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Breathing life into art

Local woman has impressive career in puppetry

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ABOVE: Local puppeteer Pam Clouse poses this week with a fox puppet she made for an Aesop fable performance several years ago. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Local puppeteer Pam Clouse and Bellefontaine resident Curtis Gressner work a pumpkin head puppet prior to the recent B-Town B-Movie Massacre. Ms. Clouse made the head for a Halloween Spook Out performance several years ago. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

Since her earliest days, Bellefontaine resident Pam Clouse has had a knack for breathing life into the inanimate.

Even before she can remember, her mother told her she had taken modeling clay and fashioned a chain of monkeys linked by their tails.

And as a first-grade student at St. John the Evangelist in Columbus, she recalls sitting on the playground modeling detailed miniature sculptures that attracted the attention of the nuns.

“I would sit on the playground — no one would play with me because I was the weirdo — and make models of the Virgin Mary from looking at the statues,” the artist said. “The nuns saw them and said how good they were.

“Then one day I was in class and an eighth-grader came to the door and the nun said, ‘Pamela, go with this boy.’ I was so scared he was going to take me to the eighth-grade class and they would eat me. When I got there, Mother Superior was there and she told me to sit on a stool at the front of the room.

“When I looked around the room, all the eighth-graders were looking at me and then I saw the clay. Every desk had clay on it and Mother Superior gave me a piece of clay and said, ‘Pamela, show them how you model the clay,’ ” Ms. Clouse recalls.

“As a first-grader I was teaching eighth-graders how to model clay.”

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