The Dark Crystal Podling Puppet Restoration

Restoration of a foam latex The Dark Crystal Podling Puppet

This Dark Crystal Podling puppet, arrived to our studio showing the unfortunate common effects of age on the foam latex. With puppets the areas which show the most damage are usually the areas where movement occurs, this weakens the foam over time and can speed up deterioration.

Our client’s hope was to get the Dark Crystal Podling puppet restored and in a sitting position for their display. Once we were able to examine the movie prop puppet in person and determine that it would not cause any further damage to the foam we got him sitting and supported with a custom insert! Sometimes the condition of the material limits what we are able to do in a restoration. It is always a balancing act to create something that is both aesthetically pleasing without risking the original prop.

Once the support was put in place we moved on to stabilizing and conserving his hands and repairing and restoring the puppet’s foam latex face. We mounted the hands on to the podling’s arms and began patching any of the missing areas of foam. Not only does this improve the look of this screen used Dark Crystal prop, but it will provide additional support and durability to the remaining material. We carefully matched the texture of the patches so that once paint was applied the repairs would become seamless.  With the patches completed we used a technique called “in painting”, which means that we only painted the areas we patched so that all of the original paint that remained was left untouched.

The end result took an original prop puppet that wasn’t really suitable to display and turned it into a beautifully restored showpiece for a great private collection!

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