Last month I was lucky enough to be invited along on a trip to Liverpool to learn how to make Giant Puppets. The trip was organised by Rachel Parkinson from Leicester North Methodist circuit who had been very impressed by seeing the huge characters at Greenbelt last year. The company “In Another Place” were all wonderful people generously giving us their time and patiently showing the five of us every last step that goes into the creation of their ‘giants.’
Here are a few images from our day.
It all started with some very messy Papier Mache as a stuffed bin liner is transformed into a head!!!
Ta da! …Here’s one they prepared earlier being admired by Rachel.
Step two involved getting very messy yet again as we learnt the very special muti-layered cardboard technique. Apparently this makes the card so strong you can build beds out of it!
The extra strong cardboard is perfect for creating hands – complete with curved fingers.
Creating the frame was next on the agenda as we learnt how to fix pieces of wood and lengths of cloth together to form a device that can be comfortably strapped onto a puppeteer.
Their idea of creating a neutral basic garment for the puppet which can be dressed up with colourful overcoats and scarves gives the puppet the possibility of having multiple personalities.
The rectangle in the front is a mesh ‘hole’ for the puppeteer to see through.
We found ‘Mary’ relaxing in the puppet store.
Then it was our go as we all got strapped into the puppets and had a chance to release our inner child as we made them dance around the room, bow and shake hands with each other.
It was a fantastic day and I can’t thank our hosts enough.
You can find out more about them at www.inanotherplace.com
The plan is to make a whole ‘Nativity’ of Giant Puppets before next Christmas which can be used as a form of joyous outreach in various outdoor locations around Leicester. If you would like to be involved in making this happen please get in contact with Ruth by emailing her at [email protected] or by leaving her a note in the Bishop Street Church office.