Mechanical Object Workshop

mechanical object

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.

mechanical object

Description of workshop

Students will learn the basics of wooden mechanical devices: cams, followers, cranks, double crankshafts, linkage mechanisms, gears. In the second part of the workshop students will create one wooden hand-powered object with carved parts.

  • Maximum height of object will be 40 cm
Before the worskhop Students will send us drawings of designs whcih they would like to create and we will consult with them in advance. For inspiration please see work of these artists: Paul Spooner, Jan Zalud, Ron Fuller, Peter Markey, Robert Race.

mechanical objects
mechanical objects
mechanical objects

Samples of mechanical objects, which may be inspirational for your new automata.

HORSE and RUNNER by Peter Markey; MAN AND FLY by Robert Race. All other objects by Mirek Trejtnar

mechanical objects
mechanical objects
mechanical objects

The maximum height of the object will be 40 cm. We will use wood for the carved parts.

mechanical objects
mechanical objects
mechanical objects

We will learn about the art of tranformation of simple mechanical movement into object, inspiring the imagination.

mechanical objects
mechanical objects
mechanical objects

We will use wood, wires, dowels and plywood for mechanical parts.

mechanical objects

For the first 2 days of workshop we will work on one of these test mechanisms, so you learn the basic laws of construction.

mechanical object

Daily Schedule

The daily schedule is intensive: students work eight hours from 9:30a.m. to 6 p.m., with morning lectures and practical work.  In the evenings we offer for students visites of puppet theatre performances and animation films.


Who is the course designed for?

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

Students will be selected on the basis of their experience and all applicants should send photos of their work with the application. There will be maximum 7 students.


Workshop fee

The price is 22,000 Czech Crowns (approx 857 EUR, 990 USD) 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 is 400 Czech crowns (approx. 15 Euro/18 USD per night) for a double room, 600 Czech crowns (approx. 24 Euro/ 28 USD) 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 located ten minutes from the historical center of Prague in the Vrsovice neighborhood, on Holandska Street. See map and Street View

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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 designs 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.