Made by hand - it’s time to get set for the tenth annual parade

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For a decade the Handmade Parade has been bringing celebration and spectacular entertainment to the streets of Hebden Bridge.

As organisers prepare for the tenth annual parade, professional artists, giant puppet makers and performers are getting ready to share their skills with members of the public at open workshops.

Lead artists Andrew Kim and Kerith Ogden will give an introduction to giant puppet making in advance of the parade.

The courses will cover all the basic techniques used in two different types of giant puppet building. Participants can take one, two or all three sessions. Puppets will be made in teams with other participants and will then be used in the Handmade Parade on Sunday, June 25. The course is supported by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts and Calderdale Community Foundation.

Andrew Kim will lead sessions on clay-sculpted, papier mache heads on May 9, 10 and 11 from 10am to 3pm. The cost of all three is £180 and Andrew will demonstrate his techniques of giant puppet design, armature building, clay sculpting, building with papier mâché and basic rigging. Participants will work as a team to build a set of giant puppet heads. In the third session participants will build bodies onto these heads. 

Kerith Ogden will lead sessions on giant withy sculptures on May 16, 17 and 18 from 10am to 3pm, cost £180. She will teach participants the design and building techniques needed to make a lightweight giant puppet out of withies, bamboo, and other materials. The course will cover basic building techniques, paper and fabric scrimming, decorative techniques, and basic rigging and performance. The participants will work as a team to create a set of puppets from start to finish.

On May 24 and 25, from 10am to 3pm, Andrew will teach how to create giant puppet structures and movement. The cost is £120.

From Handmade Parade and Thingumajig Theatre’s stock of giants, Andrew will show examples of different types of giant puppet bodies. Participants will be able to try different styles of rigging and controls and then begin structures for the heads created in the session one workshops. All sessions will be held at the Handmade Parade workshop at Unit 5, Victoria Works, Hebden Bridge.

Interested members of the public can book for individual sessions but participants who sign up for two or three sessions will receive 10 per cent off the total cost. Places are very limited so are offered on a first come first served basis. To book: email info@handmadeparade.co.uk with contact details and session preference. Bookings will be confirmed by the end of April.

Handmade Parade founder and artistic director Andrew Kim has created puppet and mask plays, parades and pageants for over 25 years. He is the co-director of Thingumajig Theatre which creates and tours puppet plays and interactive giant puppets. His puppets have performed throughout the UK and Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Luxembourg, Hungary, UAE, the US and Canada.  

Kerith Ogden is an all-round maker, workshop facilitator and illustrator, who has been one of the lead artists at Handmade Parade since its inception.