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The Talking Bird, The Singing Tree and The Golden Water

The Journey

Somehow, the fantastic story of “The Talking Bird, The Singing Tree and The Golden Water” is very appealing to me. So I decided to make a table top puppet show of this tale, taken from the Arabian Nights.

Here is a little blog of my journey in preparing for this puppet story. Please check back to follow my journey!



 Costume Research

“The Talking Bird, The Singing Tree and The Golden Water” is a Persian story from Arabian Nights. So I purchased “Persian Paintings – Five Royal Safavid Manuscripts of the 16th Century by Stuart Cary Welch” to study the costumes of Persian Nobility.

 March 31, 2012. Hooray! My used copy of this book arrived from I love Persian miniatures! Such interesting jewels!!! Here I will show you some pages of this new treasured book.

Ooh! I love those demons! Such raw, delicious renderings!

Much chinese influence in the clouds, faces, styles.


I love a good drama!

The Cast (Handmade Table Top Puppet Dolls)

I do have a tendency to want to include a cast of a ba-jillion. Thus, I remind myself here to limit the cast to about 20 or less. Here are the key characters to handmake for the puppet theatre.

  1. Kosrouschah, Emperor of Persia. I will handmake this doll to be a “generic sultan” that I can use for all my other Arabian Night stories and perhaps slip him in the nativity scene for “Three Kings Day”
  2. trusty minister/grand vizier
  3. Sister 1
  4. Sister 2
  5. Sister 3 / Queen
  6. generic baby in basket
  7. Officer/ intendant of the gardens
  8. Officer’s wife
  9. Prince Bahman, the eldest
  10. Prince Perviz, the second-born
  11. Princess Periezade
  12. Old Religious Woman
  13. Dervish
  14. horses for princes and princess
  15. bowl
  16. Prince Bahman’s bloodied knife from vestband in a sheath. Life size or miniature? Life size is more dramatic…
  17. Prince Perviz’s string of a hundred pearls. Will I make this life size?
  18. The Talking Bird. Should I make him extravagant or a very simple plain bird? The possibilities are endless!
  19. The Singing Tree…magnificence or simplicity?
  20. a flagon of water… April 16, 2012 My 7 year old pianist is already practicing Czerny’s Opus 599 Etude No. 56 to go with the scene of Princess Periezade reviving exotic princess with a flagon of water on the rocky mountain…
  21. Fountain of Golden Water
  22. Foreign Pinces
  23. Cucumber stuffed with pearls

…. to be continued

Scenes to Design

Some inspirations

How to fit all the scenes together for the puppet show…The gorgeous illustrated scroll gave my an idea of how to piece the scenes together.

Hoarding of Lavish Worldly Materials!

Here are a partial list of the materials I will use to make these exotic dolls!

  1. iridescent silks
  2. animal pelts/fur
  3. sequins
  4. sheer, silk gold inlaid chiffon
  5. wool felt
  6. velvet
  7. cotton with fine prints
  8. recycled clothes from members of the family
  9. beads
  10. feathers
  11. endless list of fun crafting supplies! hooray!


Prince Perviz

Click here to see the making of Prince Perviz. April 2012. Here is the first doll I am making from this story. The secondborn prince, Perviz.

May 4, 2012. Here is Prince Perviz, his robe still being hand stitched.

A little Digression!

Speaking of Esther… Here is a little digression. My favorite salacious reading from the Holy Land:  The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible, by Jonathan Kirsch.

buy it from Amazon. It is a spicy read!


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