If you've ever seen a puppet show, you were surely charmed by the display of the puppeteer's skills in syncing the movement of the puppets to the sound of music or a narrator's voice. But have you ever considered the level of craftsmanship and hard work that goes on in the background to make these puppets? Come have a first-hand experience of this with Mukesh Bhatt, whose family has been working with puppets since the 16th Century. Little has changed since then, with most of the methods and tools being the same.
In this course you will learn how to make a traditional Rajasthani puppet, this is one course that combines 3 key forms of crafting such as wood carving, cutting fabrics and painting. You will begin by selecting the gender for the puppet you want to make which will determine how you carve the wood and also the fabrics you select. The most strenuous part of the course is in the beginning of the course where you will work on a block of wood to carve out facial features. With the carving done, you will have to paint the base colours on to the face and let it dry.
While the paint is drying, you will move on to the fabrics which involves cutting and sewing clothes for the puppet. There's a fair bit of "stuffing' (as in, stuffed toys) involved as the carved block of wood only involves the bust of the puppet and not the entire body. Once you have the fabric, stuffed-body and painted face ready the assembling process begins and you will see an entire puppet come together as whole. This is an amazing process that has been practiced over the centuries and we're super fortunate to have Mukesh teach us his craft.You can ask Mukesh to help you give your puppet a nice Rajasthani name!