The official News Blog for Puppet Place, your hub for all things animated on stage and film in the UK. We are dedicated to sharing our passion for puppetry and animation with the wider public and supporting artists and professionals working with these artforms. This blog is written by the Puppet Place News Team: Emma Windsor, Marta Smyk and Josh Elwell.
About Emma Windsor: Emma Windsor is an artist, animator and filmmaker.
Her independent films have been shown at international film festivals including: Bristol Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival, Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film and the Glastonbury Music Festival. She has also worked with NFP/charitable organisations such as Girlguiding UK to produce animated presentations, and has worked on animated advertising for well-known brands, including Nestlé and BT. See her portfolio here.
Emma works as ‘White Rabbit Animation’ and can often be seen (but not heard) ferreting through the countryside, armed with only a camera and audio recorder
About Marta Smyk: Marta Smyk is an illustrator, model maker and puppet maker.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Illustration at University of the West of England in Bristol. She loves working with plasticine, making clothes for her puppets and finds a lot of inspiration in nature. You can find her work at: www.martamcfly.com
She also runs her own cake business: www.foxs.kitchen
About Josh Elwell: Josh Elwell is an experienced puppeteer, actor and director.
He works as both a screen and stage puppeteer. He also directs puppet productions and teaches puppetry technique. He appears regularly on children’s TV shows – ZingZillas, Mr Maker and Strange Hill High. He has worked on screen with companies including; The Jim Henson Company, CBeebies & CBBC, Disney, Sixteen South, Freemantle, Factory Create & Kids TV Vienna. His work on stage includes working with; Norwich Puppet Theatre, The National Theatre of Scotland, Little Angel and in The West End.
He is a keen collaborator and is always looking for ways to unite people through puppetry.
About Stephen Barrie Watters: Stephen Barrie Watters is a writer, stage manager, performance poet and co-founder of That Creative Thingy Wotsit.
In addition to running a popular on-line Facebook slam, he is also theatre director of the groups exciting new pop-up theatre project. It is a fully functional theatre, run by professional artsits which aims to give new and emerging artists an opportunity to bring their ideas to life on stage at festivals and other open air events.
Stephen writes and performs poetry under the name of Graffiti Poet.
About Marika Aakala: Marika Aakala is a puppet maker and a designer with a research interest in the area of animation studies and puppet art.
Originally from Finland, Marika first attained an artisan degree in pottery, then a Bachelor’s Degree in Crafts and Recreation and later in Occupational therapy, before turning her artistic passions into puppetry and animation.
After a Further Qualification on Puppet Technology and Design and a Master’s degree in Animation Production, Marika now works as a trainee model maker at Aardman Animations in Bristol. Marika has a background of creating puppets and props for both puppet theatre and for animated short films. You can see her portfolio here.