Tag Archives: digitized collection

The First Links of Winter

Christmas is fast approaching, so I have less time to write, and you have less time to read. But if you really need your props fix, here are some fun links to check out:

Vacuum Bagging – If you’ve ever worked with fiberglass or carbon fiber, you may find vacuum bagging to be a helpful way to squeeze the layers together. I’ve even seen it used to laminate veneer into bent plywood. This is a great tutorial.

Wooden Halo Gun – Over on the 405th (a site for those interested in prop and costume replicas for the Halo video games), a member is documenting the gun he is building from scratch. The cool part is that the original model he made is constructed out of wood. Go carpentry!

Medical Objects brought to life – The Science Museum in London has photographs of over 3,000 of the objects in their “History of Medicine” collection. It’s a great research source, and also a fascinating collection of curious objects to just peruse.

Typewriters – A lovely collection of vintage typewriters.

StageBitz – This looks interesting; online software to manage your prop lists. It’s still in beta testing, but I’m one of the beta testers, so I’ll let you know how it is.

Friday Box of Links

Here are some links I’m sharing with you on this glorious Friday:

  • Time Out New York has a slideshow on the set of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which just opened here at the Public Theatre. Check out all the work that Jay, Meredith and I did with Donyale Werle and her assistants to transform the theater.
  • Stolloween is a site with an impressive array of Halloween props made entirely out of papier-mâché. It also has tutorials and process photos.
  • Courtesy of Jesse Gaffney is this article about building fewer cages and dropping more keys. Basically it sums up (much more eloquently) a lot of the reasons why I started this blog; by sharing what I do, what I know, and what I learn, I hope to help everyone reach the next level of skill so we can all create better work.
  • LUNA Commons are a collection of hundreds of thousands of historical images and items from institutions and universities from around the world. If you need a reference image of an “I Like Taft” necktie or a seventeenth-century map of the world, you can find it here.

New York Public Library Digital Galleries

Miss Fanny Kemble as Portia in the Merchant of Venice
Miss Fanny Kemble as Portia in the Merchant of Venice

As a props person, you’re always looking online for images, whether as research for pieces, inspiration for set dressing, or as elements for a paper prop.

The New York Public Library has a great digitized collection of images in their Digital Gallery.  Some proptacular highlights include cigarette cards from pre-1900s to the mid-20th century; dust jackets from American and European books, 1926-1947; decoration in the Age of Napoleon; and  a collection of restaurant menus from 1851 to 1930.

There is also a ton of theatre-related photographs and ephemera, such as the Vandamm Studio Photographs of theatre productions and players from 1900 to 1957.

These digital galleries have so much visual reference and research; I highly recommend taking the time to look through it all and bookmarking or taking note of what you might find useful in the future.