Tag Archives: distressing

Links at the End of the Tunnel

This was a tough week for many of us. For some inspiring news, check out how the Orlando theatre community is helping protect the Pulse funerals from anti-gay protesters.

Cinefex has a great story on the giant puppets used in Tremors 4And if you’re thinking, “There were four Tremors films?” you’re actually wrong; there were five Tremors films and a TV series.

Make Magazine continues bringing the great shop tips with these 5 Head-Slappingly Good Shop Tips and Build Tricks. I really like the idea of using a caulking gun as a clamp.

Here’s something that has me really excited: T-shirt brushes for shellac and oil finishes. This is the last step in the life cycle of a T-shirt for a props person: Good Shirt->Work Shirt->Paint Shirt->Shellac Rag.

Great Big Story has a wonderful audio story on Stephen Kesler, a sculptor who makes life-size whales and other animals for museums.

The current issue of Stage Directions has a nice piece on creating distressed surfaces for Arizona Theatre Company’s Fences. Sure, it’s scenery, but who doesn’t like a good aged brick?

Finally, in more sad news, designer Desmond Heeley passed away last Friday. His set and costume designs have been appearing on Broadway since the 1950s.

End of the Week Links

American Theatre has this week’s “must read” article on jobs in technical theatre. They look at where new technicians get their training and interview a number of people working in theatre to see how they got their start. The interviewees come from a range of different departments, like lighting, sound and costumes. No props people appear in the article; probably because we were all too busy to give an interview.

The Abbey Theatre has a video up where Eimer Murphy talks about the vintage working dentist’s chair that appears in their current production of You Never Can Tell.

Propnomicon found this great video on aging glass bottles. It’s a lot better than giving your actors actual antique bottles that they have to drink out of.

Take a tour through the prop warehouse of the Food Network. In the basement of NYC’s Chelsea Market, Wendy Waxman stores thousands of vintage items which appear on the various shows and specials of this TV station. I bet a lot of my readers wish they could spend every day finding and buying quirky kitchen items.

Finally, this is short but interesting. The actor who originally played Darth Vader (David Prowse, not James Earl Jones) posted a photo of the original Vader mask that burned at the end of Return of the Jedi and compared it to the prop that Kylo Ren holds in The Force Awakens. Since the original was made of fiberglass, it turned a little “hairy”, while the prop in the new film looks more “melty”.

First Links of March

For the Game of Thrones fans out there, here is a video with weapons master Tommy Dunne detailing the Dornish weaponry he created for season five. Also, if you’re really into the show, that video came from “Making Game of Thrones“, the official behind-the-scenes site for everything about the show.

Jay Duckworth has another cool fire effect in this month’s issue of Stage Directions. He creates a glowing bed of coals using… glass?

NPR had a cool radio story a few weeks ago on Melissa McSorley, a food stylist for Hollywood films. She’s done everything from making 800 Cubanos for Chef, to a foot-tall mound of caviar, to a cake that looks like Al Pacino.

Just down the road from me, Playmakers Rep is doing Enemy of the People.  The costume shop needed to age one of their suits, but they didn’t want to ruin it for future use. So they turned to Schmere, which makes a line of products that stain and distress fabrics, but disappear when you wash or dry clean them. I bet you can find uses for this for soft goods and fabric props, or you can just tell your costume shop manager for some brownie points.

It’s Your Weekly Dose of Props Links

Here is a pretty cool step-by-step guide to a Dragonbone dagger replica made by Folkenstal. Folkenstal uses some interesting techniques of laying up different thicknesses of plastic to create a rough block, and then sanding and cutting it to the final shape. Great photographs.

Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping objects with cloth. The Japanese Minister of Ecology is encouraging the country to use furoshiki to carry the products they purchase, rather than paper or plastic bags. They’ve even made a handy chart showing how to wrap various-shaped objects. I can imagine this coming in handy for all sorts of prop purposes.

Here is a fun video brought to you by Syfy Channel’s Heroes of Cosplay on aging and distressing your props.

Finally, Tested brings us this sixteen-minute tour through Harrison Krix’s garage, better know as the Volpin Props prop shop. We get to see his small but well-equipped shop, check out some of his favorite tools, and get a sample of some of the many cool props he has built over the years.

Some Links for You

I like this photography series called “Much Loved”. The photographer took photographs of teddy bears and similar toys which have been cherished for decades by their owners, and wrote a bit about their back story as well. It’s great research not just for teddy bears from 50-70 years ago, but also for the kind of extreme distressing and aging that these archetypal and cherished “favorite toys” can go through.

Some more interesting research can be found with these color photographs inside Nazi-occupied Poland, circa 1940.

A whole subculture exists of prop makers making replicas of objects which exist in popular video games. Here is a great step-by-step build of a dagger from Skyrim. Though the end result is a bit “plastic-y”, the process shots show some interesting techniques and use of materials.

Finally, here is an interesting solution to the age-old problem of four-legged furniture that does not sit flat. When your tables or chairs rock, try trimming one of the legs… on the table saw: