Mechanical Object Workshop


Mechanical Object

5. - 11. November 2018

Before Christmas a chance to learn the tricks of creating mechanical sculptures under master designer Mirek Trejtnar - whose mechanical cyclist is in the Victoria and Albert museum.


Description of workshop

Students will learn basics of wooden mechanical devices and will create one wooden hand-povered object. Object will be combination of puppet and automata. We will make movable head, or movable head with hands.


Daily Schedule

The daily schedule is intensive: students work eight hours from 9:30a.m. to 6 p.m., with morning sessions consisting of interactive lectures and afternoons for practical work.  In the evenings, students visit puppeteers' studios, attend puppet theatre performances, and see the best of animated Czech puppet films.


Who is the course designed for?

It is an ideal opportunity for toy makers, woodcarvers, artists, theatre makers, and teachers, who want to learn the craft of mechanical objects.

Students will be selected on the basis of their experience and all applicants should send photos or their work with the application. There will be maximum 8 students.


Workshop fee

The price is 20,000 Czech Crowns (approx 831 USD, 730 Euro) for actual exchange rate see here.

Price includes all materials, local transportation costs, tickets to performances. To confirm place in the workshop, applicants must send a deposit (details will be sent upon acceptance).



The fee does NOT include accommodations during the workshop.


Accommodations with shared bathroom facilities can be arranged for participants in Pension Jana, a comfortable, clean hostel located in a residential area a five minute walk from the workshop. The price for the January 09 workshop is about 400 Czech crowns (approximately 15 Euro per night) for a double room, 520 Czech crowns (approx. 21 Euro) for a single room (includes breakfast), or 350 Cz crowns for a dormitory room. For more informaton, go to the Pension Jana web site:

If participants prefer other accommodation, we can provide contacts to booking agencies in Prague.

Participants can cook meals in a small kitchen in the workshop or eat in local Czech restaurants (approx. 5 Euro for lunch).

Location of Workshop

The workshop of Miroslav Trejtnar, located ten minutes from the historical center of Prague in the Vrsovice neighborhood, on Holandska Street. See map and Street View

View My Saved Places in a larger map


The workshop is taught in English.



Miroslav Trejtnar

Leader of workshop.

Miroslav Trejtnar graduated with high honours from the puppet design department of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. He has trained with Institut UNIMA in Charleville - Mezieres in France. In 1989 he started the KID Company, designing and producing wooden puppets, toys and sculpture. 

Mirek's art has been exhibited around the world, including at several UNIMA festivals.  He has designed puppets for numerous productions, including "The Baroque Opera" by the Forman Brothers.  He has also produced puppets for the Jiri Trnka animated film studio in Prague. 

Mirek has taught hundreds of students at Puppets in Prague workshops. He has also taught for the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, St. Martin’s College of Design in London, New York University in Prague, Chapito Circus Academy in Lisbon, Portugal, and in Macao and Hong Kong.


Zdar Sorm

Carving and technology.

Zdar worked for  the Jirí Trnka animated film studio at Barrandov studio in Prague for 20 years, and is now a freelance designer of puppets for film animation and theatre, as well as a graphic and furniture designer.  He is one of Prague's leading experts in the technological design of puppets for animated films. 


Leah Gaffen

History, Organization

Leah Gaffen is an Ameican who has lived in the Czech Republic for fifteen years.  She founded the Puppets in Prague workshops with Mirek Trejtnar, and has worked with him as a producer for the course since then.  She has also done production and translating work for the Prague Theatre Academy and numerous theatre education projects.

Photo gallery

introduction to puppets
introduction to puppets
introduction to puppets

At the beginning of the course, a professional puppeteer helps students become familiar with different types and sizes of marionettes. Our goal is for students to understand basic operations of a marionette, as this helps them when they are designing their own puppet.