Deep in the enchanted English wood of Devon, Wendy Froud dwells alongside fairies, trolls, and pixies. Living in a world of fantasy does more than provide Froud with a sense of serenity; it drives her international success.
Froud is credited for creating the look of Yoda for Star Wars movies, as well as sculpting the characters Jen and Kira for Muppets creator Jim Henson's film "The Dark Crystal."
Henson hired Froud as a puppet maker and designer for the Muppets show after receiving one of her works as a Christmas gift. After working closely with Jim Henson and Frank Oz on past films, Froud was asked by the pair to join the team responsible for developing, sculpting, and building a major character for "The Empire Strikes Back." Under the direction and approval of George Lucas, Henson, Gary Kurtz, and Frank Oz, the team brought Yoda from concept to the big screen, with Froud credited as "Yoda Fabricator."
"I had no idea, when we started working on Yoda, that he would become such an icon," said Froud. "We were mostly concerned with making him believable enough to carry a major role in the film. It took me years to be able to look at him without seeing the mistakes we made along the way but now I can appreciate what the audiences saw and still see in him."
Froud has spent her entire life in the company of other creative geniuses and has a strong CCS connection. Her father and CCS alumnus, Walter Midener, was head of the sculpture department at CCS from 1946-1966 and later became president of the college. Her mother, Peggy, is a painter and collage artist who also taught at CCS.
"I literally grew up at CCS. CCS taught me to combine techniques and skills in ways that allowed me to figure out problems in the relatively new field of realistic puppetry in television and film."