David Lane


Wood Carving & Puppet Design

This unique residency workshop will focus on wood as a primary construction material for building performing objects. We’ll work with traditional carving techniques as well as rotary power tools to create masks and bodies, and then get deep into the mechanics of joints and controls. We’ll look at various ways that wooden sculpture may be employed to create realistic notions, and explore more abstract ideas, delighting in the unexpected discoveries that come with a sense of playfulness in the creation process. 

We will take advantage of the collaborative nature of this workshop to share ideas, and create an environment which fosters colloquy, experimentation, and a supportive creative atmosphere.

Formal instruction and demonstrations will begin each day at 9 am and run until dinner. The evenings will include open studio and specialized programming such as a show-and-tell and puppet-film night. Access to the studio space is 24 hours and we may wander the museum during regular museum hours. Field trips to the Clark Art Museum, Williams College Museum, hiking, and swimming holes will be organized once the group arrives, and as time allows.

Curriculum Overview

Residency — When we’re not engaged in studio time, we will have unlimited access to wonder the halls of MASS MoCA and find inspiration in the work of Sol LeWitt, Anselm Fiefer, Franz West, Laurie Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell and many other world class artists. 

Design —  The abstract/realism continuum; emotion and tone; larval lumps, mask design, conceptual approaches, the interplay between design and performance.

Carving — Rotary-tool & traditional wood carving techniques.

Controls — Discussion of effective control mechanisms for different situations.

Joints — Leather, fabric, interlocking, ball and socket, shock cord.

Hansjürgen Fettig — Discussion of designs and mechanisms imagined by the ingenious German puppet maker.

Painting — Planning, mixing, washes, scumbling, dry-brush, air-brush, color theory.  

Costuming — Simple patterning and sewing.



Dates: June 19th – June 25th, 2019 

Fee: $1250 (includes materials, shared studio spaces, single room with shared bath, access to kitchen, lunches, and dinner on the first night)

For registration, email: studios@massmoca.org. Questions? Contact the instructor at dave@newenglandpuppet.org.

For More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1204954129661744/

About the Instructor

Dave Lane is a painter, performer, puppet & mask maker, and one of the original members of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop in Calgary, Alberta. He is the Co-director of the New England Puppet Intensive, a 15-day residential workshop, and Co-producer of the annual Berkshire Lantern Walk in collaboration with the Clark Art Museum.

Dave is a two-time, Jim Henson Foundation grant recipient for his original play “The Chronicles of Rose”, and his silent-clown play “The Painting” was a regional selection at the 2017 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He is the co-creator of Iinisikimm, a puppet-lantern play celebrating the return of Plains Buffalo to Banff Nation Park in Alberta. The project was supported by a Canada Council New Chapter Grant.