All Significant Object’s puppets are made specially for a specific production. We work with different puppet designers and bring in teams of puppet makers who have the skills required to fulfil the design. Because we have expertise in puppeteering and direction of the puppetry, the puppets that leave our workshop have the benefit of being played with and tested. Inviting expert puppeteers to come and ‘test-drive’ the puppets as they are being developed is part of our process.
Making a puppet will usually start with drawings, which will sometimes be followed by concept sculpture or a maquette of the mechanical elements. We will use a combination of traditional joints or mechanisms and new ideas designed especially for the project. We would usually construct a prototype to test the feel and weight of the mechanical elements before engaging on the main build. This might involve skilled work with welding, wood- and metalwork, and sculpture in foam, clay or unlikely materials. We are often called upon to devise ways to bond and connect objects in ways that are lightweight, flexible and robust. The design of a puppet is about finding something that will work for the audience and the puppeteer and allow them to work together to imagine a character. The construction of a puppet is a balance between strength and lightness. Where we can’t accommodate a process in our workshop, we will bring in outside fabricators – for example, precision CNC cutting, aluminium welding or 3D printing.
Some of the makers and artists we have worked with include Daisy Beattie, Zak Bernard, Tim Blazdell, David Cauchi, Josie Corben, Monica Corder, Ed Dimbleby, Amber Donovan, Helen Foan, Seonaid Goody, Craig Guinan, Pip Herbst, Charlie Hoare, Matt Hutchinson, Jessica Jones, Vikki King, Jo Lakin, Christine Rippmann, Bryony Rumble, Lara Scott, Yoav Segal, Yvonne Stone, Claire Strickland, Hattie Thomas, Emma Toft, Sarah Vigars, Paul Vincett, Tracy Waller, and Rosie Williams.