Saturday, October 16, 2021

Puppet Making Course access details

October 2021 - further edits 13 February 2023

Online Puppet making course with Artist and Puppet Designer Corina Duyn. After more than 50 years of learning and three decades of teaching, Corina is no longer able to create puppets, or teach. However she made the decision to share all the very detailed course instructions publicly via 2.5 hours of Youtube videos, and four online books with in total 85 pages with step-by-step written and photographic instructions books (ISSUU). These are for both basic and more advanced puppets. Learn how to sculpt a clay head, hands and feet for a puppet with DAS self hardening clay. How to make a wooden or cloth puppet body, assembling instructions, and suggestions on painting, and dressing/hair.  As well as two cross samples, how to string up your puppet and animate it. Sculpting instruction also applicable to create a doll, or bust. 

Please note that all the material was created during a time Corina was still teaching, so any comments to ‘get in touch’ is no longer applicable. It course is for your personal use only. Having followed this course does not mean you can teach this course using my material. Thank you for your understanding.

 I hope you will enjoy embarking on this creative adventure. When your puppet is complete I love to see images of it. With every best creative wish.

Corina Duyn 2019/2023 Corina Duyn © 2019 

Course access made public October 2021 - further edits February 2023.

For links to more of my work in puppetry see: Puppetry webpage, or explore the many articles and images on this blog, including: 50 minute video lecture on the Power of the Puppet  is available on HERE And See summary of my work in “23 year long creative history of living with M.E.” 



Youtube channel



Two girl puppets made by Corina Duyn - Puppet Making course
‘The Girls’ © Corina Duyn 2017

COURSE DETAILS General Overview: ISUUU books   And YouTube videos 

In detail: 

Introduction and general information for your course:

  • Please read: Introduction and general guidelines in the 7 page document on ISSUU

In my course I recommend the use of white DAS air drying clay as other brands have different drying properties and may shrink too much which causes problems. DAS is very strong and can be used to sculpt very fine details.

Sculpting the Head

The videos and ISSUU documents are interchangeable between using glass eyes and creating sculpted eyes. I suggest you watch, and read both at each step of the sculpting process. The (2.04) indicate length of the videos Please make sure to watch the Youtube videos in HD

Hands and Feet: 

The videos and ISSUU books are interchangeable I suggest you watch, and read both at each step of the sculpting process. The (2.04) indicate length of the videos. Please make sure to watch the Youtube videos in HD. For a master class on these, please contact my mentor and teacher Marlaine Verhelst.

Body and Cross

Painting and clothing/hair suggestions:

Sunday, September 5, 2021

23 years long creative history living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)

My dear followers.

At the end of 2020 I felt strongly that the ‘Invisible Octopus’ video poem was my last work exploring my then 22 years of life with the disabling chronic illness Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.). 
After my move into full time care (April 2020) and several online lecture events, I made the decision that it is time to retire from public engagement regarding my life and work. Including to take a step back from advocacy for better care and understanding of this so much contested illness. 
It has been a long, continuing, journey.

I truly hope that over the years my work brought an understanding of hidden illnesses to a wider public. As my journey has been well documented over the years, by myself, but also by many others, I hope that my work will live on. 

This blog post with links to my books, art, talks, podcast and videos has been created for this purpose. I have broken up the sections to reflect on significant creative times. So you can just go to the section you’d like to read or hear more about.

EDIT April 2022: A final lecture video has been made mainly about my puppetry and disability related work, initially for  Muñecoterapia, Chile. It is now made public it has English and Spanish subtitles. Thanks to Emma Fisher and Myli Pincheira.

To continue to access my creative mind I have gratefully accepting support from Waterford Healing Arts Trust. (WHAT). On a one-to-one basis I am gently exploring ways to create in the comfort of my room at Signature Nursing home. I am also doing some personal projects like my scrapbook photo album.
Many, many thanks to all whom have supported me. I could not have done this without you. I will update my blog, or my personal Facebook page (link at bottom)  if there is something I like to share with you. 
Be well.
With much gratitude. 

Corina, September 2021

 Early years, and Fantasy Folk

Always have been creative in one way or another. I made dolls clothes, drawings, messed around with clay. At the age of ten I made my first doll. Age fifteen, my first puppet. Read more

These two pieces were among many experiments in doll making during my teens while still living in my native Netherlands. During my late teens and until age 27, I studied and worked as nurse and social care worker. I remained creative and made various dolls and puppets. 

Moving to Ireland in 1989 saw the start of my creative career as full time Doll Artist with my company Fantasy Folk. This little sculpture from this time and even made it onto tv: A few other pieces of this era can be seen in the first slideshow on my webpage which chronicles my art. 

