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.