Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Straw Bear....erm...Man?...King?

I decided to start work on a new glove puppet head. I found inspiration in a coffee cup! The conical shape and the wavy lines made me think it would make a perfect head base for my Whittlesea Straw Bear. Obviously it's not very bear-like, but that was my inspiration. He's based more on my Straw Bear money box ( still unfired and on a shelf!), you can read more about the Whittlesea Straw Bear if you follow that link too. Or go directly to this link Whittlesea Straw Bear. I'm not sure it qualifies for the artlog puppet challenge, as its not so much a folk tale or legend, but a folk custom. Even though the Earl of Rone is also in the Mummer tradition, it does have a little story attached to it. I wanted to make him anyway, as a partner/pair with the Earl. The raffia strips have worked really well on him. I'm going to make the body with the same cushion cover fabric as the Rone , but then tie more raffia to it with the coarse string. I obviously like these dead, staring eyes! They just keep happening even though I'd painted in more naturalistic ones first. I might still try a nice blue on them, touch of baby blue would be nice. Anyway, over to you and your Worzel Gummage comments!

Amazing where a coffee cup can lead you!

very rough paintwork to sit under all the raffia

trial strands to see if my thinking would work, rope tache attached

nearly there, just needed a few finishing raffia touches
and some rope eyebrows.

an older drawing, which acted as a loose starting point.


  1. Inspiration comes from the oddest places. A potter friend did a huge series based on animals on her shower curtain. Needless to say her partner and guests were a tad grouchy when the curtain disappeared into her studio!

    1. That must have been a good curtain. Sometimes you've just got to follow your nose.

  2. Great puppet. And absolutely it's going into the Puppet Challenge. Folk-customs are steeped in folklore, and so it's right in the flow.

    1. Thanks Clive. Good to hear it now belongs with the challenge. Now i have an urge to scale up and just make full size costumes! looking at the Wilder Mann book along with Axel Hoedt's Once A Year, has really given me the urge. Just need a reason... don't I?