This is an original Gerry Adams Spitting Image puppet head which was bought to me by the Northern Ireland National Museum for restoration and conservation.


The puppet head had previously been owned by a pub and had encountered an unfortunate injury to his mouth and chin during his stay. The museum acquired him and wanted to restore him to exhibit. 


Gerry was a very tricky puppet to restore as he had distorted and deteriorated in to a deformed shape and lost volume so I had to recreate his features as best I could. As with all of the latex puppets I stabilised him first before reinforcing him from the inside. I then restored the head to be sympathetic to its authentic condition, maintaining the original features and paint work and ageing the restored areas appropriately.  

I also worked on stabilising his body and supported any areas which were under strain. I made him a bespoke stand to ensure the weight of the body and his costume were supported. Full list of work undertaken:

Stabilised all of the delicate areas of the face before being able to glue parts back together and build a structure to build back in his mouth area. 

  • Fully reinforced the inside of his mouth and areas of weakness inside his mouth.

  • Rebuilt and re-sculpted his mouth and beard areas. Fixed any cracks on his face. Worked to match the photos as best I could considering loss of volume and the shape in which the puppet had deteriorated and the latex had gone hard. 

  • Colour matched and repainted his mouth and beard area.

  • Injected areas in his head to bind deteriorating material. 

  • Cleaned up his eyes which appeared to have been glued in incorrectly. Replaced/repositioned them as best I could within the structure due to access and fragile material. 

  • Cleaned up his body which was deteriorating and shedding  deteriorated foam dust. Stabilised and sealed arms. Injected hands to bind material and fixed holes and cracks. 

  • Used appropriate original material to patch areas of the body which were deteriorating to stabilise and support. His bottom and his chest. 

  •  Removed chicken wire from legs to release them and prevent any damage or deterioration. 

  • Bought some braces to use on his trousers as a non permanent /invasive solution to holding up his trousers. 

  • Built a bespoke stand to hold and support the puppet whilst protecting him from further damage. I built the frame over his chest to take some of the weight of his heavy coat.