A slight diversion into different material – wood. Loyal followers will recall that I have made marionettes in the past at the Prague workshop of Mirek Tretnjar. This spring I went back to Prague to make a family puppet theatre and the puppets and scenery for a production of the Snow Queen.
Family theatres are a tradition in the Czechia (remember the Sound of Music and the Lonely Goatherd, yes I know not Czechia). Above is an example of a family theatre.
The workshop took us through the marionette carving, scenery painting, theatre painting, Marionette dressing and using the marionettes to tell our story. Above is a photo of the workshop with everyone working.
It was a fantastic group of talented people and I negotiated a jewellery commission which I’m so looking forward to making.
Starting with four blocks of wood, I carved the heads of my four puppets for a show based on the Snow Queen. Other blocks were carved for the hands, shoes and legs. Everything was then painted and clothes made. Mirek Trejtnar, the workshop leader, assembled the puppets and they were ready for the theatre. Lots of people helped and advised, including Marcella, Vaclav and Sota.
For some reason I can’t upload any puppet photos, above is a photo of some of the puppet artists at leisure.
It took a week to get the puppets almost complete. We then moved on to making the theatre. Dora and Svetlana helped plan and develop the performance. I was really pleased with the final family-story telling performance that we devised. I’m looking forward to sharing it with my grandchildren for their fourth birthday. Hopefully they will enjoy doing their own performances soon.