Tag Archives: museum

Links to Bring you Luck

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Today is opening night for the final show of our 13th season here at Triad Stage (the “Lucky Season”, someone decided to call it). So while I am resting up, check out these links below:

John Barton has been a props master for over 50 years, on films such as Cool Hand Luke (he cooked all those eggs).  Coeur d’Alene Press has a nice article about his life and career.

The Standard Examiner has a great article about Michelle Jensen, the props master at Hale Centre Theatre. Right now, they are working on Mary Poppins, which has more than its share of trick props and unique items.

The Museum of Every Object you can Probably Think Of looks fantastic. Its real name is the Ettore Guatelli Museum, and it houses over 60,000 objects of everyday use. Check out the pictures in this article.

Jurassic Park turned 21 this week, and Wired has a look back on how it revolutionized special effects. The film famously used a mix of CGI and large-scale puppets for the dinosaurs. For a look at what-might-have-been, check out this pre-visualization test of stop-motion puppets, which is what they were originally going to use. I remember seeing the film on opening day with my dad and brother; hard to believe that was 21 years ago.

Friday Rehearsal Notes

Friday Rehearsal Notes

For those of you in North Carolina, the Maker Faire NC is happening tomorrow at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. I won’t be there, but the Alamance Makers Guild (where I am a member) will have a copy of my book you can peruse through. And of course, being a Maker Faire, there will be tons of other cool things to see and do.

How to be a Retronaut has a few cool photographs from behind the scenes at Madame Tussaud’s in the 1930s. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is still going strong today, and I’ve known prop people who work there, maintaining all the statues.

Adam Savage talks about how being under a deadline can actually improve your projects because it forces you to be more creative. Of course, he uses plenty of examples from his prop and model building days. And there’s a photograph of him in an alien costume.

A California couple bought a house and discovered it had a fallout shelter which was perfectly preserved from 1961. Check out the article for some awesome photographs of product packaging from that time period.

Tony Swatton makes stage combat swords for stage and film. Here is a video where he forges the sword from He-Man. And then he destroys a car with it. I’ve linked to this web series before; every week, he has a new episode showing the creation of a sword or other weapon from film, TV and video games. It is a very insightful view into all kinds of metal working techniques.

Last Links of May

The American Museum of Natural History has an amazing historical photo archive, many of which show the setup and construction of their dioramas and exhibits. Museum props is props too!

Here is the curious evolution of the typewriter, with pictures. I’ve certainly had to provide my fair share of vintage typewriters for shows, but I’ve never had to track down one of those writing ball machines.

Haley Polak, a props artisan, had to build a mastodon skeleton. She used urethane foam and FoamCoat to pull it off.

Finally, here is a very cool photo set of an android being built. It has lots of great process shots of sculpting, molding and casting.

A Friday of Links

This photograph of a country store from 1939 has all sorts of amazing things going on in it. I could look at it for hours. The whole website it comes from, Shorpy Historical Photo Archive, is a treasure trove of imagery like this one, and all of them can be viewed at incredibly large sizes so you can spot every little detail.

At the other end of history are Trevor Traynor’s photographs of contemporary New York City newsstands.

This short blog post up at Popular Woodworking taught me some interesting things about how British table saws are different from American ones, particularly in the safety features. I think the fence that stops at the blade is an interesting concept, and would love to try it out.

Have you heard about this? A team of people out in Tennessee are building a full-scale replica of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. That’s a 114 foot long spaceship for those who don’t know. What’s great is that if you look back through the blog, you can see that work began on this over six years ago, and now there is some hard-core construction going on nearly every single day. It looks fairly certain that they can pull this whole thing off.

I tweeted this earlier in the week, but if you missed it, NPR had a great story about faux food artisan Sandy Levins, who recreates historical dishes for display at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, New York’s Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and many other museums and historical sites.

The Prop Building Guidebook

This Week I got a Book

So the big news this week is that I received my advance copy of The Prop Building Guidebook: For Theatre, Film, and TV.

The Prop Building Guidebook
The Prop Building Guidebook

I cannot wait for people to start reading this. It’s the culmination of several years’ work. It clocks in at around 380 pages, and has photographs, charts, and illustrations on nearly every single page.

But enough about me, let’s talk about what else you can read on the web this week:

The House of von Macramé is a new pop musical running at the Bushwick Starr. It’s about a killer who targets models during Fashion Week. Waldo Warshaw did all the blood effects, delivery systems and splatter choreography, which Erik Piepenburg at the New York Times presents to us in this great article and slideshow called “A Scream. A Splash. Send in the Mops“.

This is actually from a month ago, but the Smithsonian Institute has received production-used costumes and props from the Broadway production of Wicked for display in their National Museum of American History. I think more props belong in a museum.

Everybody knows Google Street View, right? Well they have some special galleries hidden in different places. One very cool one is the inside of Scott’s Hut in Antartica. It’s an exploration hut from 1911 which the cold has preserved perfectly. It makes for some really cool primary research. If that link doesn’t work, or if you want to see what other galleries they have, you can view all their collections.