Tag Archives: James Blumenfeld

Welcome, Links of 2016

The New York Times’ Vocations column interviewed James Blumenfeld, the props master at the Met Opera. He runs a staff of 35(!) and has been there since 1983.

The Algoma Mop Manufacturers were pressed into service to make the 500 mops needed for David O. Russell’s latest film, Joy. They had one of the few machines needed to recreate the Miracle Mops from the 1990s that figure so prominently in the film.

And since we’re talking about Joy, how about this article on creating the vintage singles’ ads from the movie? Ross MacDonald also made the children’s book that appears in the film.

Sticking with Ross, he has a whole lot of information on his latest props; he made tons of vintage packaging and paper props for The Hateful Eight, Tarantino’s latest film. He also designed the vintage packaging for Red Apple Tobacco, Tarantino’s signature brand that appears in all of his films. You can read more about that in my interview with him last year.

The Rosco Blog shows how Techland Houston made a foam model of the Starship Enterprise. Just in time for The Force Awakens!

Fox 12 in Portland catches up with Portland prop master Greg McMickle. McMickle is currently the props master for The Librarians, but his work has also been seen in the Twilight franchise, Wild, and Twin Peaks.


Friday Link-tacular

It’s Friday once again! I hope everyone was able to finish their taxes!

Last week there was a great newspaper piece on James Blumenfeld, the prop master at the Metropolitan Opera. The operas they put on are among the largest in the country, so it is fascinating to read what it takes to organize and corral all those props.

Here is another great newspaper piece on Torontonian prop maker Chris Warrilow. He runs a prop rental and fabrication shop, but his specialty is custom stage combat swords. The article has some great information about stage weapons.

It must be the year for writing about props people; here is an article on Peter Smeal, the props designer at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte right down here in North Carolina.

You can view the entire “Fundamentals of Machine Tools” (1996) published by the US Army. This is the manual used to train Army members in the use of powered machines for making and repairing things out of metal.

Here is a homemade carving pantograph; you trace your pattern on one end, and the Dremel on the other end carves it into a piece of wood. The commercial kits I’ve seen for this always look so cheap and flimsy.

Finally, if you have the time (about 16 minutes), this video shows the construction of one of Denmark’s most famous chair designs, called “The Chair”. It’s an expert blend of top-of-the-line CNC machines with old-world craftsmanship as the video goes from hundred-year old oaks in the forest to a completed piece of furniture.