Where has the summer gone?!
I can't believe it's June since I blogged. Then again, yes, I can.
Here is a picture of the 4 fabulous marionettes that my summer mini-class at Benton Elementary School made. I taught the class as part of the summer rec program. We met for an hour and a half each morning (I arranged to spread a day of vacation across the week, so that I could do the workshop during the day.)
Only 4 kids signed up, but that proved to be just right. They had to apply Paper Clay (a papier mache product) to heads, hands and feet that I pre-cut. After a night of drying in our garage where the temperature was toasty, the body parts were dry. They sanded and painted. They chose the fabric for the bodies and I sewed the bodies (trunks), which they stuffed (with pennies in the gottom to weight down the butts). We made the arms and legs out of toilet paper rolls that we rolled tighter and covered with fabric.
They had to sew the arms and legs to the body. "I CAN'T SEW!' they wailed. But they sewed.
I made the wooden controls and then allowed the last day for the complicated process of stringing. I pre-cut the fishline and even knotted certain lengths ahead of time and that really worked well.
The end result: a Cowardly Lion and Tinman (they couldn't talk the other 2 into making the Scarecrow and Dorothy), a Princess and a Dallas Cowboy.
If they've survived the last couple of weeks (the puppets, that is), I hope they'll walk with me in the Labor Day parade.
I view the whole experience as a test run for workshops to be done at the opera house. I think adults would enjoy this project. Also, it would be good to have more time (we were pretty rushed every day) and do it as a weeklong Puppet Camp.