This spring we made some puppets for a community theatre production of The Wizard of Oz. The Ottawa School of Theatre’s production at the Shenkman Arts Centre will feature over 100 performers—and three puppets. We had a lot of fun making these puppets.
If you’d like to see bigger images of the puppets, we’ve set up a little gallery here.
Can you tell how John used these ….
The Tin Man
- A coffee can
- A martini glass, upside down with the stem cut off
- Four spoons
- A bicycle washer (part of a brake)
- A fitting from an old lamp
- A funnel from Preston Hardware
- Aluminum tubing given to us by our puppet mentor Felix Mirbt 40 years ago
- Four large jewelry beads
- Big lug nut that John found by the side of the road many years ago
- Shock cord
- A metal truncated cone shape modeled on a paper cup
…. To make these?
- The head
- The neck
- The shoulders
- The nose
- The mouth
- Knees and elbows
- A way to hold leg parts together
- Leg and arm pieces
- The chest
- Hands and feet
I made the Lion puppet from fun fur fabric that was given to us by another puppet mentor, Noreen Young. I reworked the pattern that I used for Moustache, our cat puppet from The Flying Canoe. I made the body the way I make bodies for all of our puppets—cutting out rectangles, first in paper then in fabric: the torso, the arms, the legs, the feet, the hands. I bought the mane at Fabricland – in the ribbon department. They sell fluffy fur in long strips, perfect for making puppet manes!
Scarecrows are often made by stuffing a pillow case with straw, so I sewed a small pillow case shape and stuffed it with fiberfill. I sewed bits of raffia onto long strips of the same fabric to look like straw. The hat is like a witch’s hat, similar to the hat in the original book illustrations. I put the mouth on at an odd angle, so that he could be happy/sad/perplexed depending on the situation. The coat was a Salvation Army Thrift Store find—it’s just like the coat that the actor playing the Scarecrow will wear in the show. It was a child sized shirt, put I cut it down to become a puppet sized coat.