The Squeaking Tribe

The Giant Bozwell – Large Marionette


The Giant Bozwell – Giants loom large in world mythology, frequently representing the most ominous of foes. Their huge size immediately evokes ideas of superhuman strength and formidable abilities, and yet in many legends the giant is in fact a tragic character, often suffering an incongruous death. In many mythologies, giants are said to be primeval beasts that frequently engage in battle with the gods. while the more modern “fairytale” equivalents are often depicted as stupid, violent brutes that eat humans (likely due to confusion with Ogres).

While associated mostly with European legends almost every culture on Earth has regional variants of Giants, much as they do Dragons and other mythical monsters. In some cultures (such as the ancient Norse) Giants also symbolized the wilds of nature and were closely related to what modern culture would call Elementals, embodying violent storms or bitter winters.

Our big friend Bozwell here aspires to none of these things. His warring ways are well behind him and he wants for nothing more these days than a sunny field to lie in and maybe a spot of livestock for his afternoon supper. It is hard for such a large creature to find such peace, however, with all those pesky knights and warriors still picking fights to prove their worth. And so his mighty pickaxe is never too far from his side.

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 60/111cm or 22/42in.


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