Wendy Froud

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Wendy Froud
Wendy Froud - Rencontres de l’imaginaire de Brocéliande 2014.JPG
Froud at the 2014 Rencontres de l’imaginaire de Brocéliande.
Born1954 (age 65–66)
EducationInterlochen Center for the Arts
Center for Creative Studies (BFA)
Known forDoll-making, sculpting, puppetry and writing.
Spouse(s)
(m. 1980)
ChildrenToby Froud (b. 1984)

Wendy Froud (née Midener; born 1954) is an American doll-artist, sculptor, puppet-maker and writer. She is best known for her work fabricating Yoda for the 1980 film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, for which she has been referred to as "the mother of Yoda",[1] and creatures for the Jim Henson films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.[2]

Early life[edit]

Froud was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1954[3] to sculptor and artist Walter Midener and painter and 3D-collage artist Margaret "Peggy" Midener (née Mackenzie; 1925-2016).[4][5] Her father was a German expatriate[4] while her mother was from Detroit.[6][7]

Froud began making her own dolls from the age of five based on her favourite stories, including "lots of fauns, satyrs, centaurs and things with wings"[8] from Greek mythology and fairy tales.[9]

She studied art and music at Interlochen Center for the Arts[10] before attending the Center for Creative Studies' College of Art and Design, where, focused on fabric design and ceramics, she graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts[3][11] in 1976.[12]

Career[edit]

After graduating, Froud moved to New York, where The Muppets art director Michael Frith attended a gallery show of her dolls and bought several as a Christmas present for Jim Henson in 1978.[8] Impressed by Froud's work, Henson recruited her to build puppets for his film The Dark Crystal.[13][11] Froud designed and sculpted the film's two main protagonists, gelflings Jen and Kira.[14][15] She went on to work on a number of other Henson projects including The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie and Labyrinth.[3][16]

While working closely with Jim Henson and Frank Oz on various projects at the Henson Studios, Froud was asked by the pair to join the team responsible for developing and building the character Yoda for the 1980 Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back.[16] Her contribution included sculpting the prototype puppet for Yoda.[17] Nick Maley, who worked on Yoda with Froud under Stuart Freeborn, recalled that "Wendy’s contribution creating the character was second only to Stuart who was overseeing ALL the creatures. She single handedly formed the body out of 1 inch sheet foam. She constructed the puppet armature from wooden dowel which gave structure to Yoda’s arms and legs. If I remember correctly, she modeled Yoda’s hands and feet and single handedly fabricated the “stand-in Yoda”, made entirely from cut foam, which was used to line up shots during camera setup. I do remember her spending some time working on the clay model of Yoda's head too."[18] Froud later became referred to as "the mother of Yoda".[1] She also assisted in Yoda's puppeteering,[19] controlling the puppet's pointy ears.[citation needed]

Wendy Froud worked on the 2009 animated documentary Mythic Journeys, sculpting and fabricating puppets based on designs by her husband Brian Froud.[20]

Her most recent work has been serving as a concept, character and costume designer for the 2019 Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.[21][22]

Personal life[edit]

Froud lives and works in Devon with her husband Brian Froud, whom she met in 1978 while working on The Dark Crystal, for which Brian was the conceptual designer.[23][20] The couple married on 31 May 1980, in Chagford.[24][25] Their son Toby is a visual artist, performance artist, and filmmaker.[26] He starred in Labyrinth at the age of one, playing Sarah's baby brother "Toby".[27] Through her son, Froud has one grandson, Sebastian.[5]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

Works[edit]

Froud's artwork is featured in three books for children, paired with stories by fantasy author Terri Windling: A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale (1999), The Winter Child (2001), and The Faeries of Spring Cottage (2003).[10] Her first solo art book, The Art of Wendy Froud, was published in 2006 by Imaginosis.[33]

Froud is also a writer of short fiction and poetry whose work has been published in two anthologies: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (1998)[34] and Troll's-Eye View (2009).[35][3] She collaborated as writer with her husband Brian Froud as illustrator on two books, The Heart of Faerie (2010) and Trolls (2012), both published by Abrams Books.[20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 2001, Froud, along with her husband, was awarded the Inkpot Award by Comic-Con International.[36] She has been nominated for the Chesley Award for Best Three-Dimensional Art twice: in 2001 for her piece, "Goth Faery",[37] and in 2002 for "Narnia's Friend".[38] She has won 4th place in the Locus Award for Best Artbook with her husband twice: for Trolls in 2013,[39] and for Brian Froud's Faeries' Tales in 2015.[40]

