A Puppet’s Essence

A woodcarving masterclass with puppet designer Michaela Bartonova and professional carver Jiri Helcel

Monday 8th August to Sunday 14th August 2016, Czech Republic


Enjoy a rewarding summer with our masterclass woodcarving workshop, 8th August to 14th August 2016 in beautiful Czech countryside near Prague. Over the period of seven days, you will complete a table top puppet, from your very own design through to its final form. Maximum 12 participants guarantees a personal approach from both of our tutors — internationally recognised puppet designer Mischa Bartonova and professional carver Jiri Helcel. They will provide the necessary guidance throughout, help you with your concept using theory of archetypes, provide tips on hand-carving and most importantly ensure you have a great time along the way!

"Under the Mischa’s friendly and professional tutelage, we managed to create an entire fairytale cast of seven puppets in seven days. It was great!"

Renate Wätte, teacher, Lund (Sweden)

"It was interesting how the imaginary character in my mind became alive as a puppet. I took a lot of inspiration from the archetypes we discussed, which really helped me transform my image, create and complete my puppet. I would like to try this workshop again!"

Azadeh Mohammadi, film director, Abu Dhabi (UAE)

"Mischa’s puppet designs are great; I have a bit of experience — carving is my hobby — but how to transform a piece of wood into an art piece is a skill I have only learned on this workshop. I’m convinced that I will be able to use this in the future on my own."

Dan Pedersen, accountant, Aalborg (Denmark)

Workshop Dates

Monday 8th August to Sunday 14th August 2016


The workshop runs daily from 9am to 6pm. You will learn how to create a table top puppet from start to finish, including conceptualising, design, carving, painting and finishing. You can find out more in the detailed programme.

Important Information

Maximum number of 12 participants guarantees a personal approach by both lecturers during the entire workshop. The course can be completed by any skill level, from beginner to advanced. In one week you will finish a hand carved, painted and clothed wooden table top puppet which you will take home.

Registration and Costs

The course fee is €750, including accommodation for 6 nights, breakfast and refreshments for the entirety of the course. Note that travel and air fare is not part of the workshop fee.

To join the workshop, please fill out your name and email in the sign-up form. You will receive our registration confirmation and bank contact details. Registration closes 8th July.

Special offers

You will receive a 15% recommend a friend discount if another participant joins and quotes your name as a reference. Terms & conditions.

Invite your friends to join by sharing this page on Facebook or email!

Portrét Michaela Bartoňová

Michaela Bartoňová

Mischa leads woodcarving and painting workshops around the world for the past 20 years. She lectured on puppet design in the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, UAE, Australia and many others. Her puppets are used by professional puppeteers from Berlin to Sydney and you can find her work permanently exhibited in Japan (Kaikyo Drama Museum) or the Dutch exhibition-boat Noah's Ark. See Mischa's work on Behance.

Portrét Jiří Helcel

Jiří Helcel

Jiri is a professional carver and graphic designer. For 22 years, he was was part of the Barrandov Animation Studios, and for the same period, he also works on his own projects and puppets. Apart from regular workshops, Jiri also worked on the Noah's Ark project with Michaela.

Event Location

The workshop will be held at rustic Czech countryside hotel "Spálený Mlýn" approximately 20 minutes from Prague, Czech Republic. It is surrounded by beautiful forests and offers an ideal space for uninterrupted and relaxing work. It is easy to rent a bike or go horse riding in the vicinity in your free time. The hotel offers traditional Czech cuisine, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.


Upon submitting your contact details, you will receive a sign-up confirmation and payment instructions.

If you are purchasing this course for a friend, or you have been referred, please note so in the optional note field.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with Michaela if you have any additional questions regarding the course.