Our Mission

Welcome to my blog where I chronicle my efforts in designing and building puppets and their worlds. My hope is that I will contribute to the art of puppetry as I use it to lift up the name of Jesus.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Prof. Ichabod Inch

Prof. Inch is the school teacher at the Lilac Hollow elementry school where Joshua Junebug and his friends attend. He is grossly over qualified for the position but his love for children and his desire to make a difference has drawn him out of the world of science and academia. Now instead of trying to make a name for himself he's trying to mold young lives so that they will become loving, responsible and respectable adults.

As I was developing the Joshua Junebug and friend characters I decided that I needed to have a character that was the voice of wisdom for the stories. I had already decided that I didn't want to have the parents appear directly but felt that I needed some adult presence. Eventually I decided that a caring and knowledgable teacher would be just the right character. Since all the characters are bugs a bookworm type creature seemed logical so I decided that he would be an inchworm

At the time when I began making puppets, Prof. Inch was the character that I had the clearest idea of what I wanted him to look like. As I was making the puppet and playing with the character it seemed natural that his almost too perfect grammar would come packaged in a german accent. While a few adjustments have been made since the initial sketches I am very happy with the outcome of this build

The next character I will be making is in honor of my eldest daughter. She asked that I design a character for her. All the characters have names that begin with the same sound as the creature they are. So her's would have to begin with a "T." So was born ... Taylor the Termite.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Joshua Junebug

There I was, four years ago now, thinking to myself that it would be fun to come up with some children's stories in which all the characters were bugs. The first character that popped into my head was, Joshua Junebug. To me the name sounded fun, friendly and likeable. In fact, just knowing his name made me want to get to know him better.

At the time all I knew about junebugs was that they were a fat beetle that came out in June. And with that scant knowledge I began to write about this playful third grader and his friends. The stories are often centered around their school activities, because many lessons third graders learn they learn in school.

When it came time to creating the Joshua Junebug puppet I had yet to make a sketch of the character. All he was was a indistinct idea. As much a feeling as he was a mental image. So I sat down to my computer and searched for pictures of junebugs. I found out that they came in many shades of golds, browns, greens and even reds. And that they also had these fabulous, almost feathered, antenna. Well I drew up a couple of sketches and went to work. And in about two weeks Joshua was completed.

The entire process of the build is documented on the forum at puppetsandstuff.com in a tutorial call Joshua Junebug. The following link will take you to that tutorial.


In my next post I will introduce you to Professor Ichabod Inch.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

About Joshua Junebug and Friends

About four years ago now I began writing some children's stories in which the characters are bugs. There's Joshua Junebug, Christpher Cricket, Sylverster Slug, Professor Ichabod Inch, Filicity Firefly, Anita Ant, Taylor Termite, and the list could go on and on.

The inspiration behind these stories was my Mom, who at the time was fighting terminal cancer. My mom was one of the best readers I've ever heard. She just had a gift for making the story leap off the page when she read to you.

Well, I had written four stories when my mom passed away. And with her passing I lost my enthusiam for writing the stories she had inspired. Now, three years later, I'm inspired to take those stories up again. I've discovered the magic of puppets and I want to adapt the stories I've written into puppet scripts and flesh out the story ideas I've had and turn those into puppet scripts as well. Eventually I want to have both a collection of chilren's stories and a puppet show directed toward kids.

The setting is Lilac Hollow. Here Joshua Junebug and his friends play together, pull pranks together, go to school together and sometimes even fight together. In the mix of all these bug children is Prof. Inch. He is their teacher and the only adult that appears in the stories. Prof. Inch answers their questions and asks a few of his own as he helps Joshua and his friends learn about life and how to live peacefully with each other and prepare to live with God.

Right now I'm busy building puppets and sets and writting scripts (all things that are new to me). I hope those of you who tag along will enjoy the journey. Along the way I'll leave postings about lessons I learn regarding everything involved in producing your own puppet show.

God bless

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bashful Puppet - About the name

I thought I would begin telling you about my puppet projects by telling you how I came up with the name "Bashful Puppet."

I was designing an avatar for a puppet forum I'm a member of and wanted to use my family crest. To this crest I added a monster puppet that was peeking out from where he was hiding behind the crest.Later as I was trying to come up with a name for the line of puppets and puppet resources I'm developing I decided it would be fun to match the name to my avatar. I thought of Hiding Monsters and Bashful Monsters. Both of these fit but then I thought that some children might be frightened by monster and I didn't want to frighten my primary audience.Then I thought, Bashful Puppets. It fit the avatar and avoided possibly frightening some of the