It’s Friday once again! I hope everyone was able to finish their taxes!
Last week there was a great newspaper piece on James Blumenfeld, the prop master at the Metropolitan Opera. The operas they put on are among the largest in the country, so it is fascinating to read what it takes to organize and corral all those props.
Here is another great newspaper piece on Torontonian prop maker Chris Warrilow. He runs a prop rental and fabrication shop, but his specialty is custom stage combat swords. The article has some great information about stage weapons.
It must be the year for writing about props people; here is an article on Peter Smeal, the props designer at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte right down here in North Carolina.
You can view the entire “Fundamentals of Machine Tools” (1996) published by the US Army. This is the manual used to train Army members in the use of powered machines for making and repairing things out of metal.
Here is a homemade carving pantograph; you trace your pattern on one end, and the Dremel on the other end carves it into a piece of wood. The commercial kits I’ve seen for this always look so cheap and flimsy.
Finally, if you have the time (about 16 minutes), this video shows the construction of one of Denmark’s most famous chair designs, called “The Chair”. It’s an expert blend of top-of-the-line CNC machines with old-world craftsmanship as the video goes from hundred-year old oaks in the forest to a completed piece of furniture.