Making The Props

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Disclaimer & Legal Stuff Re-Creating Kira Creature Puppets Meeting Jim Henson
Research & Bibliography Making A Fizzgig ~ Making Props Behind The Project
Contemplating Re-Creations? Backdrop Building The Presentation Trivia    Contact

Every project is a learning experience. The various small props and effects for the re-creation project required their own special skills. I employed a variety of techniques, learned others, and applied all I learned to the tasks. I relied on my own ingenuity and abilities, and learned the skills required wherever possible.

Jen's Flute

For Jen's flute, and the various ceramic beads used on Jen's costume, I took a class in ceramics. While the other students were making pots of all sizes, I did the required assignment pot, and made the beads, the flute, and other items I needed.

The beads and flute were fired unglazed, and later colored lightly using acrylic washes. It was simply the most expedient way to accomplish the task. I had little time to experiment with glazes.

Time was a great regulator of technique. I did what I could, given the time constraints, and shopped out what I had to.

Fizzgig's Eyes
Mystic Eye
Skeksis Eye

The eyes for the Mystic and Skeksis were ready-made, from a company that sells eyes of all sizes for the doll trade.

The Fizzgig eyes I had custom made. I didn't have time to experiment, and eyes with yellow irises were simply not available ready-made.

Jen's belt buckle was also a problem. I made a macquette for a jeweler I knew who did larger castings. He made the wax duplicate of it, and outsourced it to a foundry. I applied a patina to it to darken it.

Urskek rising up

I had to achieve the effect of height for the Urskek--the creature at the end of the film that represents the uniting of good (Mystic) and evil (Skeksis) into one creature. I needed to make it capable of rising up high over the level of the six-foot backdrop.

This was accomplished with a simple, wooden crutch. It was attached at the pointy end to the inside of the creature's head substructure. The performer lifted the crutch with both hands to stabilize it, and the puppet rose up well above the level of the backdrop, while the others manipulated the creature's arms.

The effect was very intimidating.

The eyes were made of cast, clear acrylic in half-spherical molds. They were sanded to give them a translucent quality.

The Crystal Shard

The crystal shard was cut with a table saw from a solid, 3-D rectangle of acrylic. Scores were deliberately cut into it. I then sanded and polished the result, leaving some of the scores rough.

I chose not to cast it, as mixing and casting acrylic, particularly in large forms such as this, is messy, difficult, and deals with a hazardous chemical catalyst known to cause cancer.

By the way, this is the same shard pictured on the page "Thoughts On The Film." There, I used a gel-filtered light to turn it purple, against a black background.