Gallery Insider: Creative Saturdays

It’s a Saturday afternoon. Snow is falling steadily outside, but the gallery doors are open. Card tables are set up with paper mache, thread, and fabric for the weekly children’s puppet making class.

Starting with a drawing, the students have free reign to design their very own puppets from scratch. Each student designs at their own pace. This week, some students are finishing their paper mache, while others are sewing the covering.

“It’s fun creating things,” said Lily, who’s in the process of making a flying bunny puppet. By the end of the class she has the head and the body of her puppet sewn. She’s just waiting for the next class to piece them together.

Meanwhile, student Catherine has her sights set on making a wizard puppet. Last time, she made a robot puppet. According to Catherine, her favorite part is in the customization. “We like when it’s sewing, glue gunning…attaching the cool details.”

For workshop teacher Rachel Gates, puppetry is a unique blend of artistic expression. Rachel grew up creating puppets; she’s been designing them since she was 8 years old.

“I think Puppetry is the perfect meshing of dance and sculpture coming together,” said Rachel.

Rachel demonstrates cutting the thread at an arm’s length as she teaches student Elan how to thread a needle. 

Student work: On left, Elan pins a pattern piece to her fabric for her pig puppet. On the right is Lily’s flying bunny puppet.

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