We had the pleasure this week of running a puppet making workshop right here in Ann Arbor! We focused on the Bunraku style of puppetry, which originated in Japan and is known for its naturalistic movements. The slides and resources for this workshop, including the instructions for puppet making, can be found here.
We started out making tabletop puppets, to get used to the process and to experiment with Bunraku-style movement – focusing on the breath, focus, and weight of the puppet.
These puppets were made from printer paper and invisible tape, with optional paper clips to help control the arms.
After that, we moved on to making near-life size puppets, this time using newsprint paper and masking tape.
Our participants made quick work of the large puppets and soon enough we were acting out skits with the Bunraku style of puppetry, which requires three people to control one puppet. From business men on the moon to nurses in a 1920s speakeasy, the puppets began to come to life!
Now these puppets can take a well-deserved break after their morning of hard work. Thanks for everybody who came out, we had blast working with you all! Again, the resources can be found here and if you are interested in attending our other workshops this summer, they can be found here.