Follow along with the story of Twan Baker, the prop baby who has been in two Broadway shows and over half a dozen regional theatre productions. He is kept and cared for by a growing family tree of actors and writers and has his own adventures.
Steve Hoefer has been writing a series of beginner’s guides to various tools, and his latest is on drills and bits. If you’ve ever grabbed a spade bit to drill through metal, please stop and read this guide first.
Finally, are you a fan of the Fake and Bake blog (a blog all about making fake food)? Anna Warren, the writer and a good friend, has branched out and started a company called Tactile Craftworks making handmade and hand-bound leather journals with etched details (among other things). They have just started a Kickstarter to produce an Atlas Series of journals, with covers of maps of either Milwaukee or Chicago. Head on over and check it out, and maybe pick up a journal or two!
Hello, internet. It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks; Crazy for You (which I am prop mastering) begins tech this weekend. It has quite a large number of elements keeping me pretty busy, so I did not have time to write a blog for this past Wednesday. But I do have some fun links I’ve come across that should fill you with proppy goodness.
Anna Warren seems to be even busier than me over at Milwaukee Rep, but she has returned to write a new blog post, and it’s a cool one. She details how she molded and cast fried chicken out of latex and foam, using real fried chicken as the model.
The flip-side of molding and casting real food to make fake food is molding an object to cast it out of an edible material. This brings up many safety concerns, as very few molding materials and mold releases are food-safe. Smooth-on has a wonderfully-illustrated tutorial for casting edible items using a food-safe silicon putty.
I have yet to catch the TV series Face Off, in which special-effects makeup artists compete in time-intensive challenges (like Project Runway for the sci-fi set), but I’ve heard good things about it. Jamie Frevale interviews Rod Maxwell, one of the contestants on the show, about his work and what it was like “performing” that work on television.
Finally, just in time for Halloween, we have this video of a CNC machine which can carve Jack-o’-lanterns:
It is the end of another week, and time for another round of the best props-related articles on the web:
Anna Warren continues adding great projects and articles at her Fake ‘n Bake blog. The latest shows a vintage Cheetos bag filled with vintage Cheetos that still allowed the actor to eat healthy (and non-staining) snacks during the actual performance.
Ron Paulk has a really well-made woodworking shop that fits in the back of his truck. Not only is there a video and pictures to give you a tour, but he has put the Sketchup plans online so you can download them for free. Though prop shops rarely need to be mobile, most of us work out of spaces not too much larger than Ron’s truck, so it is useful to see what space-saving methods he has come up with.
The Original Prop Blog has an interesting post about the Harry Crocker museum, which may have been the first Hollywood memorabilia museum, dating back to 1928.
Chris Schwartz has a great piece about making sure your obsession with the tools does not get in the way of actually practicing your craft.
If you’re new to this site, or if you follow it in a blog reader, you should check out the Blogroll links in the sidebar. These are other sites and blogs of prop-makers and prop-masters and general crafty people. Here’s a sampling of some of the recent posts from these sites to entice you to check them out:
Instructables is an incredible resource to find information on techniques you want to learn or materials you’ve never used before. Two tutorials I’ve enjoyed are:
Casting a Pear – Probably the quickest and grittiest way to cast something I’ve ever seen.
Sci-Fi Handgun – There are a lot of Instructables on making or remaking weaponry from science fiction movies. These are a good way of showing how a uniquely shaped prop can be broken down into simpler parts, and how found objects and tiny details can transform a prop from simple parts into a homogoneous object.
I would like to introduce you to the newest blog about props: Fake ‘n Bake. My friend, Anna Warren, details the projects she crafts and constructs at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. She specializes in fake food craftsmanship and casting and molding. Her articles so far are well-documented and chock full of photographs.
The peas in that picture above? Mardi Gras beads. Check out the Fake ‘n Bake kitchen for how she made the rest. If you leave a comment there, tell her I sent you!
Making and finding props for theatre, film, and hobbies