Workshop: Flat Mechanics with Linda Wingerter

We have an exciting event planned for our November meeting, presenting a virtual workshop by renowned puppet artist Linda Wingerter on a special night, Friday November 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM. See all the details below! 

When: Nov 19th. 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Your workspace on Zoom, link has been sent to all guild members. (Not a member? Join here!)

What: Flat Mechanics: simple mechanisms for shadow puppets and toy theaterIn this workshop we’ll play with ideas for prototyping with cheap and abundant materials to get more movement from 2D puppets using linkages, stops, and returns. 

Who: Linda Wingerter is a third generation puppetry artist building, teaching and performing puppets as The Stringpullers Co. in Ithaca, NY. She has a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught puppetry at Quinnipiac University, Fairfield University, Cornell University, and the Yale School of Drama. Working primarily in shadow puppet films, she specializes in simple, practical, and cheap “flat mechanics”. Linda is a 2021 recipient of a Handmade Puppet Dreams Film Micro-Commission.

This will be a hands-on workshop, here is a list of materials suggested by Linda:  
– A pin board: This is just a couple sheets of around 10×15″ corrugated cardboard stacked and taped together to create a thick work surface that thumbtacks can be stuck into. Thick corkboard or 2 layers of foam board will work, too. 
– Flat thumb tacks and pushpins (both kinds needed)
– Cereal-type box board: bigger sheets without folds, such as from cereal boxes or frozen pizza, are best. Should be easy to cut with scissors.
– Cardstock (or file folders). Something that can be cut with scissors but somewhat sturdy.
– Wire, 22 or 24 gauge is best, but also paper clips or wire pulled out of twist ties can work in a pinch.
– Wire cutters, or whatever will cut your type of wire.
– Rubber bands, any type
– Scissors
– Tape: masking, and blue painters is great if you have it
– String: a kind that runs smoothly through straws but doesn’t break when pulled. Dental floss, fishing line, or other household stringy things can be used. 

EXTRAS, if you’d like, not required:
– Mini brads (also called paper fasteners or spilt pins): not the thick office brads, but the tiny ones you get in scrapbooking supply aisles in craft stores. The thinner the pins, the better. I use these for joints for fast prototyping rather than wire.
– Pliers: if you have thick wire and no brads, you might want these for coiling your wire for joints. 
– Paper straws – I use as guides for string pulls. Not necessary for this workshop but good to use. 
– Glue gun: if you have one around. I often use it to reinforce floppy parts, but it is not crucial for this workshop.

We hope to see you at this exciting workshop!  Even if you are unable to build along, it will be inspiring to hear from Linda and learn from her techniques, which can be adapted to many different kinds of puppets. 

This workshop is sponsored by the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry and free to all members. Afterwards, people are welcome to stay and share their projects, or share anything else they’ve been working on. Many thanks to our Vice President Honey Goodenough for organizing this amazing workshop. Watch for the guild newsletter coming out soon.