Puppets and Props is a small company owned and operated by 'Figure Maker', Mike Brose, and his talented wife, Cathy. Together they make some of the nicest, top quality professional ventriloquist figures around, enjoyed by performers and hobbyists alike.
Mike had an interest in ventriloquism from an early age (early 1960's), watching some of the ventriloquist greats on TV, like Edgar Bergen, Paul Winchell, Jimmy Nelson and Sherry Lewis. He learned ventriloquism from Paul Winchell's book at age 10, and won first place in a talent contest at age 11! He used to entertain all the neighborhood children, as well as the adults.
At the same time, Mike was extremely fascinated by the ventriloquist figures themselves, how they worked, and yearned to make them himself. He studied all he could about figure making, learning about wood carving (the first figure Mike ever made was out of wood), sculpting, mold making, casting, mechanisms, etc.
Every year, Mike would try to learn more about this fascinating subject. His career path as an adult headed in a different direction however. Mike was top piano tuner-technician for nearly 30 years in California. Mike feels that in many ways his time spent with the complex mechanics of fine pianos really helped prepare him later on in his career as a full time figure maker. You can read more about that HERE.
All the while he was engaged in his piano service career, Mike always spent his spare time working on building figures and learning as many skills as he could in connection with making high quality figures. He secretly desired to be making his living at building figures. But that wouldn't be for awhile yet.
In the early 1990's Mike got the idea of making ventriloquist figure kits. Mike was the first to offer high quality urethane cast dummy parts. He was making both kits and finished figures and went full time in 2000. Mike is one of the few full time figure makers who makes his living at this fascinating craft. Mike published his 200 page book on figure making in 2001, and this publication is still considered one of the best resources on figure making out there.
Thanks for your interest in Puppets and Props and what we do here. If you have questions, please email us!
Customer Jeff Duckworth says: Making a ventriloquist figure using the Mike Brose 'Sparky' casting was a simple and rewarding experience. The quality and attention to detail . . .Read More