Last week, I taught a morning class on making marionettes for the Benton School summer rec program.
Here are the results! In four two-hour sessions, each kid made a marionette. I had the heads, hands and feet roughed out in styrofoam balls and styrofoam pieces. They had to squish on the Paper Clay and then add a sealer and paint. They made the arms and legs out of toilet paper tubes. When they chose their characters, I sewed the bodies for them at home. They stuffed them and glued matching fabric to the arms and legs.
They hardest part for them, I think, was sewing the arms and legs to the shoulders and "thighs." And the stringing. I precut and (and knotted some of) the strings and made the wooden controllers at home. I set aside the last morning just for the stringing.
This workshop has a lot of possibilities and I scheduled it last winter for 2 Saturdays at the opera house, but no one signed up. Apparently it was too big a time committment. (Paper Clay needs at least one day to air dry before painting, so it can't be done in one day.)
Maybe this winter I will offer it again but set it up as many "open studio" work days and maybe people will be able to work it into their schedules. I'm open to suggestions.