Shortly before illness changed my life I did a very big commission for Waterford Crystal:

I also did some teaching in a group home for teenagers. It was there that I became fully aware of the immense power of the arts. 

Illness changed my (creative) life (1998)

I became ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E. - in some countries unfortunately referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS, or ME/CFS ) in summer 1998. It totally changed my life, including my creative ability and output. I could no longer sculpt, hold my tools, or have the energy to do anything for longer than a few minutes. Yet my creative mind would not stop. As a result I unwittingly created a visual diary of my utterly changed life.

  • Images from the early years of illness can be see on my art page: Initially the theme was eggs, birds, and flight. 
  • In 2003 Artist David Begley recorded a short documentary about my creative life with illness: ‘Fit to Fly’ see or YouTube. Funded by Arts and Disability Forum.
  • A version of this was also recorded for RTÉ (our national broadcaster) see . They came to film again in 2018. These two segments are in the one video. With kind permission from RTÉ.

Books and art

  • In 2006 I wrote, designed and published my first book ‘Hatched - a creative journey through M.E.: The book is out of print but can be read for free, see page for link. It has very short poems and images of the first seven years of illness.
  • Katie Lincoln recorded the accompanying short documentary ‘Flight Path’  see This project was funded by Waterford County Council Arts Office.
  • In 2009 I wrote, illustrated and published  ‘Cirrus Chronicles’ a local fairy tale for all ages. Supported by an Artlinks Bursary.
  • In 2011 it created a tiny book called ‘Flying on Little Wings with images and wisdom from the birds.
    • Both can be read via links on the relevant webpages.
  • The biggest book project I undertook during 2013-2015 was my Artist Book in a box: ‘Into the Light. ( It was a response to doing a year of Disability Studies, my subsequent reading and research. The format - loose page in a box, came about during one of my retreats at Dzogchen Beara. 
  • This project was made possible through a Rehab grant; a small publishing grant from Waterford Arts Office, as well as a very successful crowd funding. Many thanks to all involved. Book Launched by Michael Harding, and Sr. Stan.
  • Some of my Art created during those years can be found in the slideshows When able to sculpt again, I started using roots. Perhaps depicting a sense of being more grounded in my reality.


From 2015 my creative life was invaded, and dictated by puppets. It transformed my life and art and am forever grateful!

In a nutshell:

I explored puppetry, disability and health in more detail. This led to the creation of The Girls, Póilin, ‘Dance of Life’.


  • The Reflection Girls exploring the reality of my disabled body through my reflection in the mirror.
  • Póilin came about to explore a ‘wheelchair-top-puppet’ as I could no longer handle my marionette puppets. This is a video of Póilin and our Travels to the UK. Póilin’s travels with M.E.
  • I created a small set of two animation figures which I called the The Dance of Life, however I have not yet been able to create the full video. This snippets gives the idea:

Exploring M.E. Through the ‘Octopus’

Podcasts about my journey with puppetry: 

Teaching puppet making 

Most recent documents and articles

Further reading/viewing:

Saturday, August 14, 2021

My first doll and puppet ever made

 It was a beautiful experience to hand over the little man in the basket yesterday to its new minder.

The cloth doll is obviously not my most amazing work, but perhaps the most significant. It is the first ever doll I made at the age of ten. Nearly 50 years ago.

I had already made a few dolls clothes by then on the singer sewing machine and also by hand. Some knitted. 

My parents were on holiday, not sure where my older siblings were, but in any case, I was staying with an aunt and uncle for a few weeks. Cycling to school every day. With the hep of my aunt I made this doll. It was the starting point of a life long doll making adventure. Initially using cloth, then paper mache heads, using a plastic mould and putting a nylon stocking over it. I started borrowing books from the library and learned more and more techniques. My mother following my lead. 

I made the first puppet at age 15, following the instruction of the first doll making book I bought. And still have.

The puppet body template, and some of the starting process of making the base of the head I still use in my online teachings tutorials.   I remember sitting at the dining table to cut the wooden body with tools my dad had given me for my previous year’s birthday. He passed away when I was 14.

Both these pieces are up for adoption. Email or message me if interested. 

Again, all funds raised are for future support, both living, and creatively.

The first doll’s clothes have faded a little over time when she was sitting on the window sill in my studio. Enjoying the morning sunshine. 

The clown puppet is a fully working marionette. Obviously my sculpting skills improved a great deal over the decades. But for a first attempt I am still quite proud of him. Including the detail in the clothing. 

Many thanks 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

“It happened on the Late Late Show (1993)”

As I am continuing to let go of some of my artworks/creations, here is a piece I made around 1991 as part of my Fantasy Folk Artist Dolls business. I made many tiny little people. Each and every one a unique piece. Often with acorns, shells, or (clay) leaves as hat or clothing. All created in response to living in Dromana House in Villierstown, Co. Waterford at the time. A place steeped in history, folklore and surrounded by nature. 

