Christopher Barlow – Artist, Puppet Maker, Designer
***Please visit my new Site as i am retiring this one and it is now very out of date***
- An experienced Artist / puppet maker / builder / designer. With strong proven track record of working well with clients, delivering completed projects according to and exceeding the specification, building an excellent reputation with those he has worked with.
- Has wide and varied experiences in puppet making, set construction, sculpture, creature design, painting and illustration.
- Proven knowledge and skill base. Record of seeking self employed freelance work and managing projects efficiently and budget consciously.
- Wide and Varied experience in a range of techniques and materials including mold making, silicone, woodwork, fabric, foam, fiberglass, plaster, airbrushing, latex.
- Good understanding of Mech building and design, as well as puppeteering demands.
- A very keen learner, always seeking out new challenges and learning new skills to improve his work, will challenge himself and push to further his career and skills set.
(What follows is an overview list of my main jobs over the last 3-4 years only)
Puppet and Creature Making, Set design and Props fabrication • Freelance
- The Truthful Phone (Film) – Talk to the Hand – Puppet builder, designer, mech developer and art finisher.
- How to Hide Your Tiger – Polka Theatre – Assistant puppet maker to Samuel Wyer
- Clash of Clans Adverts – Lifecast – Puppet fabricator, hair work and art finisher.
- Zapped (Baby Cow) – Millenium FX – Puppet Fabricator and art finisher.
- Yonderland Series 3 – Sky one/Working Title – Puppet builder and designer.
- Jersey Festival Dragons – Project designer and manager, puppet builder, mech builder and art finisher.
- Wimbledon Arts College – Running the puppet making modules as a specialist.
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Illyria – Production Designer, lead scenic artist and puppet maker, including developing magical illusions designed by Paul Daniel.
- Iolanthi- Illyria – Scenic pieces for touring show with Illyria theatre.
- Three Musketeers – Illyria – Production designer and builder.
- Mrs McMoon Children theatre Set Redressing (March 2015) – Re-designed and repainted an already existing basic set for small touring children theatre company.
- Darryl Worbey Studios (March – Present 2015): I have worked frequently for the Darryl Worbey studios, Projects have included working on the shoes and hands and costume bits for the string puppets used in channel 4s new comedy show Man Down, Sculpts of puppet characters from which patterns were made, Airbrushing and paint jobs on several private commissions, and assisting with a sculpt and prep work on a set of masks for the Royal Ballet company with designer Bob Ringwood.
- Teenager Kid Puppets – Quickfoot (June 2014): Designed and built three large teenage kid hand puppets with glove and pose able hands.
- Georges Marvelous Medicine – Illyria (March 2014): Designed and built the set and all the puppets for a national outdoor tour of Roald Dahls Georges Marvelous Medicine. Including a giant chicken, large cut out cartoon animals, and chicken that grew and shrank.
- Oxford Playhouse -Puppet Design and Construction for Robin Hood (Nov. 2013) – designed and build a set of oversized punch and judy puppets, as well as two punk rat puppets for the oxford playhouses production of Robin Hood.
- Wizard Theatre – Designed and Built the set and props for The Wind in the Willows (Sept – Oct 2013) Recently I designed and build the set for a touring production of the wind in the willows. This consisted of a huge old rotting tree on wheels, the spilt apart into section and each section reveled revealing the inside of each of the main characters houses.
- Full Size Gremlin Kit Paint Job (Sept 2013)
- Poster Design for Boxtree Productions (August 2013)
- Little Shop of Horrors Puppets for Star Bright Entertainments: (July-August 2013) Designed and built and entire original range of little shop of horrors puppets for long term hire with production company star bright entertainment. Scope: Working with client to produce a great looking but hard wearing set of puppets that are light to operate (for young people) can be broken down and packed into a van with ease, highly durable but still very workable and dramatic with plans to build them later in the year.
- Set, costume and shadow puppets for Rumculls and Ragwater by The River People and Greenwich Playhouse (July 2013): Designed and built the set and costumes for The River Peoples barge, cutty sark and pub tour of Rumculls and Ragwater… a puppet and music piece of storytelling with Shadow puppets. I also designed their posters and flyers.
