay. But that’s too heavy for a puppet so they create a plaster cast and let it harden. Later, they break open the cast and pour neoprene liquid which, when dried, turns into a light weight plastic. With the head complete, they proceed to glue on the hair or fur.
Following that, they create the body out of wood pieces and Styrofoam. Wooden dowels are used for the arms and legs and are cut precisely for the joints for added movement.
With the puppet nearly done, it’s then sent off to a costume designer where the clothes are sewn on. Finally, the strings are attached and a “control box” is set up to make the marionette move.
While this may not exactly seem like manufacturing to you – truth is, someone’s gotta make ’em – these things don’t just fall out of the sky. If you’ve got a creative spark in you and like the performing arts, maybe a future in costume design or set building is for you?
Thanks once again to South Carolina Educational Television for providing us this video.
Click here to watch this week’s video: how marionette’s are made.
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