Marionette Carving Online Workshop


Marionette Carving online

13. July - Puppet design lecture

17. August - 30.July - Workshop

We will send you wooden puppet parts cut based on your design, and you will make a puppet with us. The course includes live lectures, pre-recorded videos, and a instructional manual.



Description of workshop

This course is designed for students who want to learn the whole process of how to make a wooden marionette. It is divided into three parts:


Part 1: Design. On July 13, students will participate in an online lecture on puppet design with Mirek Trejtnar. They will then create a design, with consultaiton with Mirek, by July 16.


Part 2: Wood prepared in Prague based on your design and sent to you by UPS. All puppet parts and controller will be in this package.


Part 3: Making the puppet: From August 17- 30, following live presentations, students will meet three times a week and get detailed instructions on these aspects of making the marionette: how to make joints, carve details of hands, face, legs, and body, assembling the puppet, how to connect strings, how to make and attach the controller.


Students will need a basic set of 5-6 chisels for this workshop + sharpening stones which will cost from $150-$200. We will give you guidance on how to purchase when you apply.




We will have two groups - Group 1 will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 - 8:30 p.m. Central European Time and Group 2 will meet Tuesday and Thursday at 7 - 8:30 p.m. and Friday at 5:30-7 p.m. There are also meetings the weekend of August 29-30.

Part 1- Design

July 13- Lecture, Puppet Design

July 13-15 - Students work on designs on their own, individual consultations with Mirek Trejtnar

July 16- design finalized

Part 2- Preparing wood

July 16-31 - Puppets in Prague cuts wood based on design and ships puppet parts and controller to students

Part 3- Making the puppet - there will be two groups (Monday, Wednesday, Friday / Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)

August 17/18 - Lecture 1: Introduction, tour of workshop, joints, basics of woodcarving, start carving head Homework: start shaping head, estimated 3-4 hours

August 19/20- Lecture 2: Woodcarving, carve features of face Homework: work on head features, estimated 6 hours

August 21 - Lecture 3: Woodcarving, carve hands Homework: finish head, start on hands, estimated 3-4 hours

August 24/25 - Lecture 4: Woodcarving, legs, body HomeHwork: finish hands, start on legs, body, estimated 3 hours

August 26/27 - Lecture 5: Woodcarving, Assembly Homework: finish all carving, start assembly, 4 hours

August 28 - Lecture 6 : Painting Homework: finish assembly, painting

August 29 Lecture 7: Stringing, Controller Homework: finish everything

August 30 - Lecture 8: Finish everything, summary


Who is the course designed for?

We recommend this course for students with some experience with tools and building. Experience with woodcarving is not necessary, but it will be considered when we are selecting students and is an advantage. Students must be comfortable working on their own.


There will be maximum of 6 students per group.


Workshop fee

Puppets parts, Contoller: 4,500 Czech Crowns (approx 165 Euro / $175)

Tuition: 6,700 Czech Crowns (approx 251EUR / $281)

Postage, UPS: 2500 Czech Crowns (approx 93 EUR/ $105)


TOTAL: 13,700 Czech crowns (approx 514 EUR / $576- find current exchange rates here).



Additional costs:

Price does NOT include chisels

Students also must have a basic set of chisels and sharpening tools, which will cost about $180 for top quality Swiss chisels. It is possible to get cheaper tools, but we do not recommend it. We will help students order tools from suppliers.


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 sculptures. 

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.


Leah Gaffen

History, Organization

Leah Gaffen is an American 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 also runs Story Theatre, an award-winning children's theatre company based in Prague.

Photo gallery

technical drawing
technical drawing