SPITTING IMAGE PUPPET RESTORATION
Margaret Thatcher came to me from a private collector who was concerned for her poor state and wanted to have her restored and protected from further deterioration.
As with all of the foam latex puppets there is usually very visible deterioration but more problems that lurk beneath. I stabilised her before beginning the lengthy process of filling and sculpting in the many broken areas. I also repaired smaller cracks that could lead to more damage. The hands were particularly difficult as they had deteriorated into a distorted position so once stabilised they could be bent back in to a more natural position. I examined her body for damage and removed all of the rotten foam around her torso. Where possible I try to keep everything original but this was crumbling away and had to be removed and replaced.
I painted her bare wood stand to give it a nicer finish. I also had her hair professionally styled. As with all of the puppets and props I restore I artworked the piece to match the original paintwork and aged it appropriately. The piece was very grubby which is hard to clean off once it is engrained in the paint and foam. This makes it very challenging to match the many tones. I was really pleased with her restoration and she has now returned to her owner to be stored and displayed in a protective UV case.