Bill Johnk’s Magic Marionettes

Joknk's Gandalf

For the January 14 Grey Havens Inklingsiana, Clay Evans arranged for artist Bill Johnk to visit Grey Havens to tell how he brought The Hobbit to life long ago with his wonderful marionettes.  When Clay was a youth in Boulder, Colorado in October 1974, he attended one of Johnk’s performances.  That enchanted evening stayed with Clay through the decades that followed. So it was a very special privilege for Grey Havens to hear Bill’s moving tales of how he created these marvelously sculpted magic marionettes, and how he tragically lost them.

Johnk Marionettes


4 thoughts on “Bill Johnk’s Magic Marionettes”

  1. I do regret I couldn’t be there. He should be an honorary Grey Havener because of those marvelous dolls. I enjoyed Clay’s article about him in the Daily Camera and saw all the pictures there.

  2. I feel the same regret, reodwyn. I think I even RSVP’d that I’d be there, but I’ve had so much going on lately. It just fell through the cracks, I’m afraid. I love this group, though, for what they do to support and promote the love of literature in all walks of life. Thanks for being there, Kelly & Clay and fellow GHG’ers. And thanks for spreading the word even more, Linda.

  3. I understand about having a lot going on. I almost didn’t make it and won’t be there for the next book discussion. I agree that he should be an honorary Grey Havenser. Maybe we could even send him something official. I hope that anyone who sees this post and remembers seeing the original show will let us know what it meant to him/her, either in comments or by emailing us at

  4. I have put an alternate version of this post on the Party Tree page (it has a link to Clay’s fascinating article about Bill). Many thanks to Claywise for pulling some strings to get Bill to share his story with us!

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