Last week I was invited to join a group of pupeteers at Plymouth Scrap Store and we were challenged to create a puppet from a bag of scrap that we each purchased. I had no idea what to expect, I had up to this point not made many puppets and have a lot to learn so it didn’t seem like the best idea to start with ‘scraps’ but my goodness the best way to describe the scrapstore is an Aladin’s cave for crafters, or perhaps The Room Of Requirements from Harry Potter. If you are a crafter, an artist or a treasure hunter then you must find your local scrap store, they are around and they are amazing! This one has been in Plymouth for more than fifteen years and I had never been, I will be going again soon that is a certainty.
I had no idea what I was going to make as I went around the store so I picked up items that I thought would be useful in puppet making. I got fabric, foam and thread plus a few extras like the beads and plastic shapes. I tried my best to only use the materials provided to make my puppet and to add as few extras as possible. Since this challenge fell on the same day as Earth Day we decided to add an Earth Day theme to it and after brainstorming for a while I chose to try and create a hazel dormouse. Hazel dormice are indigenous to Britain but numbers are sadly on the decline and they are now on the endangered species list. I hoped that perhaps my little mouse could shed some light on them.
My little dormouse is a finger puppet operated through an opening in the back of his head. He is mainly made from the foam and I used some bear eyes to give him nice shiny mouse eyes. He also has a cup of tea because he is a British dormouse! I had to use some of my own scraps to make him a tail and a tongue. I wanted to use the second fabric that I had as some slippers but the fabric just frayed in my hands and was a nightmare to work with so I gave up and gave him a lovely green scarf instead which he tells me he much prefers anyway!
He has been named Reginald and even though he is barely a week old he has already been on some adventures to the bottom of the garden and to see the sea, he had a lot of fun in a coffee shop and he is excited to visit the scrap store again! You will be seeing a lot more of Reginald on my social media channels so please keep an eye out!
A huge thank you to South West Puppetry Connection for the invitation and to Plymouth Scrap Store for allowing us to come and play!
Thank you so much for reading my blog.
Samantha (and Reginald) x