6-day. Complete puppet and perform.

6-day workshop (spread over 7 days):
Make a complete puppet and perform.

17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 August 2024. Devon, England.
Tutor: John Roberts.
Complete a carved puppet …paint and costume it & perform!

Make a completed puppet, create a short performance and share it with an audience and/or make a video.
This is a week for people who have been on at least one workshop run by John.
Make and refine your puppet, paint it, add eyes, hair, costume and fine-tune the puppet’s movement, string or add rods, devise a short performance, add music, rehearse and perform your puppet for a small audience and/or make a video.

By keeping the numbers down to only 4, individual needs will be catered for. John will assist you to get the most from you puppet and ideas for a performance.
Musician Rachel Miller, who has worked on many PuppetCraft shows, will come along to add music for your performance.
On the last day we will record a video of the end result.

  • The workshop is in a shed built under a large oak tree… which has survived gale-force winds!
  • The shed is set up to provide a simple but comfortable work space with lots of light, good tools and fantastic carving chisels.
  • A band-saw is in a nearby garage – which reduces noise and dust in the workshop.
  • There is a small covered outside area to sit or work in, and a garden where you can relax… if you have time!
  • A small fridge is available for your use.
  • Tea/coffee making, toilet and basin is a very short walk away in my house.
  • Parking is nearby.

For adults: not for anyone under 18 years old.

Please bring:
Closed shoes or boots… as there is a lot of standing while carving and your feet need protection from falling chisels.
Rain-gear… as it is a short walk to the loo.
Something to eat for lunch… as we will only have a short lunch break.

All tools, wood and other odds and ends will be supplied.
Some specialist tools will be available for sale at the end of the week.
Tea and coffee will be provided.

START. Saturday: 1pm to 6pm
Sunday: 9.30am to 5.30pm
Monday:. 9.30am to 5.30pm
Tuesday: 9.30am to 5.30pm. Evening session for those who want to work on till 7pm.
Wednesday: 9.30am to 5.30pm.
Thursday: 9.30am to 5.30pm. Evening session for those who want to work on till 7pm…Then maybe get a takeaway meal.
Friday: 9am to 1pm. END.

In my new workshop shed at my home: 1 Venton Oak Cottages, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6DW.
This is about 2 miles out of Dartington village, and 3 miles out of Totnes.

By car, or by train to Totnes which is on the main line train from London (3 hours). A taxi from Totnes station costs about £15. Book your taxi in advance!

Accommodation is available at many B+B’s. Typically a single costs from £40 to £70 per night. Do sort your accommodation as soon as you can. I have a list of places past students have stayed at. Let me know if you want this list. Camping and Caravan: Please contact me for details.
Visit Totnes website has some accommodation listed.
If you do not have your own transport, book accommodation that is in/near Dartington or Rattery, or on the bus route between Totnes and Dartington on route to Plymouth (GOLD bus).

Food (not included): There are pubs and shops within 10 minutes by car.
Sightseeing and entertainment: You will be 15 minutes’ drive from Dartmoor, 45 minutes from beaches, 10 minutes from an excellent cinema on the Dartington Hall Estate.

Course fees £610.
£100 deposit is required: details be given when you book.
This includes all materials and use of tools. Accommodation and food is not included.
Extra week: If you link this week with any other week there is a £50 reduction in the fee for one of the weeks.

Cancellation: The course may be cancelled due to not enough students booking or unforeseen events….illness of tutor etc. – then naturally your payment, including deposit will be fully refunded.
Covid: If you need to cancel due to covid I will refund your course fee and deposit.

To book
Email or phone to let me know you want to come on the course and I will send you a booking form.

Best wishes and I hope you can make it to a course.  

John Roberts is renowned as a skilled maker of finely crafted puppets, with a particular interest in marionettes. For ten years he was a director at the famous Little Angel Puppet Theatre in London, touring around the world performing at festivals and seeing the best contemporary and traditional puppetry. 
In 1986 he became the first non-Chinese person to train in making and performing in China at the amazing Quanzhou Puppet Theatre.He is director/founder of Devon-based puppet troupe PuppetCraft.
For around 40 years John has taught puppet carving to adults.
Past students say: “An inspirational teacher… Most enjoyable…Excellent course…This man knows his onions…”

John Roberts
PuppetCraft and Yellow Van, 1 Venton Oak Cottages, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6DW. Great Britain.
Tel: 01803-867778 Email: john@puppetcraft.co.uk
Mobile: 07973 442253 international phoning: + 44 1803 867778

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