Chinese Shadow Puppetry
A comprehensive informational website
Designs, joints and control rods
Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.
Make it work
Engineering is the invisible design partner in any puppet endeavor. It has to look right, but it also has to move right. Scale, dimension, weight, leather thickness, regional materials and the abilities of the performance master all factor into the making process. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see the delicacy of the joints and the placement of them in correlation to our human forms. What you can’t see is how each and every cut in the design and contour of the silhouette is engineering to create a perfect balance while performing with only 3 connecting rods from puppeteer to puppet.
If you’re still curious, look closely at the regional photos from the aesthetic pictures and you’ll begin to see the diversity of joint and rod materials.