Marionette Carving Online Workshop


Marionette Carving online

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.

We have 3 upcoming sessions:

17-30 August, 2020 (full)

2-20 November, 2020

4-22 January, 2021


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. Before the workshop starts, students will participate in an online lecture on puppet design taught by Mirek Trejtnar. Then they will then create a design with consultation from Mirek.


Part 2: Wood prepared in Prague based on students' designs and sent to them by UPS. All puppet parts and controller will be in this package.


Part 3: Making the puppet: Following live presentations on Zoom, students will meet three times a week and get detailed instructions on the aspects of making the marionette: how to make joints, carve details of hands, face, legs, and body, assemble the puppet, connect strings, make and attach the controller. See photos below of puppets made in our online July workshop. There will be small group and individual consultations before and after classes.


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




Students will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 - 8:30 p.m. Central European Time. (If there is enough interest, we will offer another session at 9 - 10:30 a.m. Central European Time for people in Australia/Asia).

Part 1- Puppet Design

A lecture will take place before the workshop begins on design (for November workshop, it will be on 19 September; for the January workshop it will be 21 November). The following days, all students will have individual online consultations.

Students will then submit their final design.


Part 2- Preparing wood

Puppets in Prague cuts wood based on design and ships puppet parts and controller to students before the workshop begins.


Part 3- Making the puppet

The classes will start on the first Monday (November 2 / January 4) and meet 9x on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for three weeks.

Lecture 1: Introduction, joints, basics of woodcarving, start carving head Homework: start shaping head, estimated 3-4 hours

Lecture 2: Woodcarving, carve features of face Homework: work on head features, estimated 6 hours

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

Lecture 4: Woodcarving, legs HomeHwork: finish hands, start on legs, body, estimated 3 hours

Lecture 5: Woodcarving, body Homework: finish all carving, 4 hours

Lecture 6: Painting Homework: painting

Lecture 7: Joints, Assembly Homework: Assembly

Lecture 8: Stringing, Controller Homework: finish everything

Lecture 9: Finish everything, summary


Option - Making your own Joints and Controller

Experienced students with suitable tools at home can choose to cut their own puppet parts by sourcing their own wood and not using our kit. Students who are interested in this option should participate in the intensive JOINTS SESSION of our One-Off Marionette Carving Series that takes place October 24-25 to learn the process of creating joints in advance. In this case, the student will save money on postage and puppet kit, but will be charged an additional 1000 Kc for the intensive joints workshop plus additional consultations necessary for them to successfully make the joints and controller.


The topic of joints will also be covered during the regular online workshop for all students so they can create their own puppets in the future.


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 12 students plus consultations before and after lectures.


Workshop fee

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

Tuition: 7,000 Czech Crowns (approx 265 EUR / $310) - includes 10 lectures, individual consultations throughout process, manual, videos

Postage, UPS: 2500 Czech Crowns (approx 93 EUR/ $110) *


TOTAL: 14,000 Czech crowns (approx 514 EUR / $620- find current exchange rates here).


*If a student opts NOT to receive puppet parts but to source their own wood and create their own joints, they will only have to pay the cost of tuition + a 1000 Czech crowns to participate in the intensive advanced Joínts workshop (October 24-25) - Total 8,000 Czech crowns (320 Euro / $350).


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.


Šarka Zikova


Šarka is professional ilustrator, painter and puppet designer . She worked on big number of animated films as designer.


Marcela Krcalova


Marcela is a professional puppet costume designer. She makes costumes and puppets for both Czech and international known puppet companies and puppeteers, as well as making textile puppets for television.

Photo gallery

technical drawing
technical drawing