I'm so glad we went to the Michael Curry exhibit this week for sketching. The Oregon Historical Museum had a great display of his work including a number of the giant puppets. Michael's studio is outside of Portland. He worked with Julie Taymor to do the puppetry and masks for Lion King and has also done fabulous pieces for Cirque du Soleil, the Olympics, operas, etc. Some of his sketches were on display, and it was quite interesting to see him step through the design process, combining art with engineering. A film showed highlights of his work on stage where it really comes to life.
A few bits from Lion King:
And I loved the giant moose head. It was probably 6 ft. tall. Some of the puppets had strings within reach, so you could make them move. Even though they are huge, they are so well engineered, light, and easy to move.