I've always loved puppets. Just ask my family who sat through countless childhood puppet shows, performed in my puppet-box theatre made out of the packaging the new TV and VCR came in, or behind the brick wall of the verandah, or commandeering my grandparent's kitchen curtains to make a stage!
From Sooty in The Sooty Show, (of whom I still have, even a little worse for ware after decades), to Mr Squiggle in Mr Squiggle and Friends from the brilliant mind of Norman Hetherington, Shirl's Neighborhood (Claud the Crow being my favorurite!) and of course to Sesame Street, The Muppet Show and Pinnochio, my puppet creations reflect and are inspired by these masters in their craft. All are handmade puppets.
I graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia majoring in Technical Theatre and Stage Management. For the past twenty years I crafted a successful career in musical theatre and circus, having performed in many iconic venues and cities around the world with Wicked, The Producers, American Idiot, Cirque du Soleil to name a few. (For a full Bio of my theatre work, click here).
I reignited my love for puppets whilst on tour. Leading a busy life as a touring stage manager on the road, and not being able to sit still - I turned to the calming nature of creating - a maker of puppets from scratch. I found the repetition of hand sewing meditative, and was a welcome release and a terrific way to turn my mind off from the madness of the day-to-day. With each puppet I make I learn something new, and there is always something to improve upon. I now have quite a collection of puppets which have been all hand crafted from scratch.
Puppets can be made of anything. Yup. Anything. Paper, trash, old clothes, socks - ANYTHING.
The puppets you see on my site are made with high quality materials from the good folks over at Puppet Pelts (www.puppetpelts.com). They have an amazing range of fabrics and other useful items.
Other materials are easily found at your local hardware store (Bunnings is my favourite), as well as Spotlight or your local haberdashery store.
For resins, plastics and rubber, do your research and always follow the directions given on the packaging.
UPDATE - I've recently aquired a 3D printer - so i'm looking forward to developing that skill and printing eyes, teeth, noses, horns - you name it!
If one of my creations takes your fancy, or you wish to discuss a commission for a handmade puppet, please drop me a line!
Elwood, Victoria, Australia
Will commenced his career at St Martins’ Youth Art Centre in Melbourne. Following a successful season as crew and theatre all-rounder, Will completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Theatre and Stage Management at Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney.
Will was Deputy Stage Manager for the Asian Tour of Cats, touring to Taiwan, Korea, China, Thailand and Macau. Other productions include the Australian Tour of Wicked for GFO/Wicked Australia LLC, Titanic – A New Musical (Seabiscuit Productions), Dusty - The Original Pop Diva - (Dusty Productions Australia), The Producers (SEL/GFO – Australian Tour), The Wizard of Oz (SEL/GFO), Hair (The Production Company), Sydney Mardi Gras a(The Production Company), Sydney Mardi Gras and the 2007 FINA World Swimming Championships.
Will joined Cirque du Soleil in 2011 as General Stage Manager for the Arena World Tour of Dralion directed by Guy Caron touring throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East, South Africa, UK and Russia. He then moved on the Big Top tour of Amaluna directed by Diane Paulus in its last cities in the United States. He then helmed the ship throughout Amaluna’s ‘refresh’ where a new version of the show premiered in Madrid and subsequently toured throughout Europe. Notable events whilst at Cirque du Soleil include the 2016 Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall and Dancing with the Stars in Athens.
Will returned to Australia‘s shores in 2016.
Recently Will was Stage Manager for Chess - In Concert (Storeyboard Entertainment), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a new production of Saturday Night Fever for The Gordon/Frost Organisation, in addition to Andrew Lloyd Weber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz, Jersey Boys, American Idiot (shake+stir), and Queensland Theatre’s National tour of Ladies in Black directed by Simon Phillips. Will has worked as Company Manager on Cabaret (Hawk Productions), directed by Gale Edwards.
Will heads up Performing Arts for adam lowe group, and is also Executive Producer for Oprahfication (Music by Shanon D. Whitelock, Lyrics by Rachel Dunham).
Will is currently Company Manager for GWB Entertainment and Jagged Little Pill.
In the spirit of reconciliation, Puppet on the Hand acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.
We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.