Froud received a Lifetime Achievement award at the Portland Film Festival in 2015.[41][42] She is a finalist for the 2020 World Fantasy Award for Best Artist (to be announced during the virtual World Fantasy Convention scheduled for 29 October – 1 November 2020).[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Designing the creatures for Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal". Little White Lies. 30 August 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Brian and Wendy Froud on Faeries". Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. University of Connecticut. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Wendy Froud". The Fernie Brae.
  4. ^ a b Abraham, Molly (6 October 1998). "Walter Midener: War hero became president of art school". Obituaries. Detroit Free Press. Detroit, Michigan. p. 4B. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b "Obituary for Margaret Peggy Midener". Penzien Funeral Homes, Inc. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  6. ^ Bader, Betty (21 August 1972). "Different Style is Shown On Artist's Wall This Week". Petoskey News-Review. Petoskey, Michigan. p. 2. Archived from the original on 17 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Piehl, Beth Anne (30 April 1999). "Local artist juror of upcoming show". Petoskey News-Review. Petoskey, Michigan. p. A6. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ a b "Lookout". People. Vol. 17 no. 3. 25 January 1982. Archived from the original on 30 June 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  9. ^ Collins, Audrey (27 May 1983). "Profile: Wendy Midener Froud". Petoskey News-Review. Petoskey, Michigan. p. 3. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ a b Wendy & Brian Froud bio page on the Endicott Studio website Archived April 4, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b "Brian & Wendy Froud to attend Avalon Faery Fayre". Faemagazine.com. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "Alumni Advance". Detroit Free Press. Detroit, Michigan. 22 September 1982. p. 9D. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Wendy Midener Froud". DarkCrystal.com. The Jim Henson Company. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  14. ^ Anthony Goldsmith (producer), Jim Henson (writer) (1983). The World of 'The Dark Crystal' (Televised Documentary). USA: Jim Henson Television.
  15. ^ Jones, Alan (April–May 1983). Clarke, Frederick S. (ed.). "The Dark Crystal". Cinefantastique. Vol. 13 no. 4. p. 38.
  16. ^ a b "Wendy Froud". College for Creative Studies.
  17. ^ Collins, Audrey (7 October 1983). "Puppet Makers Bring Fantasy to Life". Petoskey News-Review. Petoskey, Michigan. p. 14. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Wendy Midener Froud". thoseYodaGuys.com.
  19. ^ Lambie, Ryan (25 November 2015). "Yoda: The Empire Strikes Back's Big Gamble". Den of Geek. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  20. ^ a b c "Brian Froud". DarkCrystal.com. The Jim Henson Company. Archived from the original on 26 August 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  21. ^ a b "Wendy Midener Froud". DarkCrystal.com. The Jim Henson Company. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  22. ^ a b Randell Lobb (director) (2019). The Crystal Calls – Making The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Documentary). USA: Definitive Film.
  23. ^ "Talented family's art on display". Petoskey News-Review. Petoskey, Michigan. 19 December 1989. p. 6. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ Henson, Jim (31 May 1980). "5/31/1980 – 'Wendy marries Brian Froud in Chagford.'". Jim Henson's Red Book. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  25. ^ "The Dark Crystal - The Making Of..." DarkCrystal.com. The Jim Henson Company.
  26. ^ Bio page of Toby Froud on the Endicott Studio website Archived August 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Family displays art at McCune". Petoskey News-Review. Petoskey, Michigan. 5 December 1989. p. 6. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020 – via Newspapers.com. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  28. ^ James Frawley (director) (1979). The Muppet Movie (Film). The Jim Henson Company.
  29. ^ Irvin Kershner (director) (1980). The Empire Strikes Back (Film). Lucasfilm.
  30. ^ Jim Henson (director) (1982). The Dark Crystal (Film). The Jim Henson Company.
  31. ^ Jim Henson (director) (1986). Labyrinth (Film). The Jim Henson Company.
  32. ^ Toby Froud (director) (2014). Lessons Learned (Short Film). Stripey Pajama Productions.
  33. ^ "World of Froud". www.worldoffroud.com. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  34. ^ Froud, Wendy (2012) [1998]. "Persephone or, Why the Winters Seem to Be Getting Longer". In Datlow, Ellen; Windling, Terry (eds.). Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers: Magical Tales of Love and Seduction. Open Road Media. ISBN 978-1-4532-7324-1.
  35. ^ Froud, Wendy (2009). "Faery Tales". In Datlow, Ellen; Windling, Terry (eds.). Troll's-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales. Penguin Young Readers Group. ISBN 978-1-101-15550-9.
  36. ^ Inkpot Award. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  37. ^ "Chesley Awards 2001". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  38. ^ "Chesley Awards 2002". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Locus Awards 2013". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  40. ^ "Locus Awards 2015". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  41. ^ Baker, Jeff (27 August 2015). "Wendy Froud, designer of Yoda, honored at Portland Film Festival Sept. 2". Oregon Live. Oregonian Media Group. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  42. ^ DeNies, Ramona (27 August 2015). "Out Is Very In At The Portland Film Festival". Portland Monthly. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  43. ^ "2020 World Fantasy Awards Finalists". Locus Online. 27 July 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2020.

External links[edit]