GGrowing up I was enchanted by the puppets of Captain Kangaroo with Bunny Rabbit and Mr. Moose, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, the mouse Topo Gijo, and a string puppet dramatization of the Hansel & Gretel opera. Later Jim Henson and his Rowlf puppet playing the piano filled my imagination with possibilities as I grew up watching them on our black & white TV. It almost goes with out saying that the puppet show of the Lonely Goatherd is my favorite scene in The Sound of Music.
I bought my first hand puppet at Allen's 5 & 10. I spent my entire half-dollar allowance for Disney's famous dwarf Dopey with a little rubber head wearing a green cotton shirt with pink felt hands. How I loved that puppet. Santa brought me a Bugs Bunny hand puppet that year and a small version of Henson's Rowlf the next. Rowlf was so special to me then, and still is today! I received my first 2 marionettes Hansel & Gretel and a stage for Christmas my 8th year. Santa built the stage in his own work shop just for me. The wicked Witch followed the next year, and I was known to give many command performances of Hansel & Gretel with a 45rpm record of the operetta playing on a turntable under the stage.
My parents, being artists themselves, encouraged creativity. They provided materials for all avenues of the arts to me and my siblings. My mother creates still life paintings in oils. My father was a master woodworker and his love of woodcarving moves on in me. I have whittled for as long as I can remember and making small Christmas ornaments and Nativities was my specialty for several years.
In 1992 a piece of wood destined to be another Santa, suddenly started taking shape as a Dragon's head. I set it aside and when asked by my son what I was going to do with the head, I thought "make a marionette". That Dragon needed a Knight and the Knight needed a Princess... and since then they've just appeared magically in the wood chunks recycled from a local industry's pattern shop destined for the burn pile. I've been creating my own ideas ever since - people, animals, fanciful creatures, all sorts of things. I've accepted many commissions as well - pets, favorite story characters, puppet show pieces - worked from photographs or suggestions.
I believe artists are "drawn" together by their art. My husband, Glen, is a master wood turner. Our three children have all found professions in the arts. We are part of an extended family of artists, wood turners, carvers, painters, authors, musicians, graphic artists, textile artists, black smiths, singers and song writers. We are blessed. Something new is being created all the time. I am glad to be a part of it all. - Anslie