"Hi Jan (trouble with your email)
I don't know if you remember me from the old Terrahawks days - You used to live down the road from me in Slough and you used to give me a lift into Bray Studios once I had moved into slough (prior to that I was…"
I have thought there was something magical about puppets since the age of 9. Initially marionettes, rod puppets, puppet theatre, but then Trinka, puppet films, building puppets, sets, props, everything.
I still think there is something magical about puppets 51 years later.
What First Got Me Interested in Puppetry
My father's interest in Puppets and Model Theatres, which he got from visiting the exhibitions of The British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild in London. He showed me a puppet marionette he had made from papier mache and at the age of nine I was hooked.
My Puppetry (or Puppet) Hero
Jan Bussell (Hogarth Puppets)
Jim Henson. (Muppets, all Feature Films)
Gerry Anderson for the technical stuff.
John Wright. (Little Angel Theatre, London)
Eric Bramall. (Harlequin Puppet Theatre, Wales)
Ray DaSilva. (Founder, Norwich Puppet Theatre)
If I Were a Puppet, I'd Be...
Kermit, or any puppet that isn't sure of itself and is sure of itself - probably at the same time.
More About Me:
Worked as puppet operator on Gerry Anderson TV Series Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, feature films Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6, later as puppet operator and maker on Terrahawks, and on two sequences in Jim Henson's feature film Labyrinth.
Started my own company, Romany Puppets, touring puppets to schools in England in 1972, and later in 1975 joined DaSilva Puppet Theatre touring puppets to theatres throughout Great Britain. Rejoined DaSilva Company in 1979 when Norwich Puppet Theatre prepared to open.
Found puppet films by Trinka interesting when I was a teenager, and have made several puppet films of my own, including 'The Little Matchgirl' and 'What The Moon Saw' from stories by Hans Andersen, and 'The Appraisal' about the futility of working in a factory. Was puppeteer in March 2008 on Specsavers Thunderbirds Commercial, and in April 2008 on Electrolux 'Going Home' Commercial, using socks flying on strings, no CGI in sight!
Christmas 2008 making puppets for a TV series and sets for another puppet film, The Emperor's Nightingale, from the story by Hans Andersen.
Hey... Marmalade Kitten, how are you doing? I've checked the "janimation" website quite often and knew that you made progress with "The Emperor's Nightingale". The puppets are beautiful, so delicate and expensive looking! I cannot wait to see the next ones!
"...I just wanted to ask a couple of questions. Do you think marionettes such as the Cat, (about 7 inches long), a Dog and various other animal puppets that I occasionally make, would sell in America? I know Britain where I am has a tradition of marionettes, I don't know about America?"
There may be a market for nice quality marionettes in the US, but the rub is that I don't think the average person would consider paying more than $30 - $50 for one. If you can figure out a way to make that cost-effective - please share LOL!
"And, what about starting a marionette group on PuppetHub? I have always been interested in making and using marionettes."
Sure, it sounds like a great idea. If you set one up, I'd be happy to join.
OK, I have several children's series ideas, and have written first episode scripts for these series. Also an idea for an adult puppet series. All mostly muppet-type manipulation. Let's go from there.
that's awesome! no, i don't get bored about technical stuff. i want to get into servos actually and more machines like using pulleys and gears. right now i like using springs, but decided i want more control over speed while moving things. do u use physics and math when u make ur puppets? i try to avoid math at all costs, so i just experiment and see what works. i have tons of ideas for really neat puppets but not ready to make them yet bc i wouldn't know how to make them until i learn more about machines.