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Kinetic Fish Sculptures

June 5, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDT

 - $35.00

What You'll Do:

Join puppeteer, sculptor, and storyteller Dave English for a three hour tour of his puppet studio and online education laboratory as he leads you through the steps of making your own jiggling wiggling kinetic fish sculpture. Walleye, Bass, Crappy, Mackerel, Catfish, or even Shrimp! It’s all fair game. Heck you can make a land animal if you want to live that life. It is your creation! Dave is going to show you some construction methods, tools, materials, techniques that he uses as a professional puppeteer.

Participants should have at least one person per group who is comfortable using some basic wood shop skills for the wood cutting part. This project also offers hands-on opportunities like assembly and painting for younger participants. Work alone or as a group to make a fun wooden-jointed fish sculpture that moves like a real fish that you can display on your shelf, porch, boat, windowsill, etc.

Skill Level:

The most basic requirement is safety and close guardian engagement. Some of the tools used in this process are dangerous and not to be operated without training and supervision. I am speaking of the bandsaw, sander, and several of the hand-tools.

It would be rewarding for a young person to observe the wood cutting process and assist in the assembly and painting of the fish. This would be a lovely family experience for people who have a bit of a woodshop and like to be creative.

We're going to be safe, positive, and creative.

Skills you will learn:

I will teach the participants how to use some basic wood shop skills to make a fun wooden-jointed fish sculpture that moves like a real fish. They will be able to display their creations on their shelf, porch, boat, etc.

What You'll Need:

This is the basic list of tools and machines that I use. I might pull out some things not on the list once we get going.
  • 1" thick wooden boards or scrap. Save money and find scrap. If it's weathered that is a bonus. You'll want at least two feet of board.
  • #0 sized eye screws
  • Small 1-2" compression springs
  • Wood glue
  • E6000 glue
  • Electric hand drill and charged batteries
  • A set of bits and a phillips head attachment. Be sure to have a very fine drill bit for making lead holes.
  • Saw and Sandpaper. I use a Grizzly Bandsaw and Table sander but you use what you have available. Just do it safely.
  • 16 ga tie wire
  • Wire snips/Pliers
  • Spray paint or Acrylic paints
  • Patina paint and activator

About the Facilitator:

I am a puppeteer and artist educator based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I have won a bunch of grants, fellowships, residencies, and created so many cool art shows, performances, experiences that if I listed them all out oh-maaaan you'd be super impressed.

I have fun. I love to build, sculpt, tinker, and fix things with my hands. I can work and talk at the same time. I love to hear about what other people are working on and indulge their ideas. We will have a clear vision and a plan that we will follow but I am very open to taking some wild turns if people show up with their own intriguing ideas.

I am an out of school teacher M-F. I have a degree in Puppetry. I have 20 plus years experience leading people in creative endeavors and making it fun. I grew up kicking around in my Great Uncle's basement, greenhouse, and tool sheds. He liked to fish. Making is part of who I am.


June 5, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDT
Age Range:
18 and up14-1812-148-12
Event Tags:
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Have questions or comments?
Email us at makercampus@make.co


18 and up, 14-18, 12-14, 8-12


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Ticket - Kinetic Fish Sculptures
This ticket is priced per group. Bring the whole family and make a new show-piece!
$ 35.00

Have questions or comments – email us at makercampus@make.co