- Puppets and Set design and Construction for Babe the Sheep Pig (April 2013): I designed and built the entire touring stage production of Babe the Sheep pig. This included, Four flapping and running Duck puppets, and highly complex cockerel rod puppet (think Zazu in Lion King), and turkey humanette. The set consisted of 6 large fake hay bales, a barn, fences and sturdy fence posts, the farmers kitchen and aga. As well as numerous props including protest signs, and old fashion field games (like an Aunt Sally board).
- Set and props maintenance for Illyrias tour of The Mikado (June 2013): Strengthened and fixed existing set and props in order to tour another season.
- Large Fish Puppet For Stamford Arts Centre: (Feb 2013) Designed and built a large single person operable mechanical fish puppet on a small budget on behalf of a youth theatre client.
- Life size Sculptures and Stage Revolve for Forest Forge: (Feb 2013) Built two life-size sculptures of children for a small portable art installation for theatre company Forest Forge working from photos and a specific design brief. Also worked with in house designer to
- develop a small hand operated stage revolve.
- Audrey 2 Puppet Commission: (Nov 2012) a one off Audrey 2 puppet for a private commission.
- Revolving Alibaba Set and Props for Wizard Theatre: (Oct 2012) Designed and built a large but highly portable and durable revolving cave and set for a touring production of Alibaba for Wizard Theatre Company. Scope: To design and build a set according to the producer and directors requirements for a large set that could be adapted in size, was packable in a small van, highly durable, that would wheel around and revolve and look aesthetically stunning.
- Set and Puppets for Illyria’s Tour of The Twits: (April 2012) Designed and built large scenery pieces including a revolving caravan and huge cage for a national outdoor production of The Twits. I also designed and built a range of puppets including 2 large Mugglewump kids, flying bird puppets, a large frog and a Roly Poly Bird. Scope: The tour would be demanding, as it was 6 month outdoors, so the set and puppets had to be full of character, larger than life, colourful but also withstand daily use, wind and rain conditions, and constant moving in vans.
- Set Design and Construction for The Berry Theatre: (March 2012) Designed, built and installed a huge immersive set, in this case a barn, for the Berry Theatres Heritage funded production of Strawberries and Steam.
- Set and Props Maintenance for Hiccup Theatre: (Feb 2012) To repaint and maintain the props and set for touring Theatre Company according to the original design and paint work.
- Puppets for The Points production of Peter Pan: (Nov 2011) To Design and build a range of puppets for The Point Theatres Production of Peter Pan. Scope: I had to work within the stylistic choices of the shows designer Carl Davies; the puppets I designed and made had to fit in with the overall aesthetic of the show. Puppets included Nana, 4 wolves, a large ostrich and maintenance on a hire crocodile.
- Prop design and concept work for Milk Presents: (Sept 2011) To help develop and build a few unusual props and pieces of set, for example a shoe drop, for theatre company Milk Presents.
- Set, Production, Puppet and Props Design and Construction for Illyria’s Fantastic Mr. Fox Tour: (April 2011) I built and designed the entire Production for Fantastic Mr. fox. This included 12 hensonesque chicken puppets, a giant tree that fell over, an enormous but light set of digger jaws, fox ears and wigs, Masks for the Farmers and the set itself. Scope: a large 6 month outdoor touring production so all props and set had to be durable, weather proof, and long lasting and also collapsible into two large vans.
- Large Dragon Puppet for Wizard Theatre: (Sept 2011) Designed and built a large one Person operable Dragon Puppet and costume for Wizard theatres tour of The Reluctant Dragon. Scope: to work with the clients demands according the desires of the director and demands of the production to create a really enchanting large dragon puppet to be worn by one performer, that was easily removable but large enough to be impressive and featuring movable ears, talking mouth and flapping wings.
- Puppet and Set design and construction for Little Matter by The River People: (May 2011) To design and make the aesthetics for pre made puppet structures, and to made certain puppets from scratch for touring production of little matter. As well as some set pieces and backdrop painting. Scope: this was a very collaborative process where I attended workshops and rehearsals and designed along side the company offering ideas in the developmental stage on effects, puppets props and set ideas.
