Bunraku Dobby

by Vicky on June 29, 2011

For our One Planet, Many Puppets workshop on rod puppets, I wanted to make a Bunraku style puppet so the kids could try working cooperatively with other puppeteers to bring a puppet to life.

Inspired by that most excellent book, The Most Excellent Book of How to Be a Puppeteer,  by Roger Lade (which includes directions on making a Bunraku style puppet), I talked Stuart into building it with me.  Stuart has a much higher level of craft when it comes to engineering things!

We were quite happy with our Dobby puppet (the house elf from several of the Harry Potter books).

Several of the kids took turns helping me to make Dobby walk around on the table.  None of us had any experience with this style of puppetry, so our attempts probably weren’t all that lifelike!

Still, it’s amazing how the size of this type of puppet, and its joints, give a distinct illusion of life when it is just placed in a sitting or standing position.

Not bad…

…considering that it’s constructed from paper plates, paper towel tubes, cereal boxes, some corrugated cardboard from a box, plastic egg carton cups, duct tape, string, and an old dish towel!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss Pippi August 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

As a puppeteer, this puppet is fabulous! Way to be creative!

Vicky August 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Dobby sends you his thanks and a maroon-and-yellow sock that he knitted himself. And thanks from me, too, Miss Pippi!

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