If you are interested in adding mechanisms to your puppets this workshop is a lesson in how to approach that endeavor. This not a “how to” workshop as much as a workshop in “how to begin thinking about” creating your own unique mechanisms. We will explore various systems, mechanisms and controls for rod and shadow puppets including: jointing, rods, universal head controls, materials and basic principles of overall movement in these puppets. We will touch on eye and mouth mechanisms. I will share systems and explore the materials and systems available. Bring your own favorite mechanism trick to share. The goal is to foster the inner engineer in every puppet maker.
Hobey Ford has performed his unique brand of puppetry on stages around the globe, from Calgary to Singapore, and from the Spoleto Festival to the Kennedy Center.
His performances incorporate a variety of puppetry styles including Bunraku, rod, marionettes, shadow puppetry. His “Foamies” are a unique type of puppet carved from blocks of foam rubber. After studying each animal’s characteristic movements, Ford designs various control mechanisms to make the puppets move themselves in a lifelike manner. Ford is also known for his miniature rod puppetry. Drawing on his art, woodworking and basic engineering skills, the puppeteer designs and crafts these puppets. He employs complicated mechanisms and careful manipulation to bring his puppets to life. Ford is the inventor of the Peepers Puppet, a set of eyes that turn your hand into a puppet. A Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, he uses puppetry for arts integration combining his art with school curriculum. Today, Ford is based in the mountains of North Carolina near Asheville.