All are sold - and found homes all over the world. This is one I kept.

This piece made its appearance, and received a special mention by Gay Byrne, on the Late Late Enterprise Show in January 1993. I have a video clip of it, one day I’ll figure out how to share it.

This appearance was very much the start of my public sharing and selling of my work.

My work at the Late Late Enterprise Show, January 1993

The egg shaped basket was made from local rushes, woven around a balloon. I learned the craft of basket making with rushes at the little church in Villerstown, and was told; “You can’t weave around a balloon!” I did it anyway. 30 years later it is still intact. 

This sculpture is in my room at present, looking out the window, but I have decided to let it find a new forever home. It is ready for adoption. 

If you are interested to purchase this piece, please send me an email, or personal message via Facebook/WhatsApp (if you are in my contacts) with your offer. Its chosen home will be at my discretion.

Collection from Waterford would be preferable, but (overseas) courier can be organised, but might take me a while to sort.

A few other dolls and puppets are currently stored by Jane who kindly handled the sorting out of my little home with huge dedication. These works will be up for adoption in the near future.

(Please stop by here another day…)

I also have some puppets in my new home; The Girls, Johnny Dwyer, and Jimmy. All stored in their boxes. I do tell them that one day they will see the light again. In what capacity I don’t yet fully know. Perhaps during the suggested exhibition here at Signacare of my work later in the year.

The funds raised from sales of this piece and others, will help me pay for practical support to make the intended video-documentary of my work. (See previous blogpost)

When my brain allows, I am editing two previous written lectures (Cork, and Chile) into one, and publish this on my blog, with links to youtube, website, podcasts etc. to give a ‘tour’ of my work created during illness. 

I have an offer of help with further editing of the video I made for Cork Puppetry Festival. The final video will have subtitles in English. Perhaps with subtitles also in Spanish and Dutch, but if not, then I do hope to have the written document available in those languages. But all in its own good time….!

Stay tuned

PS, I think the email notifications of new blogpost will cease at some point in the near future - or so google told me - so if you like to stay up to date, you probably have to take the initiative to see if I have anything new added. Many thanks for your support. As ever.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Change, acceptance and new creative opportunities

Big decisions followed by acceptance allow me to move forward. Again.

Maybe I will start working on my photo album cover again too…

After too many physical/mental challenges to create the video presentation for Cork Puppetry Festival, attend (briefly) 2 zoom meetings (Cork, and Chile), and being encouraged to be more part of the community here, I had to concede that I need to be much more in tune, respected, and clear in what I can and can no longer do. Unfortunately a lot less…

I will have to listen much better to what my body needs. And put expectations aside. My own, and from others.

Creatively I have made the decision that I will no longer do any online events. The physical collapses were just too scary to justify any further involvement in them.

However it was utterly beautiful and a huge honour to share my work, my stories, and to communicate with some amazing people over the years. 

I do realise that anyone who wants to hear, read, see my work, there is enough material out there. Over time I intend to create a list of links to talks, podcast, videos etc. and share it on my blog. (For now, there is lots on my website and blog, including links to videos and podcasts) Maybe I’ll extend last week’s video, but certainly not yet!

As always, when decision are made, and I fully accept them, in this case to withdraw from public online engagements, a beautiful opportunity arose.

In stead of giving I will be receiving. The universe as always heard me, and supported me.

Request for Assistance

Months ago I put a request in for Personal Assistance (PA) through Disability Services, in order to be able to explore life a little more outside my room, as well as receive support creatively. The application is in…. And as before, that is where it stayed. (Probably when it is granted, it is too late to be able to explore the world outside my room…)

Anyway. To find a way ‘out’ in the meantime, I put out a call in a private group of artist - and in a subsequent beautiful turn of  events I have very gratefully accepted one to one support through Waterford Healing Arts Trust. (WHAT)

My first contacts with WHAT was the invitation to give a talk in 2004

From next Thursday I will be collaborating with artist Caroline Schofield to see what and where and how my current abilities fit to continue to use my creative mind. As we talked on the phone yesterday we both acknowledged that this isn’t just me getting support, but it is very much a process for both of us. Hence using the word collaboration. 

I think this contact will also help me to start working on the embroidered tree again (See first image and here ) and other unfinished projects.

I now need to be horizontal a great deal of the time. Communicating is now only possible if I lay flat. This will also be the case for creative work. I imagine.

Initially there will be three sessions with Caroline. No idea what will happen, but after a phone call yesterday with the artist the Tree, and my Tree House will be central to our collaboration.

It has been a tough learning process. Again!

Time to rest, rest, rest, and then play.

Be well and much love.

Further reading: