German puppet designer and builder. Jürgen Maaßen had already specialized in puppet theatre during his studies of sculpture and art in Düsseldorf (1973-1980). Inspired by works of painters such as Bosch, Bruegel, Otto Dix, and the popularity of cartoons, he endows his puppets with a style that is grotesque, executed in a very precise manner and full of folk humour. While modelling, sewing, carving, and sculpting tiny details he takes inspiration from and gives life to the materials. He has developed very personal techniques and dresses his puppets himself.

Maaßen has developed since 1984 around one thousand two hundred and fifty figures, along with posters, sets and programmes for different theatres. His experience in restoration has allowed him to influence and reconstruct the carving techniques and surface design of many designers of the 20th century.

Since 1986, Jürgen Maaßen has been teaching puppeteers and puppet designers the art of sketching and drafting as well as different manufacturing techniques. He has been a member since 1996 of Ambrella Figurentheater (Ambrella Figure Theatre).

(See Germany.)


  • “Beruf: Puppenbauer” [Profession: Puppet Builder]. Puppenspiel-Information. Fachzeitschrift für Figurentheater Heft 77. No. 2. Berlin, 1997, pp. 17-19.