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Mesmerizing marionettes - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Mesmerizing marionettes

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RANDOLPH, Vt. -

There's just something about a good story that can pull you in and transport you to another place.

At the Gifford Medical Center nursing home in Randolph, residents are escaping to a magical land in Russia. But with all the focus on the stage its easy to forget about the people pulling the strings up above.

Barbara Paulson and her husband, Dan Baginski, are the puppeteers behind the No String Marionette Company.  Along with developing elaborate shows, the couple also paints the scenery, makes the soundtracks -- and of course -- creates the enchanting marionettes.

They've been making the puppets for 20 years -- it's what sparked their relationship. "I've always been intrigued by marionettes,"  Baginski said.

"The fact that you can perform and have the focus be not on you, but on what you're doing -- I felt so comfortable," Paulson added.

They both have a background in art, which comes in handy as they sculpt, paint, sew and string this cast of characters in their Randolph workshop. Each puppet takes around two weeks to make.

The duo make a living performing shows around the state and custom making puppets. So what is it that makes these marionettes so mesmerizing?  

"The eyes, the movement of the head and the movement of the joints, which mimics human jointing," Baginski said.

For marionettes that look like people, each one has a minimum of 14 strings. And don't underestimate how hard it is to maneuver all of them.

"When I bring a puppet out it attracts so much attention people smile and laugh -- it's just a good feeling," Paulson said.

Made in Vermont marionettes that are pulling at heart strings.

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