Ludek Burian

My name is Ludek Burian and I am a wood carver and 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… Do you believe me? Ok, now for the truth:

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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 what 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.

So how did I start with puppetry?

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 with 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.

What does woodcarving give to me?

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 offand let your hands create. It is probably not the best example for beginners, it works for me though.

And where do I draw inspiration from?

From my home, surroundings and family. This explains my series, human-animal marionettes. They are humans dressed as animals, or is it vice versa? Who knows. I also like making devils because there are no rules, I can give them exaggerated or unusual features.From my home, surroundings and family.

Ok, that is probably all…

…I can say about me and my work. I realise now that I am a better woodcarver than writer, I prefer to talk to people about my work rather than write. 

Have a nice day everyone



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