Posted By Kathleen David on July 31, 2008
Last night during our summer bowling league I shot a 172, a 192, and a 201 for a 589 scratch series. My average is a 138 which is up from the 128 I had at the end of the Women’s league. This was my first 200 game ever. So that is my new personal best. Before that I had 3 games at 193 and 2 at 197. I won the average pot for the second game and had a pretty good shot at the third. All in all, it was a good night for bowling for me. Our team won all 11 points which we really needed to keep ourselves in the hunt.
I come home to open my e-mail to find a rather heated debate (for lack of a better word) where one person is belittling everyone who makes fleece and foam puppets. They admit they don’t get the appeal of the Muppets and apparently have problems with the relationship between Kermit and Piggy which is strange to me since they are just puppets. Their puppets remind me very much of Bil Baird’s style of marionettes so the stone throwing is probably breaking some windows in their glass house.
I think I am most disappointed with some of the other puppeteers who have made this sort of puppet jumping in with a you are so right there are so many foam and fleece puppets that are reminiscent and thank you for pointing this out to this person. There is one puppeteer I am particularly saddened by considering how his exploration into new materials has given me insight in to some rather clever ways to doing things. He is better than this and now I think a little less of him which is sad.
So I put myself in the line of fire by writing the following.
I’m going to put my foot in this one being one of those who builds puppets for fun and profit out of foam and other materials. I am sorry you are so disappointed by my art which by the way has given me a lot of joy and some great memories.
Yes, there is more to puppets than those materials. Now ask me how many of those sorts of puppets I have sold to the general public as apposed to the foam and fleece ones……9.
That’s right I can count on the fingers of my two hands the number of rod and marionette puppets.
6 of the 9 were rod versions of Oberon and Titania for a couple of different productions of “Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
2 string puppets were custom jobs for a commercial in Atlanta that I got some serious money for since they needed them in less than 24 hours.
And 1 was a string puppet I sold in an Artshow called LunaCon.
And that is not for a lack of trying to sell them either. I have built all kinds of puppets but I find that my bread and butter lay in fleece and foam.
I do charactures puppets for people. Grandparents get puppets made for their grandkids of themselves. Parents have me make puppets of their children for them. It is not a bad sideline business.
I have build science fiction and fantasy based puppets that I have sold to people all over the world. I met Neil Gaiman because of a foam and fleece Sandman puppet I made.
If I hadn’t built in this style I would not have met my husband since we met over a foam and fleece creation he bought for something he was working on.
I have found something that I do well in this industry and I am rather proud of the smiles and the laughter my puppets have generated.
It may not be high art or ground breaking but it works for me and I will thank you not to spit on it.
I know you are walking in here with an agenda but belittling what many of us do and informing us that we are not creative is rather crass.
There are few of us out here as it is. Why should we stop making a certain type of puppet because you (as you have admitted) don’t get it?
Normally I would have left this alone as a disgruntled puppeteer whose art form is not that popular right now. But I have been reading a series of web logs that Kate Orman, the author, has been writing about cyber bulling within fandom. And when the string artist rather savaged one of the younger members of our group, I could not let it stand without comment. I am tired of cyber bullies and how we tend to just let them go off and hurt other people’s feelings because we don’t want to stir the pot and possibly get them to go after us. I’m tired of keeping quiet while people take potshots at my friends and family and then get their knickers in a twist when they are called on it. So this time I spoke up and await for the condescending reply that I know is forth coming.
I am grateful for Kate’s recent exploration of cyber bullying.