Finished string marionette by Kay Yasugi

During 4th-18th June 2011, puppeteer Kay Yasugi from Pupperoos attended a marionette carving workshop at the Puppets in Prague School in the Czech Republic.  The course is run by Mirek Trejtnar and Leah Gaffen, with other visiting tutors including Zdar Šorm(carving/technology), Sota Sakuma (carving) and Dora Bouzkova (puppet manipulation). The workshop participants included puppeteer Lisa Krause (from Baltimore, USA), make-up artist Tara Cooper (from Texas, USA), costume designer Junko Kanayama (from Osaka, Japan) and fine artist Nina Prader (from Boston, USA). Over this 15 day workshop, the participants learned how to carve wooden marionettes (string/wire puppets), which also involved doing technical drawings, painting, costume making and assembling. By the end of the workshop, a myriad of beautiful puppet characters were created, including a Tim-Burton-style gypsy with blue hair, an old grandmother with miss-matched shoes, a little girl with a little door in her chest, a Native-American warrior/storyteller, a bright green creature of the sea (complete with webbed feet), a dashing shoemaker, a vampire girl, an Aboriginal rain-maker boy, a whimsical flower girl, a boy with starry facial tattooos and a bean-stalk climbing fairytale girl.  This workshop also coincided with the Prague Quadrennial – an international exhibition of scenography and theatre that is held in Prague every 4 years and draws entries from over 60 countries. At the end of the workshop, the students performed in “Street Stories” at Prague’s Jungmann Square, as part of the Quadrennial’s “Scenofest” programme. For more information about the Puppets in Prague school and their upcoming workshops, please visit Click on the thumbnails below to see photos from the workshop (including photos from Kay’s carving process):