Tag Archives: Sculpting

Donkey Mask from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nick Bottom finds his head transformed into that of a donkey, courtesy of the mischievous fairy, Puck. The donkey head is among Shakespeare’s most distinctive props, and has been on my bucket list of famous props to build. Recently, Triad Stage mounted a production.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream", Triad Stage, with Rebecca Hirota and E.E. Williams. Photo by Bert Vanderveen.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Triad Stage, with Rebecca Hirota and E.E. Williams. Photo by Bert Vanderveen.

The mask was designed by our costume designer, Hannah Chalman. She designed masks for all the fairies as well, so we split the fabrication of the masks between the props and costume departments.

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These Props Links Will Blow You Away

It’s the middle of a hurricane here in North Carolina, as well as Opening Night for my first show of the season, but I still found some great stories and videos on props that you can check out:

Broadway’s Biggest Debut: King Kong – Ugh, this puppet is so amazing. It is controlled by 14 puppeteers and it contains a ton of animatronics as well. Be sure to see some of the videos of Kong in motion.

TAIT Take Over – Karla Ramsey – Scenic artists at TAIT Towers create the proscenium arch for the Elton John concert. It is a combination of foam carving and clay sculpting, with everything molded and cast for the final piece. A few of my friends and colleagues spent the summer up here working on this, and the results are spectacular.

Cosplay Shines At DragonCon – Make Magazine has a great round-up of cosplay photographs from the recent DragonCon in Atlanta, GA. Yes, there is a whole convention just for dragons.

Modeling and 3D-Printing Wonder Woman’s Tiara for Cosplay! – Darrell Maloney made this video to show us how he modeled a digital version of Wonder Woman’s tiara from the recent film. He then 3D printed it, and shows us how he finished and painted it as well.

Submit Your Role Call-ers! – American Theatre Magazine has a regular segment where they highlight theatre workers that more people should know about. This December, they will be profiling twenty folks that should be known outside their discipline. You can nominate people you think they should highlight; let’s see some props people up in there!

Links for Propmasters Day

This Monday, July 24th, is Propmaster Day! Propmaster Day was first recognized in 2009 when the Mayor of Louisville presented a plaque to the attendees of the annual S*P*A*M Conference recognizing their hard work.

Making The Lich King Armor for Blizzard! – Frank Ippolito and his shop constructed this fantastic suit of armor for a video game company, and Tested has a video showing the whole process. It is fully chromed and features light and smoke effects.

Maui’s Hook – Moana – DIY PROP SHOP – I just stumbled across the DIY Prop Shop show, which has a handful of videos showing simple ways to build props from pop culture. I like this one on building Maui’s giant bone hook from Moana using insulation foam and Worbla.

Fake guns, real problems at Comic-Con – Comic conventions are increasingly cracking down on realistic prop weapons, including fantasy weapons like swords and laser guns. CNet looks at some of the latest news stories and interviews a number of cosplayers to delve into the details of this trend.

This Sonic Amplifier Replica from Overwatch Actually “Shoots” Music – John Edgar Park built a replica of this video game prop, and Make Magazine has a three-part video series showing the entire process. It features a ton of electronics and microcontroller programming, so if you’re interested in what those devices can achieve, check this out.

Saturday’s Monstrous Links

First Person Monster Blog with Shannon Shea – Shannon Shea is a well-known creature and effects artist who worked on films like Predator, Batman Returns, Terminator 2, and Jurassic Park. He has not updated his blog in a few years, but it has a treasure trove of stories and information if you are willing to dig through the archives.

How to Make a Halloween Mask “Sculpting” – Ed Edmunds shows you how to sculpt a scary monster mask out of water-based clay in this half hour video.

Building a Life-Size Replica of Poe Dameron’s X-Wing – Not quite life-sized, but still pretty amazing.

Got bored, made electric shaver (handheld heatwire foam cutter) – Here is a short little tutorial about making a hot wire cutter run off of a 9V battery.  I am not sure why you would want a hot wire cutter that is the same size as a knife blade, but here you go.

End of Week Prop Links

First up, Rolling Stone checks out the ghost fighting equipment in that new Ghostbusters movie everyone is raving about. Props master Kirk Corwin shows us all the proton packs, traps, and other sundry items used throughout the film.

Rosco shows off how to make a statue of David out of foam and FoamCoat. Though the emphasis is on the FoamCoat, the real interesting part is how they were able to export a 3D model of the statue to a CNC machine and build the sculpture out of many layers of regular insulation foam.

Back to Ghostbusters, Rick Lazzarini shows how his shop built an animatronic “Slimer” to use as a stand-in for the CGI effects in the film.

Back to foam carving, Make Magazine has some quick tips for sculpting Styrofoam. Though short and fairly basic, they have a few tips that you may not have tried yet.

Finally, Popular Woodworking dispels six myths about wood finishing. They aren’t fun myths about unicorns and bridge trolls, but myths about stains and grains.