We spent an idyllic week in Devon: one half of Thingumajig Theatre had a camping holiday catching up on reading, knitting and beach walks while the other half took a week-long puppet carving class taught by John Roberts of Puppet Craft.
I’ve always loved the look and feel of a wood carved puppet but never felt I had the time or the right tools to use this technique for a show. I studied some mask carving in Bali in 1999–it was a fantastic experience but I didn’t leave with the confidence to carry it on into my puppet making.
I’ve heard about John’s carving classes and have been inspired by several friends who have taken his classes when he taught them at Horse and Bamboo. So this year, I finally made the time to sign up and I’m so glad I did!
We had a full on week with a lovely group of artists from throughout the country. John was a very open and patient hands-on teacher, stopping to teach whenever one of the students came to a new step. The best part was to be in the right environment, with the right tools, with encouraging people and the time to experiment and learn. Such a great use of a week!
My only regret is that we’ve been so full on since the class, I haven’t had time to finish my Monkey puppet and try out my new skills!