The Squeaking Tribe

Fairuz, the Dragon of the Waters – Elemental Dragon Marionette


Fairuz, the Dragon of the Waters, is trying her best to keep a positive attitude towards the future of Planet Earth. But she is an emotional being who draws hers innate strength from the life-giving powers of all the world's water and the level of pollution has hit a crisis point which is slowly destroying her soul. She cannot understand how this one great element, this beautiful gift, which is inside and outside of all living things can be so abused and neglected that the rivers run dry and the oceans are dying and even the ice caps have given up hope and allowed to deteriorate. The beauty of the reefs represent the beauty in her soul, but the reefs are being bleached white as bone through the blindness of humans, and soon her soul will be as bone because of their selfish inaction. Water is Life, and Fairuz is Water, and if nothing is done she wonders… How will people drink their money?
Elemental Dragons
Everyone everywhere is familiar with the concept of dragons, the mighty flying reptiles breathing fire and wreaking havoc in tales of legend and fantasy all over the world. Throughout history, human cultures have developed stories of their awesome strength and abilities and these in turn have been depicted visually by more artists and imagineers than anyone could count.
My early forays into developing dragons in marionette form were long and complicated and required an attention to detail that challenged my humbler talents back then. Time and experience, of course, are our greatest educators and it doesn't hurt to have an innovative partner to help break through old limitations. Sara developed her own range of smaller beasties which are beautiful and accessible to all but the Elemental Dragons represent a return to the larger, articulated experiments of my early designs and represent our shared talents in a way which is truly inspiring.
The process of creation is still laborious but entails so many varying ideas and components, the journey remains a wholly exciting and satisfying experience. From pattern-making to soft sculpture, texturing, air-brushing, hand painting and skeletal design before ultimate assembly and costuming, there are many opportunities to deviate our ideas into new solutions. In embracing this, we have chosen a loose concept of naturally-occurring elements to steer our minds and guide our brushes, and the results speak for themselves.
Working from appropriate colour palettes, the nature of the elements are explored through the physical and spiritual manifestations as they have occurred and been understood by world cultures – be they Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Wood or Metal. And interestingly, all these elements are represented in everything we do relating to puppet-making, whether its working with clay (earth and water), kiln-firing the clay (fire), sculpting body forms (wood and metal) or breathing the final Breath of Life into each of them (air, of course).
 It is these little synchronicities which have kept us making marionettes for over a quarter of a century. And sharing them with you, of course.

Measurements for our Dragons are approximations only. Dimensions are taken when dragon is sitting upright in a resting position.
Overall height is 83cm from foot to crosspiece. Dragon body is 35cm tall, 20cm wide and 50cm long. Nose to tail measures up to 90cm.



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