Ludek Burian

My name is Ludek Burian and I am a wood carver a marionette maker from Southern Bohemia (The Czech Republic). I used to love the smell of wood as a child. I made little wooden boats out of it and blah blah blah … just kidding, now for real.

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I did not do much as a child, once in a while, I drew something with a pencil or watercolors or made something out of clay, there was not much of a talent in it though. If somebody told me back then, you are going to make marionettes one day, I would have laughed out loud. It is not important what schools I went to, there were definitely not art oriented, because I am a self-learner. And by saying it, I would like to encourage those who are not enough self-confident, this is all about being determined – just do everything the best way you can.
My marionette journey started slowly. Imagine you are at work doing some paperwork and you feel disappointed about it, and that’s the time when I came up with an idea of how nice it would be to start making something real. And because I am still a child in spirit, I assigned to 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 do it. Especially when there are so many characters I can create. I intend to make every single marionette just for myself, and I say to myself “this one is the best, I must keep this one”, and when I am done with it, I get an idea and get inspired and start working on a new piece. Therefore, I do not have any problems to send them to the world because the next marionette always brings something new to me. I find the journey a real goal in my wood-carving.
And where do I draw the inspiration from? It is my home and the countryside where I live with my family. I get the inspiration just from what I see around and where I live. That explains, for instance, my series of human-animal marionettes. These are humans dressed up as animals, or is it vice versa? Aren`t they animals with human faces? Who knows. I would like to thank my wife Monika (Novakova) who helps to dress them up. I also like to make devils because I do not need to follow any rules and I can give them a long nose, crossed eyes, just anything I feel like. In fact, most of them represent misbehaved children.
I like making marionettes without sketching them first, I just like to wait and see who is coming to life. It is some kind of meditation – you can just turn off your head and let your hands create. It is probably not the best example for beginners, it works for me though, my hands already know what to do.
And that is probably all I can say about what I do and who I am. I just found out I am a better woodcarver than a writer, honestly, It was really difficult to sit down and write all this. I like to talk to people, write the stuff down is not easy at all. Have a nice day everyone.I did not do much as a child, once in a while, I drew something with a pencil or watercolors or made something out of clay, there was not much of a talent in it though. If somebody told me back then, you are going to make marionettes one day, I would have laughed out loud. It is not important what schools I went to, there were definitely not art oriented, because I am a self-learner. And by saying it, I would like to encourage those who are not enough self-confident, this is all about being determined – just do everything the best way you can.
My marionette journey started slowly. Imagine you are at work doing some paperwork and you feel disappointed about it, and that’s the time when I came up with an idea of how nice it would be to start making something real. And because I am still a child in spirit, I assigned to 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 do it. Especially when there are so many characters I can create. I intend to make every single marionette just for myself, and I say to myself “this one is the best, I must keep this one”, and when I am done with it, I get an idea and get inspired and start working on a new piece. Therefore, I do not have any problems to send them to the world because the next marionette always brings something new to me. I find the journey a real goal in my wood-carving.
And where do I draw the inspiration from? It is my home and the countryside where I live with my family. I get the inspiration just from what I see around and where I live. That explains, for instance, my series of human-animal marionettes. These are humans dressed up as animals, or is it vice versa? Aren`t they animals with human faces? Who knows. I would like to thank my wife Monika (Novakova) who helps to dress them up. I also like to make devils because I do not need to follow any rules and I can give them a long nose, crossed eyes, just anything I feel like. In fact, most of them represent misbehaved children.
I like making marionettes without sketching them first, I just like to wait and see who is coming to life. It is some kind of meditation – you can just turn off your head and let your hands create. It is probably not the best example for beginners, it works for me though, my hands already know what to do.
And that is probably all I can say about what I do and who I am. I just found out I am a better woodcarver than a writer, honestly, It was really difficult to sit down and write all this. I like to talk to people, write the stuff down is not easy at all. Have a nice day everyone.

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