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Wooden Puppets and Marionettes


Wooden Puppets and Marionettes



Working with wood has been one of my earliest passions. A most treasured recollection is one of a ‘little me’ watching my father carve out a marionette puppet with his pocket knife. I have used wood with great success in making animation puppets, collectors dolls, marionettes and display puppets.

Paper Pulp for dolls and hand puppets

Paper Pulp for dolls and hand puppets 


Paper Pulp dolls are a result of my experimenting with a mulch of paper, glue and plaster. This pulp is then pressed into plaster molds which I have made from a clay sculpture. The process is an exciting and cost effective method for producing surprisingly strong and light weight castings.

paper pulp toys Paper Pulp Toys


Making Steam Car and Animation Puppets

Stop frame animation puppets

Stop frame animation puppets

Making Steam Car and Animation Puppets

Watch Rod talk about the making of a model steam car and animation puppets for short stop frame animation ‘Frog Steam band’.

Puppets for Television


Puppets for Television



  • Mr Flippit

    Mr Flippit

  • Mechanical Animation Rod Control System in Puppetry

    Mechanical Animation Rod Control System in Puppetry

  • Mango Monkey and Alfie Armadello

    Mango Monkey and Alfie Armadello

  • A unique system combining marionettes with some motorized movements - 'Motonette'

    A unique system combining marionettes with some motorized movements – ‘Motonette’

  • Endearing Little Witch

    Endearing Little Witch

  • Heksie and Karneels

    Heksie and Karneels

  • Heksie's House

    Heksie’s House

  • Heksie and Blommie

    Heksie and Blommie

  • Liewe Heksie and Matevis

    Liewe Heksie and Matevis

  • Puppet Stars of Wielie Walie

    Wielie Walie Stars, Karel Kraai and Sarel Seemonster

  • Karel Kraai test prototype

    Karel Kraai Prototype

  • Rod Campbell and Rodney Peel with Wielie Walie Puppets

    Rod Campbell and Rodney Peel with Wielie Walie Puppets

I was fortunate enough to be one of the pioneers who got to be on the SABC team when television first came to South Africa, and to be part of a small group of creative people who produced the following puppets children’s entertainment. I was given the task of setting up the model making/ scenic services department and our first project turned out to be the well known Has Das with his entertaining news reports, then came

  • 1976- Wielie Walie – Karel Kraai, Sarel Seemonster, Bennie Boekwurm, Bytjie & Blommetjie (developed the Micromation MM system to manipulate Karel Kraai)
  • 1976- Bangalory Time
  • 1977- Karneels se Konsertsaal
  • 1977- Adoons Hulle
  • 1978- Signor Onyon
  • 1978/9- Liewe Heksie
  • 1981- Meistro Mole (developed the MARCS system for the control of Meistro Mole)
  • 1981- Ligstraaltjies
  • 1981- Liewe Heksie (2nd series)
  • 1983- The Wonderful World of Mr Flippit (independently made for the SABC)


Man’s Best Friend

man's best friendMan’s Best Friend

1965 stop frame puppet animation 8mm film. At the age of 24 this personal project was done using a Paillard Bolex P1 with single frame attachment. I had had no formal training and had just read as many books as I could find on stop frame film making.This project was done over about eight months working in my spare time. It won several local and international awards.



Symphony in Sync

stop frame animation puppets

Symphony in Sync

This stop frame puppet animation was made in 1965 in my garage at home. I used an 8mm Paillard P1 Bolex camera to shoot frame by frame. The puppets made are about 3 inches in size. The biggest challenge was to animate in sync to the music. This was achieved by scratching the timing of the music onto 8mm film with a pin and thereby calculating the frames needed for synchronization.




Frog Steam Band


Frog Steam Band

Shot on commercial Ektachrome Colour Film (1973). The Frog Steam Band was intended for a  10 minute short film. It was never completed as I began working for SABC Television in 1975.