With initial training and a mentorship in Prague under Puppet master Michaela Bartonova, Wez Champion is establishing himself as a “one of a kind” puppet carver in the Australia. Combining the traditional Czech carving techniques with the unique Australian experience and “heart”, Wez is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in wooden puppet building and loves the challenge of custom puppets.
Hand Carved Wooden Puppets by Wez Champion
Here’s a look at a few of his adorable one-of-a-kind hand carved puppets which he sells under the name of Loutky Puppets.
Wombat Tabletop Puppet:
The ears are made from “Cane Toad Leather” (the cane toad is a pest in Australia, responsible for widespread destruction of their native species). Not only is use of this leather a distinctive feature in Wez’s Puppets, but it has a unique texture and pattern, adding more life to these puppets. The two arms are moveable with brass rods inset into the elbow joints.
Tasmanian Figured Myrtle “quoll” tabletop puppet:
The quoll is a legendary animal that is on the brink of being wiped out from our world. This native Australian carnivore is rare to see in the wild.
Individually crafted By Wez Champion from “Figured Tasmanian Myrtle” (a native Australian exotic wood), this quoll puppet as unique as it is adorable.
The ears are made from “Cane Toad Leather” and the neck joint of the quoll puppet is a new development in wooden puppet building and a distinctive technique of Wez’s work, allowing for amazingly expressive movement of the head. The two arms are moveable with brass rods inset into the elbow joints.
He also sells finger puppets such as these hand carved out of Australian Red Cedar with ears created from leather off cuts that were salvaged from leather suppliers:
For Do-It-Yourselfers, he has blank DIY finger puppets upon which you can draw, paint or decorate any way you’d like:
Visit Loutky Puppets to learn more.
photos by Susan Wang photography