Thursday, October 6, 2016

I'm Your Puppet

My Mother The Dowager Duchess was a woman of many talents. San Geraldo and I spent three weeks in August going through everything in her apartment (and miraculously completed the task of emptying it all) and we were reminded again and again of how vast those talents were.

Watercolor, oil painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture in stone and clay, sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery, macrame. You name it, she did it. And she usually excelled.

During the summer of '87, just a few months after my father died, my mother enrolled at Kingsborough Community College and continued to study there for the next 25+ years. She took every art course available (at least one or two a semester), and filled in with literature, film, Spanish (language and culture), computing, physical education, geography. The only subject she avoided (like the Plague) was math.

During her first year at Kingsborough, The Dowager Duchess took a Puppetry class, which included making puppets of different kinds and then performing in a Puppet Theatre. As a result of that class, she became a member of The Puppeteers of America. Here are just a few of her creations.

(Click any puppet for a closer look.)







All you gotta do is wiggle your little hand...

28 comments:

  1. What a talented gem she was. I'm smiling, Mitchell.
    I'm so sorry for your loss. May loving memories, her lively puppets and other fun-filled creations, ease your pain.

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    1. Robyn:
      She was a very talented (and very complex) woman. So many more stories to tell.

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  2. A renaissance woman, no doubt about that is there ?

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    1. Heron:
      And she never fully appreciated her own talents and intelligence. (Nor did she appreciate how excruciatingly difficult she could sometimes be!)

      Delete
  3. What a talented woman; so great that she continued to learn and explore life.
    A lesson for all of us.

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    1. Bob:
      She wasn't low-maintenance but she was definitely an inspiration.

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  4. I love your Mother's puppets. I think we would have got on very well.

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    1. Rachel:
      She had a ball during and after that class. She must have made several dozen finger puppets, too. I think you would have enjoyed each other's company. She loved creative people.

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  5. mitchell your mum was a really talented person

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    1. Gosia:
      She was very talented. We shipped a lot of her work here and I'll be sharing it once it arrives.

      Delete
  6. Amazing woman! She knew life would be different after her husband.s death and she bravely pushed forward with her life.
    It must have been overwhelming to have gone through your mother's entire life.
    Those puppets are priceless.

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    1. Jim:
      I had been cleaning her apartment during my long visits these past few years, so it wasn't as difficult as it could have been. But, I hadn't attacked her (and my father's) bedroom until this last visit. That was more entertaining than overwhelming. You'll see!

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  7. I like the first puppet; and you are never too old to learn something new!

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    1. anne marie:
      My mother regularly drove me crazy (I think it's a maternal requirement), but she was definitely an inspiration. She took a "Geography and Travel" course, which was hilarious. She had to plan and map driving tours across the United States. She didn't drive. She wasn't big on maps. I helped (OK, I did most of the work and she copied it over). She got an A.

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  8. Replies
    1. Michael:
      She really had a ball with that class and the performance.

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  9. Replies
    1. Spo:
      I'm not sharing anything from the "Arts & Crafts for Teachers" course. We've all seen enough masking taped and shoe-polished wine bottles, I think. (But she DID create a wonderful paper-towel-tube giraffe.)

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      So much more to share. Lots of fine art is on its way here.

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  11. How wonderful, she kept learning and doing things she enjoyed.

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    1. Travel:
      She continued to paint right up until the week she died, but she was frustrated over the last year that her fingers didn't work well enough for her to do her needlework at the level she expected of herself.

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  12. Replies
    1. Cheapchick:
      I loved that fox and I also loved the fact that she actually sacrificed a pair of 14K gold earrings for that second puppet!

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  13. Each of those puppets has such a distinct personality.

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    1. Wilma:
      I had a good time playing around with them before taking the pictures.

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  14. Very eclectic your Mom was, I know she'd have given me inspiration.

    Hey, maybe classes are in my future!

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    1. Ron:
      She DID take just about everything. Women in Film, Cultural Anthropology, Yoga. Maybe classes are in my future, too.

      Delete

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