- Parrot Puppets, props and Silvers Wooden Leg for NTR Portsmouth’s Treasure island: Built and designed the parrot puppets, some props, and silvers wooden leg according to the styles defined by production designer Simon Higglet.
- Seagull Puppets and Props for Illyria’s tour of James and the Giant Peach: To build two large flying seagull puppets and work on other props including ongoing set and puppet maintenance for a 6 month outdoor tour.
Illustrator and Painting – Freelance
- Currently – Graphic Novel: in the early stages of characters designs for a graphic novel project with theatre company The River People based upon their first play.
- Stitchmouth Story: Illustrations for a short story called Stitchmouth that were used as part of a story installation piece and Bursledon windmill in association with the River People.
- Picture Book: A personal project recently completed of a kids picture book, written and illustrated by myself.
- Poster Design for Little Matter: to design the poster and leaflets and all the art work on them for The River Peoples Tour of Little Matter.
- Character Design for Raven Waiting: some alternative character sketches for an independent fantasy film.
- Character Concept For Alice: some character concepts for a small stage production of a horror version of Alice in Wonderland.
- Website Illustrations: I have done a fair few little illustrations for various peoples websites including cartoons of the clients etc. little pictures to give their website something unique.
- Poetry Sketches: I have supplied a lot little sketches for a variety of poems. Mostly private commissions.
- Numerous Ongoing Commissions: I do a lot of one off sketches, paintings, and drawings for all sorts of people on a regular basis. Too many to mention individually but these consist of t-shirt designs, small pencil sketches, cartoons, large fantasy paintings, whatever a client requires.
- Model Kit Painting: I have had a few private commissions to paint model kits, small figures and even a couple of toy customizations.
Sculpture – Freelance
(I have a wealth of creature sculpting experience most of which has been for private commissions, here is a list of a few notable examples)
- Large Dragon Sculpt: Designed and painted a large Dragon sculpture a meter in length and wingspan, in a exercise in posture and balance on a larger sculpt.
- Wizard sculpt: to create a tall lanky depressed wizard sculpture based upon a character I had sketched some years ago.
- T-Rex sculpt: I was requested to make and paint a large highly detailed scale sculpt of a T-Rex.
- Slimer Sculpt: Commission for a one off sculpture of slimmer from the Ghostbusters film.
- Corvus animatronic sculpts: I did two character maquettes to be turned into animatronic puppets for independent movie, Raven Waiting. One was working from an artists design the other was a design of my own.
- Raptor sculpt: a private commission of a baby raptor sculpt based one a design from Jurassic park by Crash Mccreary.
- Fairies: I sculpted a range of sleeping baby fairies in a variety of sizes, some in jars some larger all individual, these were private orders and some were also sold in shops and xmas market stalls.
Other Creative work:
- Make Up: I have had some training and a fair amount of experience with theatrical makeup, having done it for man productions including, The Twits, The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, The Rocky Horror Show.
- Puppet Making Workshops: I have run many puppet making and puppetry workshops for all ages and projects with both schools and theatre companies.
- Set Decorating: I have helped paint and finish off many theatrical stage sets, for small scale and larger scale theatre companies. Adding detail and following a design brief.
- Full Drivers License and own car.
- Moulding and casting
- Mech Building
- Digital Drawing
- Fiberglass and Latex Work
- Working with Super Sculpey and similar products including oil based clay. Also have a fair amount of experience working with water based clay.
- Highly resourceful, can make things from anything and good at improvising with materials.
- Highly experienced with Pencil and pen illustration, Watercolour work, acrylics and ink, on canvas, board, paper.
- Good experience with oils and enamels.
- Excellent Painting skills in both 2d and 3d sculptures.
- Airbrush Skills and equipment
- Some carving skills – working with polystyrene and foam – Wood carving is something I’m looking to gain more experience in.
- Good experience in working with fabric.
- Good Experience of wood work and carpentry.
- Experienced in working with power tools.
- Basic Experience Welding.
- Windows Systems
- Very computer literate with a CLAIT qualification. Office, Word, Excel
- Experienced in using Photo Shop and much of the ADOBE suite, though self taught experience only.
- Android and IOS experience.
- Digital art skills, Sketchbook pro and tablet drawing