Working with Puppets

By Donovan Zimmerman, Puppeteer, Into the Woods

Here is Milky White at my studio in Saxapahaw in early stages. I started with the sculpting of the head over a clay mold then papier mache’. While the mache’ dried I wove reeds into a body shape to later be wrapped in cloth.

I wanted to make her look under fed and somewhat woebegone so I made rib and hip shapes more pronounced.

Later, I added eyelashes, paint and other details to bring Milky to life.

This is the Chicken that lays the golden egg nearing completion at my studio.The body is a a stuffed cloth shape then covered in feathers. The head is newspaper and tape with cloth attached to a stick which the Jack controls. The beak is made of leather and the eye is glass to give it a reflective quality. It later got a pupil to help it look more life like as well.

The crows came together from pieces shown here. Head, wings, feet all made separately then attached with a mixture of sewing and gluing. This is a view of the slightly chaotic and very messy business o puppet making.

Donovan working with the Black Bird Puppet

To see more of Donovan’s work, check out Paperhand Puppet Intervention.

Come see Into the Woods and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at PlayMakers thru December 7. For tickets, call 919.962.PLAY (7529) or visit our website.