Who Wants To Be a Puppeteer?

Puppets and muppets, why we love them, and how to make a diy puppet.

Puppets are the most "direct" kind of mechanical toys in the meaning that energy is directly transferred from your hands to parts of the toy. Marionettes do use strings or rods but still there are rarely any gears or cams like in the cam toys. So hardly any mechanical toy can beat the puppet by simplicity. And regardless of this the puppets are cool and loved by almost everyone.

Most often the puttpets are used by puppeteers to make puppet theatres. Of course plays can be made at home with homemade toys and theatre as well. So if you ever dreamed to be a puppeteer but never found easily maniplating person, you can try using a puppet :)

Indigenous Puppets I

Types of Puppets

If you never paid too much attention to puppets, now it's their turn to surprise you. Because there are a lot of interesting, weird or funny types and modifications:

  • Mouth puppets with movable mouth are maybe the first thing you would think about when someone says "puppet".
  • Then come the sock puppets which are kind of mouth muppets but are made of soft materials, often socks.
  • The Muppets created by the great Jim Henson deserve their own category.
  • Rod puppets are used a lot by the professional puppeteers in theathers and even TV shows. They use rods to move the toy.
  • Marionettes are moved by strings, from the top.
  • Parade puppets are large - usually human-size - and used in parades, street carnivals, protests and more.
  • Hand/glove puppets where usually the different fingers of the puppeteer are used to move different parts of the toy.
  • Finger puppets use only one finger each and have a lot less moving parts, if any at all.
  • Japanese shadow puppets are used for specific Japanese shadow play.
  • Vietnamese underwater puppets used in the underwater theatre.
  • Burnaku are table-top puppets used for table-top play.
  • Turkish shadow puppets known also as karagozis.
  • Animatronics, also known as robotic puppets.
  • The shadow figures which are glided behind a screen.
  • Therapeutic puppets used for different kinds of medical and psychical therapies.

And of course I might be missing some. As you can see there is quite an evolition and no boredom in the world of puppets.

DIY Puppets - Can you make a puppet yourself?

Of course you can. There are a million ways to do it. Or at least a few hundreds. Let me suggest you a few nice guides. You can use them as inspiration. Or you can follow step-by-step. Choose yourself:

So which kind of puppets do you like most?

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