I occasionally dabbled in art as a child, sketching, doing watercolours or ceramics, I wasn’t so skilled though. If somebody would have told me back then,”You are going to make marionettes one day” I would have laughed out loud. It is not important which schools I went to, they were definitely not art oriented. I am self taught, this is a very important point. I would like to encourage all of those who lack self confidence – this is all about being determined – just do everything the best way you can.
My marionette journey began slowly. Imagine you are at work, filling in forms doing paperwork and you are bored and frustrated. This is when I realised that I was not feeling satisfied and I needed to make something and feel more rewarded by my work. Because to be honest I am still a child at heart, I signed up for a marionettes-wood carving workshop where I made my very first clown marionette. The only marionette I still have – the others went on their own journeys and I always like to hear where they end up.
Marionettes I make are all originals, I do not like making the same marionette over and over again, actually I do not even know how to as there are so many different characters I can create. I always intend on making every single marionette just for me and I say to myself “this one is the best, I must keep this one”, and when I am done with it I get a new idea and inspired I start working on a new piece. Therefore, I am happy sending them around the world because the next marionette always brings something new to me. I find this journey to be very inspiring with regards to my wood carving. I like making marionettes without sketching them first, I just like to wait and see who comes to life. It is like a form of meditation – you can just switch off and let your hands create. It is probably not the best example for beginners, it works for me though.
From my home and the countryside where I live with my family. I get the inspiration from what I see and my surroundings. This explains my series, human-animal marionettes. They are humans dressed as animals, or is it vice versa? Who knows. I would like to thank my wife Monika Novakova who helps to clothe them. I also like to make devils because there are no rules, I can give them a long nose, crossed eyes, anything I feel like. In fact, most of them represent misbehaving children.
…I can say about me and my work. I just realised that I am a better woodcarver than writer, honestly it was really difficult sitting down to write all this. I like to talk to people, writing about myself is not easy at all. To all of you thinking about joining me in the world of puppetry, I hope my story has been of some help, I look forward to meeting you. For now look at my work :)
Have a nice day everyone