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Submitted by: Nikki Ryan, Emmanuel Catholic College - Western Australia
Unit: Ceramics - Sculpture - Puppets
Grade level: Middle school (adaptable to lower grades) - Examples are 6th grade
Present examples of witches and wizard images from film and literature.
Present PowerPoint of witches and wizards dolls and marionettes found online. Show other examples of fine art dolls and marionettes.
Demonstrate steps - discuss proportion in puppetry - head larger in proportion for emphasis.
Demonstrate/discuss various costume possibilities.
Newsprint, Versa Clay, Clay Modeling Tools, Canvas Rolls, wood boards, Pottery Needles, straws, (or Kemper Clay Drill) white cord (black could be used), fish line, ½ inch x 4 inch wood sticks (for control bars), assorted Fabric (Felt can be used too), black Pellon (or felt), Yarn Assortment, ribbons
Puppet Pattern - Enlarge to desired size for student use - Click for larger image
Books/images of witches and wizards - images from film and literature - images of witches/wizards dolls and puppets. (See Resources below) Pattern for puppet, pattern for clothes (patterns help to make cutting of clothes go much more smoothly)
Students generate art works to communicate ideas
ART SKILLS AND PROCESSES:
Students use skills, techniques and technologies of the arts
Skills and Processes:
Elements and Principles:
Creativity and Originality:
ARTS IN SOCIETY:
Students understand the role of arts in society
ASSESSMENT - ARTS RESPONSES:
Students use aesthetic understanding to respond to and evaluate the arts
Assess on craftsmanship - creativity and originality - proportions - embellishments - costume design and accessories
Heroes, Super Heroes, Mythical/fantasy creatures, Story telling (each student make a character for a student written play).
From Doll Artist Karen Smith:
I would think the easiest way to make a witch costume would be to fold a length of fabric in half that is as wide as the length of arms if they were outstretched (select a tightly woven fabric)... from arm to arm ... and as long as you need... doubled. Make a small hole in the fold for the head... add a small slit in front until you can stick the head through the hole. Then cut sleeves by cutting a triangle shape ... Sleeve wider at the bottom ... going up toward the arm pits (leaving enough fabric at top of arms to put hand and elbow through). Allow plenty of fabric to fit around the body - and tie in at the waist. Sew under arm seam and side seam. Tie the waist with a bit of extra fabric or ribbon. Cut the sleeve area into small wedges the lower edge - spikey. Do the same to the bottom of the robe as high as needed. It would be primitive... but I think effective enough for a puppet. Of course it should be out of black fabric to be "witchy"... and the hat could be made out of a donut shaped piece of black foam or paper or painted cardboard with a cone shape out of the same stuff glued to it (try black Pellon or black felt)
The magician's costume could be done the same way except the I wouldn't cut the slits in sleeves or hem and I would make it out of blue fabric and add stars and moons out of yellow. Add a wand... bend the hat tip... and you are in gear.
Note from Judy Decker: When I did marionettes - I had the kids all tie their puppets together using a figure template under it (on 8 ½ x 14 paper) - Since all of the bodies were the same size block of wood. Using the template - they got the arms and legs the same length (close enough anyways). Students had done their own drawings when they planned the puppets and got their lesson in figure proportion that way. They all understood the need for consistency in assembling their puppets.
Make one pattern that will work for a witches dress - or a wizard's robe. Adapt it to fit with different tie belts. Wizard would wear a slimmer gown under the robe. You can get some black lace to make shawls for the witches (cut triangle shape and tie in front - draping over shoulders. Get a parent volunteer to help with the sewing if you decide to machine stitch them all. Student should be able to hand stitch the sides - but it will be time consuming. A cape can be made from a semi-circle - with neck area cut out. Gather up at the neck with a running stitch and glue a ¼ inch ribbon tie around to have a bow in front.
Note from Ken Rohrer: Harry Potter has been a very successful book and movie franchise and students have a high interest in the subject. Puppets or marionettes could mimic characters from the book and movie. See how one puppet troop does an hilarious skit on Harry Potter with the Potter Puppet Pals below:
Making and Manipulating Marionettes - This is a gorgeously printed state-of-the-art book on marionette making. This book is current and is bound to become a collectible book. Be sure and get this one before it is out of print - I doubt many were made. Great stuff on trick marionettes, as well.
The Complete Book of Marionettes - Entertaining guide provides all the information needed to construct puppets and puppet theaters, including valuable advice on making heads, bodies, wigs, and puppet clothing, manipulating the puppet, setting up and furnishing a stage, lighting scenes, and building miniature pieces of furniture. Complete script for Beauty and the Beast. Over 200 illustrations.
The Hand-Carved Marionettes of Gustave Baumann : Share Their World - Famous colour woodcut printmaker, Gustave Baumann was a superb woodcarver who was captivated by puppet theatre. In the 1930s, Baumann carved a collection of marionettes for plays he wrote about New Mexico's cultural heritage. This entertaining book tells the story of Baumann's theatre, describing in detail the plays, sets, and costuming, and highlights the extraordinary wood-carving artistry of this master.
Note from Ken Rohrer: When I was an art teacher in the 80's, I was fortunate to teach a very gifted student who is now a professional puppeteer. In 2012 he had a show in New York called Lunatic Cunning. He put up a preview of the show on YouTube and you can see the preview below:
Sample Professional Marionettes
DVD: Don Giovanni: Salzburg Marionette Theater - See an actual performance of a marionette theater presentation in Salzburg.
Isobel & Vaughan Tyrer are well known doll artists. Their website is no longer in existence and it appears they are retired. However, their dolls are still sold on the web. See Gandalf as an example of their work.
Canadian Doll Artists Association- They have member galleries with many doll images.
Dollmakers- This site offers a discussion group and other dollmaking resources.
Michelle Bradshaw - Gandalf (Archive of site)
Marionette Gotsi- This is a Greek marionette theater. You can see images of their puppets.
Valerie Bunnell - Mixed media - ceramic figurative sculpture - rich in textures. These are dolls that are wired together. I can see them inspiring a lesson for middle school and above.
If you really get into puppeteering, you can join a guild. Check this page for one near you.
Google Image Search - Witch Marionette | Wizard Marionette | Wizard doll | Witch doll Witches - Wizard searches will bring up lots of images for you - don't let kids do the search themselves. A Google search for Ceramic Doll will bring up many images. You might also want to do a marionette Google search.