In a recent post I mentioned that I had got behindhand with my blog due to puppet making, so now I will explain what I have been doing:
Two years ago I made three Glove Puppets for an exhibition of The Young Henry V111 at Hampton Court Palace- I’ll write more about this in another post. When the artist Philip Sutton saw photos of these puppets he decided he would like one himself, suggesting one of Mr Punch. I agreed to this but got tied up with other projects and did nothing about it, other than researching into different depictions of Punch puppets.
Finally, a month or so ago, Philip Sutton phoned me to say that he had dreamed that I had made him a puppet and it had been dancing about his studio! Full of guilt, I decided this was the moment to fulfill my promise. As in the past he has painted self-portraits of himself as Shakespearian characters in Jokers’ hats (he did a series of Shakespeare-based paintings for the new Globe Theatre in London) I decided it was appropriate to base the head of the puppet on him rather than Punch. The costume I based on a 1843 music cover illustration of Mr Punch- King of Puppets, shown below.
Last weekend I handed over the completed puppet to Philip Sutton, when I spent a lovely weekend at his and his wife Heathers’ idyllic house in the Welsh countryside. I was full of trepidation- what if he didn’t recognize himself? That would make me look really silly! Luckily, all was well and so here are some images both of the puppet and of it- or I should say “him”- bonding with his new master; but first, Mr Punch: