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Topic: Marionette mechanism
Message: Posted by: paradize (Apr 23, 2013 12:45PM)

I just bought a Chaplin marionette from czechmarionette.com.

I m new to marionettes.
Is there a website or DVD teaching you how to operate the mechanism at the top?

Pls advice.thanks.
Message: Posted by: paradize (Apr 24, 2013 11:13AM)
Any help here pls?
Message: Posted by: Servante (Apr 24, 2013 12:55PM)
Mechanism at the top? The control? It's been years since I've done marionettes, but there are some marionette folks here. Sometimes it takes awhile to catch attention. Folks here are good about sharing, though. Be patient. Keeping the thread alive will help.

Message: Posted by: manal (Apr 24, 2013 05:16PM)
Dover Publications has many books on puppetry including marionettes. I would suggest going to their website and typing marionettes in the sites search engine.

The books are uaually inexpensive and informative.
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 24, 2013 06:36PM)
Try YouTube to see marionette artists in action..
There are several types of controls that are used.
Also, try just playing with your character and see what you can make it do..
The strings are attached to specific key body parts. Pulling on the string will cause the limb to move; releasing the string will cause gravity to allow the body part to go back to it's resting position.. Decide what you want the puppet to do and using the marionette controls - try to make the puppet do what movement you want.. Try watching mime artists to see the exagerated movements they use.. Then try to emulate that with the stringed puppet. But yeah - just start playing with it and get to know it's movements.
It's like learning to play guitar.. At first, it is awkward and forced.. Then as you get to understand the notes and chords, you can then start to make music. With a marionette, you need to learn (and it eventually does become intuitive) what strings to activate to make it do the specific things you Want it to do.
The secret to getting good at any kind of puppetry is practice.. But of course you knew that.
Good luck!
Message: Posted by: MagisterFreud (Apr 24, 2013 07:13PM)
There are as many types of controllers as there are marionette makers. Without seeing the specific mechanism, it's impossible to tell you what to do. The website you list does not seem to exist.

damien666 is spot on when he says play with it and see what you can do.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Apr 24, 2013 08:04PM)
I am not an expert in marionettes but here are some stuff you can try...

Stand in front of a mirror... watch your marionette while you attempt to make it come to life. I understand your marionette is a Charlie Chaplin so try using some old music like maybe The Entertainer and basically just do an act using the music. Make the marionette bow...walk.. stumble... look to the left and right etc... animate the hands by pulling the string. Just try pulling some strings til you get the hang of it. Make sure the feet are on the ground while Charlie is walking... unless you want a floating Chaplin ;)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Apr 24, 2013 08:45PM)
BTW... personally, I use my right hand to hold the controller and use my left hand to pull strings... in some cases, I switch to the other hand if I need to...

I am not aware of any particular rule in manipulating marionettes... I guess it would depend on what's comfortable with the puppeteer. :)

Scott Land says make minimal movements... and I agee!

Frankie Yeo says regularly practice with it... and I agree!

I say just have fun with it... :)
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Apr 24, 2013 09:39PM)
And here's a website that may prove helpful:

Message: Posted by: paradize (Apr 25, 2013 09:40AM)

Thanks for the inputs, ideas and advice.

I have wrote in to http://www.czechmarionettes.com and they have told me that they cant advice me and they are not the one building the marionettes and thus they do not know how the mechanism operates. A staff named Adéla Vorlíčková. I had a tough time before ordering the product as she gave me HORRIBLE customer service.
I want to buy more products from them but after this experience, I guess it is a 1 way exit.

This is how my controller looks like. (I have attached a picture.)

There are two parts to it which is the top and bottom which have swirling functions. I am wondering what are these for?
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Apr 25, 2013 09:47AM)
Please post a photo to show which part of the marionette's body the strings are attached to...
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Apr 25, 2013 09:51AM)
I just realized you are from SINGAPORE... FRANKIE YEO who has a puppetry museum in SG makes fantastic marionettes. 7
Message: Posted by: maps (Apr 25, 2013 11:59AM)
Not all marionettes are stringed for performances.Some marionettes sold are string minimally and are for display.Bring it to me and I can test him out for you.
Some of the marionettes sold out there are made from plaster of paris especially the head and hands and can be heavy and easily chipped or broken. Some have basic stringing but you can still make it come alive.Play and understand how the puppet move when you pull each string or when you pull on multiple strings at the same time.
The more you play with it,the more you'll understand it's pattern of movements and then you select the poses.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Apr 25, 2013 03:52PM)
I'm going to guess that by "swirling" you mean those two propeller-looking controls. I'm further going to guess that the larger propeller (for want of a better word)strings attach to the legs at the knees and the smaller propeller attaches to the hands. Rather than swirl, they "rock, so you can raise one by lowering the other. This would come in handy, with the legs, for walking a puppet. With the hands/arms, less handy, but still useful, allowing you to raise one arm without having to hold it in place.
Pure speculation, mind you, because, as Wanlu says, we can't see which strings go to what functions.
Marionettes with that few strings aren't terribly complicated. As has been said above, play around with it. Some marionettes can walk simply by rocking the main controller...some have a horizontal airplane control, with a separate and detachable piece that the operator rocks for walking and some, like the vertical one you've shown us, are easier to hang up quickly backstage and are almost always for two-legged marionettes, though the horizontal controller may be used as well.

Message: Posted by: Walden (Apr 26, 2013 03:31AM)
On 2013-04-24 20:13, MagisterFreud wrote:
The website you list does not seem to exist.
[/quote]I guess (from the original poster's most recent post) it was a typo. http://www.czechmarionettes.com

Another site selling these same marionette puppets:
http://www.throwthings.com/gallery3.asp?search=69 I can't vouch for them. I've never dealt with them.
Message: Posted by: paradize (May 7, 2013 06:46AM)
Hi to all Puppet Workers,

Thanks a lot for the knowledge sharing.

I went to meet MAPS ( Magiccafe userid) Frankie , Singapore and he taught me how to use the controller system. Thanks a lot Frankie for your sharing.

Now going to start using my marionette to do some moves......Hurray..
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (May 7, 2013 11:51AM)
MAPS a.k.a. Frankie is a very cool guy... I have 6 of his fantastic marionettes :)
Message: Posted by: maps (May 7, 2013 07:57PM)
Oh No! My identity have been revealed!
Message: Posted by: Aussie (May 7, 2013 08:16PM)
I do enjoy good marionettes, but don't have the patience to learn to use one :D