The Squeaking Tribe

Gordon P. Goatman Marionette


Gordon P. Goatman – Meet Gordon, our swanky human-animal hybrid with the natty green dico-suit and the aplomb to pull it off in public! We have a whole section put aside for Anthropomorphic puppets in our smaller designs, but every now and then a member of the animal kingdom will scream out to be realised in a larger, more-articulated fashion… and this particular omnivore just had to take centre stage.

He does not represent anything classical like the goatmen of folklore. He certainly isn’t responsible for the demise of farm-dogs or the disruption of livestock. If anything, he has learned fitting in to a funky urban sub-culture gifts him more rewards than embracing his smellier animal side, and so the late-night clubs of the Valley and smoky after-hours speakeasies have become his stomping ground, where he plies a modest career as a stand-up comic and a very proficient salsa dancer. As a result, he enjoys a humble celebrity among the human and animal kingdom combined…

Just don’t ask him out for a dinner date!

Large-scale Artworks

Fully articulated marionettes and interactive Art!

When I first began making marionette puppets back in 1996 (22 years young), I was living with a potter and a drum-maker in the foothills of Adelaide, South Australia. With access to a whole range of clays, I found myself one day sculpting a hollow head and face. “If I added clay hands and feet,” I thought to myself, “I’d have the basic counter balances for a puppet!” Which prompted two simple questions: a) Of what little marionettes I’d seen, why did so many of them look so cheap and crappy, and b) Why did none of them work!?

My challenge clearly was to make a good looking puppet that would actually perform. As the Internet was yet to become a household fixture and Google not yet a technocrat’s pipedream, I resorted to local libraries whose resources on the subject was terribly lacking. Luckily, the process for making a marionette was a time consuming one with many separate factors; hand sculpting with clay which needed days (sometimes weeks) to dry before firing, sewing and soft-sculpture creation of the ‘skeleton’, costuming and assembling of the basic character, construction of an appropriate crosspiece before stringing and detailing the final finished piece. In all, a process that required a 3-6 weeks work, an opportunity of course which allowed a LOT of extra time for dreaming up new puppet characters to make!

Every marionette I made, I was learning and discovering new ways to make them quicker and more effective and with every idea that ensued, I was having more and more ideas of other puppets I could make. The avalanche of ideas which consumed me in that first year alone could keep me busy crafting for a decade at least; having kept that passion alive for over twenty-five years, I easily have enough ideas to fill multiple lifetimes!

From these humble beginnings, I have since developed a whole range of different interactive effigies which borrow from the traditional methods of Puppetmaking while at the same time improve on ideas of articulation to create marionettes which everyone can use and indeed, with a little practice, manipulate like a professional. Sharing this with others and inspiring a new generation of artists and puppeteers to reignite the tradition is probably the greatest joy in this life I have made and now share with my wife, Sara.


Doll-form/ full marionette height approximately 54/96cm or 21/37in.


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