Part of the Fermenting Change Skills Laboratories program.

Ever wanted to give those eyes a blink, twitch those ears, operate a bird’s beak that is too small for a hand to fit inside, fly a bird remotely, swim a fish in all directions, make a shadow dog jump and bark, or merely give extra movement to a puppet’s head or wrist?

This lab is for the makers – for all those who want their puppets & objects to do the moves that your hands can’t create, but a trigger or mechanism could. If only you knew how to make such a thing… Acclaimed maker and problem solver Tim Denton will show you how, as each of you builds a puppet from scratch. Discover how simple mechanisms can animate and characterise your puppet.

Tinkering is a chance to experiment and create prototypes of those mechanisms you need to enhance your next puppet or show, away from the isolation of your studio, in the company of like minds and under the guidance of acclaimed puppet maker Tim Denton.

With no worksheets, templates or kits for preconceived mechanisms, Tinkering gives participants the unique chance to create individualised prototype mechanisms specific to your puppets, shows or ideas. We will investigate possibilities for rod, hand, tabletop and shadow puppetry, and discover how these prototype ideas can be transferred between most puppetry genres.

Working intensively over two days, prototype mechanisms will be made of plyboard, cardboard, light aluminium, wire, cord, and fixings that can be easily obtained and do not require an extensive workshop of tools.

Extend what your hand can do when working a puppet!

About Tim Denton

Originally from New Zealand, Tim Denton is a puppeteer, visual artist, clown and mask performer / teacher and has distinguished himself as one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading performing arts designer / makers. A specialist in both small and large scale projects, Tim’s work includes builds for several AFL Dreamtime at the G events and Moomba Parades as well as the Australian Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney Theatre Company’s Storm Boy, and the Flying Fruit Fly Circus Helpmann Award winning production The Promise. Last year, Tim was puppet designer and maker for the movie Tumble Gum starring Jack Thompson (in post-production). Puppets included a full size kangaroo, koala, bilby, goanna, cockatoo and kookaburra, all with moving eyes, eyelids, mouths, ears, legs, and wings.

WHEN: 10am – 5pm, 28 February & 1 March 2015
WHERE: Melbourne Polytechnic
, 144 High Street Prahran Victoria 3181 Australia
COST:  $250 Full / $125 Students

The Sum of the Whole is part of Fermenting Change, proudly supported by the Australia Council.