Our meeting with Conrad Hartz with photos, podcast links, and 2 mini-videos.
Conrad hand carves ventriloquist puppets (also called dolls or dummies) out of wood and uses the 14mm doll lens in the moving wooden eyes. He is well known for his high quality hand crafted puppets in the world of ventriloquism.
Conrad met with us at GlassEyesOnLine and then we followed up with a visit to his wood working shop. We saw the intricate work that goes into his wood carved puppets. Conrad uses multiple skills including wood carving, sculpting, painting, sewing, and working with mechanical principles. I've never seen anything quite like it! I'm so excited to share what we learned along with some photos, podcasts, and two mini-video clips.
This form of entertainment came to America and became popular on Vaudeville in the United States. One famous American artist, Edgar Bergen with his ventriloquist dummy, Charlie McCarthy, performed on a popular radio show from 1937 to 1957. Ventriloquists still entertain today in all venues including stage, screen, and online.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8
Conrad shared some of his favorite websites with us.
Cybervent website for ventriloquists
puppet makers workshop
Recently Conrad was awarded a plaque
in Recognition of Years of Faithful Service to the Ventriloquism Community.
You can follow Conrad's work on his facebook page
We are so grateful to Conrad for sharing his knowledge and expertise about hand carving wood ventriloquist puppets.
Jerry and I both think that wood carved ventriloquist puppets (dolls or dummies) are a significant historical folk art that will become more rare in the future.
We are curious. What do you think about it? Do you consider this folk art? Are you familiar with other artists that work with this medium? We'd like to read about what you think !