The Artist                                                                                  

Lenka Cain Pavlickova graduated from the Art school in Prague in 1992, where she studied graphic design. Then she found she could express herself artistically not only in carving marionettes but also in designing and creating costumes, often searching out interesting materials and hand painting her own silk. In the time she has been creating marionettes, she has been recognized around the world for her fine work, which has led to many articles being written in magazines and newspapers and interviews for CNN, the BBC and a guest appearance on the 70th anniversary edition DVD of Pinocchio. She now lives between Prague and England which expanded her knowledge of other cultures and traditions in puppet theatre and has been inspirational in some of her latest work.

Creative Process

The creation of the marionettes varies depending on the size and detail of the character. However, what they all have in common is the process leading to the finished product. Lenka starts with an idea in her mind, the inspiration for which can come at anytime and from anything. She then prepares a technical drawing of the subject, she duplicates the drawing to allow her to cut out templates needed to start cutting the wood. Her father prepares the wood in the Czech Republic, and cuts rough pieces from the wood using industrial saw. When Lenka receives the templates, she starts to hand-carve them into the integral parts of the marionette. There are normally 15 individual parts to carve and these body parts are connected with screws and leather, then they are preserved with bees wax and left to dry. After that Lenka paints the parts with oil paints, and again leaves them to dry. In the meantime, Lenka creates a costume she specifically designed for that marionette, and dresses up the character. While completing the marionette, Lenka adds the final touches which make it stand out and give it its unique features.

As you can begin to understand, this is a lengthy and demanding process, and Lenka gives each of her "children" a small part of herself.