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Saturday, January 26, 2013

PUPPETS AND SUCH


Puppet and Such's storefront window display during the Christmas season

Community is a vital part of thriving towns. In Berea, Kentucky one finds a strong element of involvement in community through art, education and music. 

I stumbled upon a new business, Puppets and Such,  a few weeks ago while I was in Old Town, a historic section of Berea. It offers another piece of art and education for the community. 

Puppets and Such was a shop like none I had ever been in before. It is a shop dedicated to the world of puppets. Within were puppets for sale, a special stage for community puppet performances, a unique collection of vintage puppets, plus more with  a friendly owner, Richard Brown, to greet you as you enter his shop. 


Richard Brown with two hand puppets from a recent community performance

Actually there are two owners. They are Richard and Mary Brown, both retired from educational positions. Mary's fascination with puppets was the spark that eventually led to the couple moving to Berea to begin their new enterprise. 

Community consists of all ages. The Brown team is filling a youthful element through their free performances that introduces the age old art of puppets -- a coming together to enjoy entertainment in a way that seemed like a dying breed until the Brown's  came to town.


24 comments:

  1. Great to see puppetry alive and well in KY. I'm starting making clay masks for wall hangings, not far removed from theatrical masks, somewhat related to puppets.

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    1. Barb -- Clay masks -- anxious to see them on your posts. I visited your post with all the Japanese masks and they were fantastic. Pacific Northwwest native american masks are wonderful too. I studied NW native American art at university years ago. The whole culture was amazing. thanks for stopping -- barbara

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  2. Oh, how fun is that? I love when someone can turn a creative, beloved (non-harming) hobby or passion into a livelihood, and share it with others in that way. I love the first photo, it looks like something out of medieval Europe. :-) Did you stay for a puppet show?

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    1. Laloofah -- Yes, they do look like they are out of an old European drawing. I missed the puppet show that day. Maybe in the future I can catch a show. I like your phrase - non-harming. thanks for the nice comment -- barbara

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  3. I've been drawn to them since way back. I saw one as a youngster at a church Fair and was mesmerized.

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    1. Birdman -- Puppets can fill a mind with all kinds of emotions -- perhaps that is one of the reasons why children are so drawn to them. I remember one of the first TV shows I saw was of puppets -- Kula, Fran and Ollie -- loved it.

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  4. How totally wonderful!!!! I used to have my students put on puppet plays & I adore puppet shows, including the ones for adults. I think this is my first note here. I really enjoy your blog. ~Rita

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    1. Rita -- I am delighted that you have joined me here on my blog. Your blog of sketches is fascinating. Puppets do have a certain allure -- puppet characters can be imagined in the mind and what greater imaginations than children. And yes some adults too. thanks -- barbara

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  5. Adore!
    And hurrah for keeping the art alive in their community!

    Last year we taught a class in Junque Marionettes.
    The children produced some amazing things and their final show was hilarious!

    Bring back the Puppet for everyone! :)

    Have a lovely and creative day!
    Mimi
    Collage Pirate

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    1. Mimi -- For Junque Marionettes project I am assuming you use scarp pieces. If so, would be great for the creative spirits. I guess puppets are more alive than I had previously thought. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  6. very nice to see! That is a tradition that is well worth taking care of in these days of computer animations.

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    1. RuneE -- Yes, there is something definitely worth saving in the world of puppets. A puppet show for children is shared glee. Also a puppet in the hand of a child spurs their imagination something computer animations don't seem to do. -- barbara

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  7. What a fabulous place. One misses that sense of close community when moving to a city , 100,000 people, from a rural area outside a town of 800. But our grandsons are here and I wouldn't go back - but I love hearing of things like this still going on.

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    1. Joanne -- Big change from 800 to 100,000! But it is nice to be by family. Unfortunately my family is scattered. Right now my only family in KY is my big ole male Golden Retriever named Sal. But it is not like the early days -- one can now travel to different parts of the US fairly easy. Enjoyed your post ~~ barbara

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  8. I loved puppets when I was a child -- such a fun outlet for creativity. I also love all the critters in your last post and the 'fresh eggs' photo.

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    1. Vicki -- Thanks for the comments on my last three posts. I know that you are a dog lover as am I. Agree that puppets are great for creativity. My daughter, after she read my post, called from Utah and asked me to buy one of the window display puppets for her daughter. -- barbara

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  9. Puppets are a great way for children to express their thoughts and imagination. My daughter was afraid of "human" puppets but love the furry animal ones.

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    1. NCmountainwoman -- I have seen the cute animal hand puppets in the past. They were so delightful that I considered buying one for myself but ended up buying it for my grandson. thanks -- barbara

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  10. Indeed we grew up in the big city and then went small town. Community is what it's all about and we never looked back....;)

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    1. troutbirder -- I suppose living in the country gives you both an opportunity to be near nature -- a place that seems to suit you from the words I read on your blog. -- thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  11. I would not be surprised if there was not a demand for puppets some place. A puppet guild/club of sorts and collectors. It is nice they are following a dream. So refreshing to see.

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    1. Dee -- According to Wiki -- Puppetry is now probably more familiar through television and movies rather than through live performance, but it still flourishes throughout the world. Wiki also states it is an art 3000 years old. I guess it is here to stay. And well it should I'd say. I did learn a little bit more about the puppets I have in the top photo. They were made by hand by an older man from Ohio who no longer makes them. Unfortunately, they are not for sale -- they have become part of the owners collection. thanks for your comment -- barbara

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  12. Love pupppets! and have about 100, I think. They're great for storytelling. I use them with children quite often--will do so tomorrow, in fact. Actually, the kids use them to help me tell the stories. It's very interactive and for many children a new experience.

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  13. Granny Sue -- I can understand why children would relate to your puppets -- being able to be interactive with your stories. Wouldn't it be great to have the lower grades in school equipped with puppets. Perhaps would get a lot of pent up emotions out instead of displaying poor behavior in the class room. Would be nice to see a video of you with your puppets and children. thanks -- barbara

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