Shiver Me Timbers, It's Black Beard! Stitches & Glue's Incredible Pirate Puppets!

Many of us are familiar with the lovable monsters of London-based Monster Workshop, but did you know that their other brand, Stitches & Glue, is actually a creative design house specializing in making puppets, toys, props and costumes for various clients in the special FX industry? Well, I didn't. But when I stumbled upon these process pics of eerie looking, marionette-like figures, I had to find out what the heck they were up to.

It turned out that these 'marionettes' were actually traditional Japanese-style pirate puppets that Stitches & Glue were called upon to produce for a corporate event. They had only a few weeks to design and build three puppets and their costumes from scratch: Black Beard, Anne Bonny and "Gentleman Pirate" Stede Bonnet. The armatures were made from foam and reinforced plastic, while the faces were sculpted in the likeness of the actors voicing the Pirates. Their moulded tricorne hats and frock coats were all made by hand.

"Unfortunately we can't talk much about (the project), but we had loads of fun making them," writes Stitches & Glue founder Paul Vincett. "The style of the puppets is called Bunraku, originating from Japan and will be puppeteered by three people."

Given that the puppets are for a corporate, one-off tour, there's no telling whether we'll ever see these scallywags in action. Regardless: keep your fingers and hooks crossed that someone in the audience packs a camera and tosses the footage on YouTube, because that would be amazing to see!

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