Skeleton Marionette Carving Workshop

Documentary film from PIP Skeleton Marionette Workshop, March 2013


Skeleton puppet carving workshop

27. Feb - 8. March 2017 (10 days)

The unique technology of the skeleton marionette that can fly apart was used by early Czech puppeteers and is one of the most popular of the "trick marionettes." Learn traditional design+how to string a Skeleton who can perform amazing tricks.


Description of workshop

The workshop focuses on the specific technology of the traditional Skeleton marionettte that is strung so its bones can fly apart and come back together. All students will go home with their own very special skeleton.

See photos of the Skeleton puppets made in our workshop!

Students will learn how to create this marionette from start to finish: the puppet's special design, making technical drawing, woodcarving, painting, assembly and stringing. We will work with the students on how to manipulate this specific puppet so it comes to life. The course also includes lessons of Czech puppet history and visits to exhibitions and theatre performances.


Daily Schedule

The daily schedule is intensive: students work eight hours from 9,30 to 18, with morning sessions consisting of interactive lectures and rest of day for practical work. In the evenings, students visit puppeteers' studios, attend puppet theatre performances, and see the best of animated Czech puppet films.

Total length of the workshop is 10 days. The workshop includes 1 day on designing, 5 days on puppet construction and carving, one day on puppet painting, one day stringing, one day of manipulation. There will be one day off in the middle of the workshop to see Prague and have a break.


Who is the course designed for?

It is an ideal opportunity for woodcarvers, artists, theatre makers, puppeteers and teachers, who want to learn the craft of creating a very special wooden marionette.

Students will be selected on the basis of their experience, and all applicants should send by email photos of their work with the application. There will be maximum 10 students.


Workshop fee

The Skeleton marionette workshops will cost 16,000 Czech Crowns (approx 580 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 accommodation 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, 600 Czech crowns (approx. 21 Euro) for a single room (includes breakfast), or 380 Cz crowns for a triple 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.



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. 


Vaclav Krcal


Vaclav is profesional puppet maker based in Prague. He has made puppets for numerous internationally known puppet companies and puppeteers. He now works as a freelance puppet maker and he has taught for many workshops with us.

Photo gallery

Skeleton Puppets made by our students in previous workshops


Historical Skeleton puppets