Harry and the Hendersons Mask Conservation and Display

Conservation and display of an original Harry and the Hendersons mask from the production of the classic bigfoot comedy.

This production made Harry and the Hendersons mask was in nearly pristine condition and sold through the Rick Baker Monster Maker Auction held by our friends at Prop Store. Since the foam latex used on this bigfoot costume face (and many other props), could be delicate and tear, it was important for films to have back ups on sets in order to keep filming on track. This mask was painted and had hair applied by production crew just like the screen used pieces, so that if the crew needed to use it on film it was ready at a moment’s notice.  Since the Harry head was already in such great condition our focus was primarily on conserving and displaying this whimsical mask, bringing it to life with a bit of character.

Our client asked us to add custom blue acrylic eyes and teeth to turn the mask into a bust. The goal was to look like actor Kevin Peter Hall when he was in full costume. The Harry mask arrived on a rigid urethane foam insert which was a great start for the display. It helped to support the prop, it also gave us a place to carve into to attach his eyes and teeth. We have vendors for amazing custom eyes, but his teeth were unique to Harry.  Steven Richter, a sculptor in our New York studio, created a completely custom set in Monster Clay. From there, we molded the teeth and cast them in a translucent resin from Smooth On, and gave them layers of realistic staining with paint.

Once the eyes and teeth were installed in the foam head, Steven sculpted eyelids onto the bust to help blend the mask with the newly added eyes. They eyelids were then painted to match the surrounding material for a nearly seamless transition.  We then used custom blend of faux fur from our friends at National Fiber Technology to cover the back of the bust which was missing as well as Harry’s “shoulders.”  For the base we used a real slice of a tree trunk as a nod to Harry’s natural habitat and the rustic style shown throughout the classic 80’s comedy!

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John Lithgow, Big Foot and an awesome make up by Rick Baker! What's not to love?

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