Thank you for visiting my website. My name is Catherine Thomas, and I am a puppet maker based in North London.
I have been making and designing puppets since 2010, a selection of which you can view in the portfolio section of this site. As you will see, my work is varied, and encompasses different styles of puppet, as well as a range of materials, chosen in each case to suit the needs of an individual production or commission. For instance, I carve marionettes out of wood, I sew moving mouth glove puppets and I construct tabletop puppets from mixed media, including upholstery foam, plywood and styrofoam.
Puppets can be anything you want them to be, and do anything you want them to do, which is what makes them so exciting both to design and to perform with. I love making all kinds of puppets and solving the design challenges that each new commission throws my way.
Before I became a puppet maker, I trained in engineering and in sculpture, both of which have proved useful in different ways. Each puppet is a work of art, and is designed and crafted as such, from shaping its form to painting its surface, not to mention the painstaking attention to detail required when making hair and costumes and props. Underneath all this detail lies the structure and mechanisms of the puppet, which must be strong to withstand the rigours of theatrical performance, but also lightweight for ease of use, and at the same time fashioned with joints that move so well they could almost be real.
Over the past six years, I have worked as a freelance designer and maker, as a puppeteer and as a workshop leader for organisations such as The Little Angel Theatre, Tower Theatre, Hackney Music Development Trust and Greenwich & Lewisham Young People's Theatre. I also been fortunate to work alongside and train with some of the best puppet makers and puppeteers in the UK. In 2014 I founded Animate Inanimate as a vehicle for making experimental visual and physical theatre, and the company produced its first show, Rime & Punishment, which was performed at DVM Theatre in June 2014 and at the HATCH Festival at The Little Angel Theatre in September 2014.