Prague Marionettes at the EWS

by | Oct 16, 2012 | 7 comments

Woodworking is a practical skill so it’s always been needed for our very basic home comforts; roofs, doors and furniture etc. But wood is such a versatile material and there’s often an additional artistic element there that’s designed in or perhaps even left accidentally by the craftsman. At the European Woodworking show last year I met Lenka Pavlickova, a marionette maker from Prague and in her work the character of the pieces is certainly no accident. I think they’re a wonderful example of just how well suited wood can be as a route to self expression.

Lenka carves the individual parts of the body and head and connects them together using screws and leather to create a remarkably life like movement. The most striking thing about her work though are the unforgettable expressions and over exaggerated features that somehow make them more lifelike despite the step away from realism.  I like how the tooling marks are left visible and transparent paints are used so we can understand where they come from just by looking and I think the personalities are a wonderful expression of herself and her country, I can imagine many of them lurking on the streets of Prague at night!

At this year’s show I was able to take this footage of Lenka carving and showing the movement of her Marionettes. There’s a face recognition feature on the camcorder and I was amused to see it flashing up on each of the carved faces – perhaps there really is life behind those eyes!

Lenka has some wonderful photos and videos on her own website:

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About Helen Fisher

About Helen Fisher

Helen seeks to explore ways to live with greater joy & sustainability for both ourselves & the planet. Concepts which have led to the launch of her second business We Are Carbon. As the producer of our videos, Helen brings a unique perspective & injects life to our education ensuring it is both a pleasure to watch & easy to follow & learn from. Learn More About Helen & The English Woodworker.


  1. Josh B

    What an amazing product, the skill required to craft such a thing must be staggering. I scared myself after going on the website though, don’t like clowns! Even well crafted ones…

    • Helen

      Ha, I don’t think Richard would be too keen on the clown one either!

  2. Tico Vogt

    Fantastic! Really enjoyed reading about her and watching your and her videos.

  3. Paul Chapman

    Stunning work. Thanks for posting the video and link.

  4. Helen

    Tico & Paul, pleased to hear that you’ve enjoyed it. It really is fascinating work, thanks for your comments.

  5. Joy

    Morning Helen & Richard, have just shared this on the EWS facebook page, fabulous!


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