The Squeaking Tribe

Reynard the Fox Marionette


Reynard the Fox – Reynard is a recurring anthropomorphic character traditional to hundreds of medieval folkloric stories and as a fox, continues to make for an effective, striking personality for much of my own works. I remember him most as one of the sly protagonists in Disney’s depiction of “Pinnochio” which I saw as a child and the image of a talking fox remains a magical presence for me when I am looking at a piece of clay and wondering what it might become.

Disney also made him their Robin Hood character for the animation, perhaps recognising his clever wily ways to undermine the authority of the time, which continues to be much of how the fox manifests itself in our folk talles and Lore. Either way, the stories of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men have always held a precious space in my imagination along with the image of the fox, so it is probably not unusual that I would realise both in the character of Reynard.

The original Reynard stories are largely concerned with the main character Reynard, an anthropomorphic red fox and trickster figure. His adventures usually involve his deceiving of other anthropomorphic animals for his own advantage or trying to avoid their retaliatory efforts. His main enemy and victim across the cycle is his uncle, the wolf, Isengrim, who is another figure I will no doubt be endevouring to create on the not-too-distant future.

Till then, take pleasure in this medieval scamp and dream an adventure or three for him should the moment take you.

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 51/91cm or 20/36in.


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