Puppet Carving Course
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Puppet Carving Course

Presented by: John Roberts

Sun 4th Feb 2018

Price: £380.00 - £400.00

Payment by installments is available - contact Theatre for details.

Running time: 10am-5pm each day, Sun 4th-Fri 9th February

Ages: 18+

Spend a week being creative and productive... and under the expert guidance of John Roberts carve and create your own marionette (string puppet) to take home with you.



For you to learn how to make a carved wooden puppet.Work from prototype drawings of a male or female marionette, with the aim to have a fully working, 'standard' puppet by the end of the week. You can add your own individually to the face, hands and detailedshaping of the body, but the basic shape will be set, so as to get into carving as quickly as possible. Alternatively carve any type of wooden puppet of your own design… as long as it is human or any two legged creation!The days will be as intensive or relaxed as you choose to make it..... there will be beginners and experiencedmakers... but by keeping the numbers down to 6 at most - individual needs will be catered for. Each person'slevel of skill, aim and speed-of- working can be accommodated. You could aim to make a complete puppet ...which is a lot to do within the week... or you can work at a more leisurely pace. You should at least go awaywith all the bits and knowledge to complete a truly unique and beautiful puppet.This is a course for adults: not for anyone under 18 years old.Aspects that will be covered:Design of a puppet; Safe handling of tools; Working with wood; Sharpening the chisels; Constructiontechniques that produce a puppet that really works!

Method.The methods used are versatile, fast and require minimum tools or equipment...... you can use this methodwithout the need for a bench, vice or electrical tools.... using only a sturdy table and some hand tools.It is unique combination of Chinese and European puppet techniques.i.e. Freehand carving using very fine chisels is done in China with no pre-design or cutting out of the wood.John has combined this very fast technique with the more considered method used throughout Europe -designing a puppet first on paper.... transferring this to the wood .... using a saw to cut accurate profiles beforecarving begins.All tools will be provided. Some specialist tools will be available for sale at the end of the week.

Provided: All tools, wood and other odds and ends will be supplied.There is a limit to the size of puppet: 12inch to 24inch. If you want a larger puppet please let us know so anyadditional materials cost can be worked out.John Roberts must be one of the most experienced course leaders in Europe having run carving coursesevery year since 1980 and the ONLY non-Chinese person to learn traditional Chinese string puppet secretsduring 7 months study in China. He has run workshops, internationally - in Sweden, Zimbabwe, America andJapan. His puppets are some of the finest in Britain.

A performance of John’s work is being performed on Sat 10 th Feb: THE TIN FOREST.

Further Information

Recommended for ages 18+


  • Adult: £400
  • Concession: £380

Dates & Times:

You can book offline by calling the box office on 01603 629 921 or emailing info@puppettheatre.co.uk

You can book tickets online for this event via the UEA ticket office*, or by phone through our box office.

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*Please note that an additional booking fee will be added to the ticket price