Tuesday, November 9, 2010

{Puppets} old friends...

Which came first, these puppets or klt:works? Hmmm, I would say that they were both created at the same time. Most people don't really know when or why klt:works came to be so I thought I would fill in the gaps. My studio had been neglected for several years due to life - and a full time job, plus teaching night painting classes at the local college. The daily grind sort of sucked the creativity right out of me. In 2005, during a vocational crossroad, I set up my studio again while I searched for another full time job. The first thing I made were these puppets. I've always loved puppets and I guess I just felt the need to make some of my own.

These puppets were made as sort of an experiment to say the least. I made a plaster mold from clay heads that I created - then poured porcelain slip into those molds to  make many heads. I under glazed them by hand -as a painter it was interesting to use glazes rather than paint. You never knew exactly how they would come out. I utilized the fact that Chris teaches ceramics at the local college (& knows his stuff). He took care of firing them in the college kilns for me. After that, I made bodies out of dressmaker wool and left holes for fingers to be used as the arms. 

Not too much later, I was given a few show opportunities and officially started klt:works. My puppets were my first klt:works products (along with thread drawing portraits) and brought me many fascinating conversations and connections. I later had a solo show at a small shop in Seattle. The shop owner & designer asked me to make some Spring like products for this show. I made my first bird plush & mobiles to exhibit there in the Spring of 2006. So these odd little puppets really started it all for me. When I started making the plush & mobiles, I really didn't know where these puppets fit in- so I carefully packed them away for a time when the perfect fit would present itself.

Last night I rummaged in my closet and found all of my old friends carefully packed in multiple boxes. I felt somewhat comforted bringing all of them back out. Chris has the perfect space in mind for them in hutch studio and I love the idea that they will be back out into the world. Who would have thought that these puppets would send me on such a wonderful & fulfilling adventure? Not me- but they did, and I am grateful to them. They are going to their new home tomorrow and  I thought it  would be nice to send them off in style... by taking some photos. 


  1. Interesting to learn how KLT came about!
    These are strange, beautiful and original. I love the contrast between their head and bright body. I think they'll be a success, I like them.

  2. So, that's how it all started! That is really cool how it all started organically for you.. Like walking. One foot in front of the other. The only unknown is the destination which is pretty cool. Your puppets are fascinating. There's a lot of detail on them! Are they going up for sale at Hutch Studio or will they be on display only? I can see the early beginnings of your plush style with these, especially the round felt sewn in the middle of their bodies! Hope you photograph the display of these at Hutch!

  3. I'm shaking my head in disbelief and amazement at your creativity!

    What a gift you have!



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