Tag Archives: clay

Companion Videos for my Book

With less than seven weeks before the release of The Prop Building Guidebook: for Theatre, Film, and TV, I have begun adding videos to that website. These videos are meant to augment the content of the book, since some things are just easier to show in motion, rather than describe with text and pictures. I will be adding new videos every week until the book launches on February 13th.

So without further ado, I am proud to announce the brand-new Prop Building Guidebook companion video page. Only two videos are up at present; the first is on the vacuum former I built, which you probably remember from last autumn. The second has just been added today and shows you how to sculpt in oil-based clay. You can check it out below:

Keep on propping!

Shams in the Theatre, 1880

The following article comes from The Daily Dispatch, Richmond, VA, December 2, 1880. I added a few paragraph breaks to make it a little easier on the eyes.

Shams in the Theatre

The Ingenious Work of the Property Man–Remarkable Effects Produced with Cheap and Common Materials.

(New York Tribune.)

Theatrical properties, so called, include all things placed upon the stage except what are painted as part of a scene by the scene-painter. Urns, vases, flowers, pictures, pianos, carpets, rugs, furniture, and all ornaments are “properties.” Besides these, all articles used by the actors in the performance of the play, such as canes, cigars, pistols, clubs, knives, pocketbooks, money, and other things of similar nature are properties. The property-man of a theatre has a responsible and arduous-position. Upon him depend many of the important points in a play. The check for $30,000 that saves the impecunious artist from an untimely grave; the secret drawer and hidden will, which, when revealed, restore the wandering heir to his rightful inheritance; the marriage-bell that hangs above the heads of the happy lovers in the fifth act; and the pitiless snow through which the shivering blind girl wanders singing her mournful songs, all are prepared by the property-man. Sad is the lot of that luckless wight who forgets to load the pistol with which the desperate villain is slain. The property-man is provided by the stage-manager with a complete list of the properties needed for each scene, and it is his duty to see that they are prepared and in their proper places before the curtain rises.

In the earlier days of the drama it was customary for the property-man to make all his own properties. Continue reading Shams in the Theatre, 1880

Sculptural Link-o-rama

Today I’ll be sharing some links that have to do specifically with sculpting. I’ve been feeling the itch to do some sculpting lately, and found these sites useful and inspiring, so perhaps you will too.

The website for Pop Sculpture, in addition to a blog, also features a short but really cool step-by-step pictorial showing an action figure being sculpted, cast and painted.

Here is a phenomenal step-by-step look at sculpting and painting a creature maquette by a ConceptArt user called Smellybug. Oodles of photographs illustrate each phase of the whole process. He has another great (but still unfinished tutorial) for a creepy baby maquette, as well as quick guide for sculpting realistic wrinkles in clay.

Finished "Stabby" creature maquette
Finished "Stabby" creature maquette

Dan Perez is another great sculptor who has a series of step-by-step process shots of various sculptures on his website, as well as a number of tutorials on sculpting, mold-making and casting.

Finally, take the time to see what Randall Rosenthal can carve from a single piece of wood. It blows my mind.