Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sock Puppets Allowed

I had heard about a problem with sock puppets on Etsy and I want to put something to rest. Sock puppets ARE allowed on Etsy - as evidenced by this adorable little example of one! (This Red Haired Girl Sock Puppet with Braids is available from puppetsbymargie!) On the other hand, sock puppet ACCOUNTs (using an alias or anonymous account for purposes of instigating trouble) are NOT allowed on Etsy - so let's just keep that perfectly clear!

Today is National Puppetry Day and in light of the fact that I grew up with Kukla, Fran, and Ollie - and Shari Lewis and Lambchop, and was familiar with Howdy Doody, I totally appreciate all of the great puppets that are available from some immensely talented and creative puppet artisans on Etsy.

A little bit about puppets - Puppets are differentiated into two general categories: hand puppets and marionnettes. Hand puppets are those whose movement is controlled directly by the puppeteer's hand. Marionnettes are puppets whose movements are controlled by the manipulation of strings that have been attached to their various body part. The history of puppets and puppetry is believed to go back to 30,000 BC, although the very earliest puppets unearthed by archaeologists date back to about 2500 BC in southern Asia in what is present day India. Every culture in the world seems to have used puppetry in their storytelling and as a source of entertainment and in some historial periods like the Renaissance, puppets were used to convey moral lessons by religious groups.

Today's puppets run the gamut from simple, easy to use sock puppets and finger puppets to the intricate movements of marionettes. In hunting down examples of many of these popular puppets, I was truly amazed at the variety of puppets that Etsy has to offer. Here are some of my favorites.

nycostumes has a great selection of colorful finger puppets for kids. Nothing is simpler or sweeter for tiny hands and watching their imaginations blossom as they bring their favorite animal friends to life is truly pricesless! The Jungle/Safari set is pictured here.

Meet one of the members of the badbunnypuppets gang, Black Patch Puppy. The puppets in this shop remind me of some of the earlier Muppets, and I think they are just ADORABLE! These puppets are kind of a cross between hand puppets and marionnettes insofar as the head and mouth are controlled by the puppeteers hand, and the puppets arms are attached to wooden rods and controlled by the puppeteer's other hand. This type of puppet is often referred to as a rod puppet. I'd just call him CUTE!

The listing for this Smoking Bunny hand puppet just had me rolling. Not only is he a piece of work to look at with his bloodshot eyes and dangling cigarette (okay, this one's not for the kiddies - but he does kind of remind me of a guy I used to know a LONG time ago) , but the description is a hoot! Stacey, the creative genius (and star of TV fame and fortune) behind Mr. Bunny has an insanely funny sense of humor - take a few to read not only the description of this item, but her shop profile at staceyrebecca as well! I laughed til I cried! But then a lot of us hilariously funny folk live here in the Phoenix area - must be all that sunshine ;) Just check out the shop... you won't be sorry.

I've admired the work of this last artisan for awhile now. The first time I visited AMCreatures, I was amazed by the incredible amount of detail that this artist creates in his figurines and puppets, so I wasn't surprised to see Alexander's shop come up when I went searching for marionettes. Needless to say, I was immediately impressed by what I saw. Interpreted in polymer clay and Magicsculp, this is a limited edition hand painted version of the classic "Punch marionnette" puppet of "Punch and Judy" fame and I think it's a marvelous work of art.

If you've never had the pleasure of being a puppeteer, or if you simply haven't picked up a puppet since you were a child, reintroduce yourself to the wonderful, imaginative play world of puppets. If you have a child in your life, what better way to whisk them away to the magic land of imagination?!


memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Cute finds :)
I too remember Lambchop :)

TiLT said...

those are fantastic! I just love the hungover puppet. And I did pop on over to her shop to read the set of FAQs ever!

PaperFlora2 said...

saw you blog on Etsy forums and I'm following now. Just like I said I would. Hope you can stop by mine and do the same.

be back soon-

storybeader said...

puppets are great! The smoking bunny is so funny. And marionettes are SO COOL! Have to go and see Alexander's shop!

Splendid Little Stars said...

Those are really fun!

Patti said...

Didn't know anyone else remembered Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Thanks for binging them to mind. My fav was Madame Ogalthorpe!

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