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Anonymous Morris Jig Doll

Last weekend I went down to Wimborne Minster to help out watervole, who was organising the dance programme for the folk festival (more on that later, perhaps). I also took her a gift that I had been intending to make for over a year.

It's a wooden morris dancer puppet (actually a jig doll) in full Anonymous Morris costume:

Here he is with Watervole, also in Anonymous kit:
The tatters are all individually sewn on (the four different shades of purple came from a single tie I found in a charity shop). He also has real working bells sewn onto his trousers below the knees, and a couple of feathers and a poppy badge in his hatband. His hair and beard were shorn from the mane of a toy lion and stuck on with contact adhesive. The shoes are painted with black gloss enamel; the rest of the paint is artist's acrylic.

This is what he looked like before the addition of paint, hair and clothes:
His head is limewood. The rest of him is carved from seasoned beech. His staff is made from green ash. The hinge joints are steel lubricated with beeswax.

Here's a little video of him dancing (sans music):

I'm very pleased with the way he turned out. The experience I gained from carving several Punch and Judy puppets and Bruno the dog stood me in good stead. The painting proved fun and easy, though I found the tailoring of the jacket and trousers quite tricky.


I was delighted by the fact that each joint is individually carved rather than just being a piece of dowel.

I'm looking forward to dancing him to some music tonight when we meet up at the Angel in Poole.