Crankie Artists

Here are just a few crankie artists (in alphabetical order!) in the US and beyond.  Thank you for sharing your work and providing much inspiration!

Sam Bartlett

Sam watched Bread & Puppet Theater cranky shows as a teenager growing up in Vermont in the 1970s. This inspired him to begin building cranky theaters and drawing his own cranky shows, as well as teaching countless others to do the same. Sam has made collaborative crankies with small communities  across the country from Gustavus, AK to Plymouth, MA for the past 20 years. Most recently he teamed up with  LoCoArt in Bellefontaine, OH to produce a cranky about the history of The Holland Theater.


Dmitri Carter

Dmitri Carter has been performing professionally as a puppeteer since childhood and currently serves as Development Director and Associate Artist for Seattle’s internationally acclaimed Northwest Puppet Center. In addition to a performance venue, the Northwest Puppet Center also houses a museum and library of puppetry. He has worked with moving drops (crankies) for more than 20 years and hosted Seattle's First Crankie Fest in 2013.

McKenzie Elizabeth Ditter and Matt Muirhead

McKenzie Elizabeth Ditter and Matt Muirhead - (description is work in progress!)

Katherine Fahey

Katherine Fahey is a tremendously talented artist and musician from the Baltimore area. The first shadow puppetry I saw was her crankie Elizabeth Whitmore.  Then followed by Pickett's Charge.  She has been a huge inspiration to me. You can watch these two amazing crankies in the Moving Backdrop page and in the On-Line Crankie Fest page.

Hope & Anchor

From England, Hope & Anchor are Alex Goodman & Joanna Hope Bricher, often joined by other artists, writers and musicians. After meeting at Dartington College of Arts in 2008 they formed a printing and performing powerhouse. Check out their website

Ellen Gozion

Appalachian ballad singer and banjo plyer, from North Carolina, has made some crankies by using paper mosaic. See her crankie "Pretty Fair Miss" in the On-Line Crankie Fest page.

Joanna Hruby

From Devon in the UK, Joanna is a muscian, painter, puppeteer and folk art artist extrodinarre.

Elizabeth Laprelle

Crankie maker, banjo player, storyteller and over-the-top gifter ballad singer.Of Anna and Elizabeth.

Dejah Leger

Dejah with her father-in-law Louis Leger

Singer, graphic designer,  guitarist, piano, step dancer, paper cut artist from Seattle, WA.

Her father-in-law, Louise Leger is now making crankie kits for sale on Etsy.   To find out more visit his page on this website.  Visit his Etsy shop crankiekit

Anna Roberts-Gevalt

Crankie maker, fiddler, banjo player, guitarist, singer, story teller. Of Anna and Elizabeth from Baltimore, MD.

Peter Schumann

Photo by Clare Dolan.

Peter Schumann cofounded the Bread and Puppet Theater in 1963.  He began making crankies in the 1960s and is responsible for naming them crankys (spelled with a "y"). These early crankys inspired a "first wave" of cranky artists. 

The Bread and Puppet Theater is based in Glover, Vermont. They celebrated their 50th anniversary.  An article from the Christian Science Monitor in 2014, when the Bread and Puppet Theater were celebrating their 50th anniversary. Read it here.



Pete Sutherland and Rose Diamond

Pete Sutherland and Rose Diamond -  From Munkton, VT, Pete  is an Affiliate Artist at Middlebury College. I've known Pete since the 70s.  Still a very inspirational fiddler.  He and Rose have worked with children at music camps to create wonderful crankies.  See an example in the "Made by Children" page here. Check's out his website Pete's Posse!

Blair Thomas

Blair Thomas founded the national and international touring puppet theater company Blair Thomas & Co.  in 2002. Based in Chicago, IL, they have twice received the international UNIMA awards for excellence in the art of puppetry. Watch "The Blackbird" crankie in the "MOVING BACKDROPS" page.

Brendan Taaffe

Singer, instrumentalist (fiddle, banjo, guitar, mbira), crankie-maker from Brattleboro, VT. Watch one of his crankies on the "on-line crankie fest" page of this site.


Dax Tran-Caffe

Dax is from the San Francisco Bay area.  Musician, painter, puppeteer, author, you name it.

Sue Truman

(That's me!) I perform crankies with two groups: The Gaelic Crankie Show and Podorythmie, I am based in Seattle, WA. 

Pamela Wyn Shannon

Pamela Wyn Shannon is a gifted singer, guitarist and artist from Wales.  Read about her crankies here.  Watch one of her crankies "Caravan Crankie Lullaby" here. Enjoy!