Ever since I began making puppets, the best reactions have always been “I want one.” Well, now I can finally say, “Here, have one!”
This week Puppet Heap releases Mother Hubbard Among Others, our first line of hand puppets designed for everyone. These first six characters, Mother Hubbard, Toby (her dog), Lucy (the cat and the fiddle), The Constable, The Doctor and the Cabby, are the first in a series of puppets which populate the town of Spudbottom.
Now, I love toys and puppets, and I’m always on the lookout for something interesting to add to my collection. I am particularly fascinated with certain styles of traditional puppets from around the world. But the authentic ones are, of course, individual works of art, made by hand, usually by artists in the far reaches of who-knows-where. So, they are rare and expensive.
On the other hand, there are toy puppets everywhere, but most of those are so bland and generic that, well, they’re hard to appreciate.
So, while I wanted our puppets to be be accessible and affordable, I also wanted to make something that would have a bit of that unique, hand-crafted feeling of those traditional puppets. I wanted them to have their stories written all over their faces. I guess I want to share what I love about puppets with everyone else.
To me, what’s cool about puppets is that they are objects that embody narrative. I am always amazed at how such a simple thing can carry so much meaning and on such a primal level. In this age of interactive, multi-touch, computer generated, virtual, augmented everything (and don’t get me wrong, I love that stuff), it’s kind of great to put a puppet on your hand and freak out the guy sitting next to you. What’s fascinating is that he’ll probably ask the puppet to leave, not you...
Puppets. The original interactive, digital, wireless entertainment device.
I hope you have as much fun playing with them as we do.