Archive for children’s books

Macavity, but not from the musical

Posted in Puppets with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by galen djuna

I really hate musicals, I have to say, and I find Cats to be particularly loathsome just based on the look of the costumes and makeup. So, I was rather nonplussed when someone assumed that this new puppet (made for the afore mentioned doll show) was based on a character from the broadway show. I thought about telling them that when you assume you make an ASS of U and ME, but that joke rarely seems to go over really well these days. Maybe it’s my delivery.

Anyway, the theme of the doll show was characters from children’s fiction and Alice was the first to pop into my head, but this criminal feline was only moments behind. Here’s an excerpt from the T.S. Eliot poem Macavity, the Mystery Cat:

Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly doomed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.

A wonderful Edward Gorey illustration of Macavity, from T.S.Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”




Alice, Serpent

Posted in Puppets with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2012 by galen djuna

I made two pieces for a local doll show that opened this past weekend. The theme was characters from children’s fiction, so naturally I had to make an Alice. One of my favorite parts of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is when her neck has grown so long that she loses sight of her shoulders and hands and an angry, nesting bird accuses her of being a serpent. 

She looks kind of like Daryl Hannah, no?                                                                           I found it particularly satisfying to make this dress out of a kerchief-sized piece of fabric that I had been saving for years for just such an outfit.

 And this is Hans, the miniature dachshund who toppled her over in the grass.

An illustration by my favorite author, Mervyn Peake, writer of the Gormenghast books.