The Puppet Place community is a diverse group of individuals and companies, see below for details. Many come from the worlds of live puppetry and animation. However, there are others who work within the creative sector but share our collective belief that puppetry and animation are artforms that have a unique ability to bring people together and communicate ideas in ways that have the power to be transformative and empowering.
We are currently full, but please click here to fill in our online Resident Artists/Workspace Waiting List, and we will be in touch when workspace becomes available. In the meantime you may want to consider joining us as an Associate Artist.
Resident Artists and companies
PICKLED IMAGE – Vicky Andrews
Formed in 2000, Pickled Image specialises in puppetry for live performance and theatre. Since its inception the company has gained international recognition and numerous awards for their darkly humorous visual productions.
GREEN GINGER UK – Chris Pirie
Chris has been involved in Puppet Place since 2005. He is a freelance puppeteer, designer/maker, director and teacher, specialising in the creation of innovative puppetry solutions for stage, screen and street. He also works as an advocate for the artform, and regularly mentors and supports emerging practitioners.
RUSTY SQUID – Roseanne Wakely
Rusty Squid are robotic artists and designers exploring primal emotions and embodied machines. Through the art of puppetry, the technology of robotics and beautifully crafted materials the team bring to life objects and environments that awaken the human animal.
OPPOSABLE THUMB – Dik Downey
Created in 2019, oTt specialise in subversive performance incorporating puppetry, clown, mask, mime and physical theatre.
Dik also fabricates puppets and masks to commission.
BLACK LABORATORY – Ben Mars
The company also make and perform creatures and build prosthetics, puppets, props, models, masks and illusions, for their own and others’ interactive theatre, films and larp.
Black Laboratory create award-winning animation and develop and supervise animation for clients.
ELIZABETH JOHNSON – ElizabethJohnsonMakes
Elizabeth Johnson is a designer, fabricator and project manager for puppetry, theatre and interactive experiences.
With a love of storytelling in playful ways, Elizabeth has been commissioned by the National Trust and Devon Libraries as well as working collaboratively with fellow Puppet Place resident artists and companies.
She is one of the creatives behind ‘The Lost Librarian,’ an interactive story utilising creative technology, games, and puzzles to recount a fictional tale of three Devon Witches, which toured Devon Libraries from 2019-2023.
Matt Gibbs is a WGGB award nominated writer, narrative designer, and editor.
He has worked on BAFTA award winning and nominated games, and is a Partner at Talespinners, a cooperative providing writing, narrative design, and consultancy for games.
Alongside his games work, he is part of Improper Books, a studio focused on creator-owned stories that have a touch of the fairy tale or otherworldly about them.
Based in Puppet Place, Bristol, he has collaborated with other residents, puppeteers, and animators on a variety of interactive experiences, films, and theatre pieces.
Max trained in theatre design at Bristol Old Vic theatre school. As well as set and costume design he creates miniatures and other artworks. His designs have been nominated for the Off West End awards 6 times, as well as the UK Theatre Awards. He was resident associate designer at the RSC in 2013, during which time he was also a Linbury Prize Finalist.
Cat Rock is an award winning puppeteer, film maker and performer who makes wonderfully weird puppetry pieces for the stage, film and beyond. Cat is a co-director for the House of Funny Noise and Director of the Bristol 48h Puppet FIlm Challenge. Creating original pieces and working with other organisations Cat performs, builds and experiments with puppets of all shapes and sizes.
Beki is a multi-disciplinary artist who has dabbled in almost anything and everything from music events, photography, design and theatre stuff. She’ll never say no but has come to the realisation that working for free, low pay doesn’t make her kids or the bank very happy. These days you’ll mostly find her with a paintbrush in hand, struggling with complicated, multilayered macabre and slightly off paintings. A life long devotee of rare soul music, science fiction and obscure horror films of the 70s and 80s. Nice.
Helena Houghton is a freelance filmmaker, animator, props and puppet maker. Director of BFI funded stop motion horror ‘Beltane’ with her company ‘Mycelium Productions’. Founding member of ‘The House of Funny Noises’ a puppet film collaborative, whose work embraces the weird and focuses on practical effects to make fascinating visual spectacles.
Izzy is a Puppet/Prop/Costume Maker and avid knitter. She graduated with a Puppetry MA from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which gave her the opportunity to explore this incredible fusion, building on her roots in costume design and production from a BFA in Technical Theater at Western Oregon University. Currently she works as a freelance designer and maker of puppets, working mostly in the South West of England.
Saskia Tomlinson is a freelance model maker, puppet maker and designer. She works in both stop motion and theatre. She enjoys the challenge and creativity of both. Since graduating from Kingston University, Illustration Animation in 2019 she has worked on a range of adverts, films, music videos, and theatre productions. In her personal work she is inspired by the natural world and enjoys the research and development side to a project.
Jonathan is a filmmaker, with a specialism in sound. He creates storyboards, shoots, edits, and produces custom soundtracks – mostly for short-form docs and promotional content. Recent clients include the BBC, Vincent Wildlife Trust, Rusty Squid and the University of Bristol. He also has experience in analogue film which he uses in experimental projects.
Katy is a designer/maker/painter dressed up as one person. An award winning designer & art director, Katy can be found designing theatre shows in strange places, the occasional short film & most recently puppets. Her whimsical and distinctive style sees her telling stories in many different ways.
Hannah is an award-wining puppet, costume, installation designer/maker for walkabout, stage and television, and Artistic Director of Bath Carnival. After traditional carnival costume and structure training, her venture into puppetry started under the instruction of Nick Barnes. She now uses her unique skill-set to create emotive puppets, with a perfect sprinkle of whimsy. With over a decade of experience teaching public workshops, Hannah is also a passionate mentor for newcomers to the industry. She is an experienced university lecturer, placement provider and personal mentor for DYCPs and other creative mentorship’s.
Alastair is a self-employed model maker, stop-motion model maker, juggler and hobbyist. He’s been building and painting models for around 10 years and loves designing and scratch-building creatures, characters and props. More recently Alastair has been working with Aardman Animation and has worked on a number of feature films and adverts, as well as exhibiting his work at shows and exhibitions including ToyCon 2017, ToyArt 2019 and Robotazia, Milton Keynes.
Florence is a sculptor, illustrator and aspiring puppeteer and performer. Making monsters and fabricating props for film, theatre and events. She has worked in various roles across film, theatre and events as a prop maker and art department assistant. Jobs of note include: ‘Dark Crystal – Age of Resistance’ – Puppet wrangler and standby creature painter; ‘Artemis Fowl’ – Prop maker; ‘Ready Player One’ – Props painter; ‘Isle of Dogs’ – Puppet Hospital Assistant.
VASTHU Chatrapathi Akula & Kyle Hirani
Vasthu was founded in 2017 by two roboticists with a novel vision for robotics. They didn’t just want to make machines that imitated life, they want to recreate life itself. With this vision at heart, they set out to create their first and flagship product, a companion, a friend, Ayuh. Vasthu strives for a future where humans and robots coexist as companions, working towards a more prosperous world. Pouring life into the inanimate is what we do. And we are at the absolute forefront of it.
We are currently full, but please click here to fill in our online Resident Artists/Workspace Waiting List, and we will be in touch when workspace becomes available.
Our Associate Artists are part of our wider community of puppeteers, puppet makers, model makers, animators in the UK. They work in a variety of settings from community arts to the animation industry. For further information about our Associate Artists and for details of how to join them click here