PUPPET maker and mother-of-two Holly Miller is helping to entice children to discover the magic of reading.
She volunteered to use her skills to make a child puppet for the window of Bridport
bookshop Waterstones and now there's a competition to name her creation.
Holly has studio space at the Lyric Theatre where she makes puppets and runs workshops but it was her friendship with Nicky Mathewson children's bookseller at Waterstones that led to her offer.
She said: “I did it for the love of it. I know Nicky because our kids both go to St Mary's and I offered to help with the window design.
“Nicky said she'd been thinking of a puppet that they could use with different identities so that's how it came about.
“The puppet's nose and the eyes can be removed and changed and she or he can be dressed in different costumes. It hasn't just one identity.
“The idea was we could have the puppet swinging from a wing, camping, doing different things to fit in with a theme.”
Nicky said: “We hope that it will attract lots of attention and make the window and its contents more appealing to children.”
Holly was also prompted to help because she believes so strongly that reading is not only important for its own sake but for what it can lead to.
She said: “It's where people can get their ideas from, it can lead to so many other things and forms of play.
“The way it can spark imaginations is definitely so important and that's one of the reason I was so happy to help out.”
Holly will get to judge the naming competition for her puppet and is looking forward to hearing all the suggestions, she said.
Holly, who went to Beaminster
School before doing a foundation art course and an HND in design craft, rekindled her love for the art world, and puppets in particular after taking her children to the Lyric's puppet club three of four years ago.
She said: “I really enjoyed it and got back into all the arty stuff again and started to work for the Stuff and Nonsense, the theatre company based at The Lyric.”
Now she runs her own puppet workshops as well as doing scenic painting in the theatre.
She added: "Within the puppet workshops I aim to engage the participants in developing their own ideas while guiding them through the construction techniques. I love to see the interaction between the person and the puppet they have created."