This course has concessions available

New: Puppet Making

Build a puppet and learn how to operate it. The course will offer a formal introduction to basic techniques in making and operating different types of puppets. Open to all levels of experience but some experience of puppetry is advantageous

Available Classes:

Who is this course for

This course is aimed at those wanting to learn the process of designing, making and operating their own puppets. Each term using mixed materials and varied techniques, students will create a different style of puppet while developing a basic knowledge of the theory and history associated with that particular style. You will learn basic operating skills in order to bring your puppet to life and be shown work by contemporary artists to inspire you outside of the classroom. This course is aimed at people with an interest in puppetry and is open to all levels of experience but some art or puppetry experience would be advantageous.

What does this course cover

The course teaches how to make a different style of puppet each term. Students will examine the history, techniques and methods associated with each form of puppetry while learning about how to use different materials and techniques to create their own.

Focusing on exploring individual style within the making process, students will develop their understanding of the basic principles of puppetry and how they can be applied in their own practice. By working both individually and as a group they will learn traditional and contemporary making techniques, how to use tools and materials and the importance of breath, gravity, focus, tension and performer presence when operating a puppet.

By the end of each term participants will come away with their own puppet, a better working knowledge of puppet making and the basic principles of how to manipulate them. Overall the course is designed to show the wider potential of puppetry and encourage participants to use what they've learnt to explore the art of puppetry.

What will it be like

Students will learn through mixed techniques. They will watch demonstrations in making and participate in hands on workshops in movement and animation throughout the course, as well as being given hand-outs with information to look at between lessons. Students will be expected to work individually to design and practice with their puppets, as well as working in groups to learn how to explore how to give thought, emotion and physicality to a puppet. I will offer individual support and advice on each student's progress and we will also work as a class to discuss ideas and give feedback.

What else do you need to buy or do

Each term will require a different set of materials, which will be provided by the college - students are welcome to bring their own additional materials.

Term one: Marionettes (string puppets)

Wooden dowl
Brass hooks
Metal coat hangers
Air drying clay
Screw eyes

Term two: Tabletop puppetry
Wooden balls
Blue foam
Saw blades
Sand paper

Term three: Shadow puppetry
Plastic weld
Black sticky back plastic
Coloured cellophane
Split pins
Garden Sticks

What this course could lead to

Students can use this course as a way of determining if they would like to pursue their further development in puppet making or performance. The course aims to allow students to have the tools to develop their own work after the course has finished and students will be encouraged to do so. Information on additional courses in the UK and abroad will be given throughout the duration of the course as well as individual advice on how students can develop their skills further if they would like to.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’