For those of you in North Carolina, the Maker Faire NC is happening tomorrow at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. I won’t be there, but the Alamance Makers Guild (where I am a member) will have a copy of my book you can peruse through. And of course, being a Maker Faire, there will be tons of other cool things to see and do.
How to be a Retronaut has a few cool photographs from behind the scenes at Madame Tussaud’s in the 1930s. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is still going strong today, and I’ve known prop people who work there, maintaining all the statues.
Tony Swatton makes stage combat swords for stage and film. Here is a video where he forges the sword from He-Man. And then he destroys a car with it. I’ve linked to this web series before; every week, he has a new episode showing the creation of a sword or other weapon from film, TV and video games. It is a very insightful view into all kinds of metal working techniques.
This short blog post up at Popular Woodworking taught me some interesting things about how British table saws are different from American ones, particularly in the safety features. I think the fence that stops at the blade is an interesting concept, and would love to try it out.
Have you heard about this? A team of people out in Tennessee are building a full-scale replica of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. That’s a 114 foot long spaceship for those who don’t know. What’s great is that if you look back through the blog, you can see that work began on this over six years ago, and now there is some hard-core construction going on nearly every single day. It looks fairly certain that they can pull this whole thing off.
I tweeted this earlier in the week, but if you missed it, NPR had a great story about faux food artisan Sandy Levins, who recreates historical dishes for display at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, New York’s Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and many other museums and historical sites.
I cannot wait for people to start reading this. It’s the culmination of several years’ work. It clocks in at around 380 pages, and has photographs, charts, and illustrations on nearly every single page.
But enough about me, let’s talk about what else you can read on the web this week:
The House of von Macramé is a new pop musical running at the Bushwick Starr. It’s about a killer who targets models during Fashion Week. Waldo Warshaw did all the blood effects, delivery systems and splatter choreography, which Erik Piepenburg at the New York Times presents to us in this great article and slideshow called “A Scream. A Splash. Send in the Mops“.
Everybody knows Google Street View, right? Well they have some special galleries hidden in different places. One very cool one is the inside of Scott’s Hut in Antartica. It’s an exploration hut from 1911 which the cold has preserved perfectly. It makes for some really cool primary research. If that link doesn’t work, or if you want to see what other galleries they have, you can view all their collections.
Tested has quite the in-depth interview with Harrison Krix, one of the top videogame replica prop makers on the Internet these days. They delve into his process for building a prop, his workshop setup, and how he got started. Harrison has also contributed some photographs to my book, if you are interested. By the way, Tested is a website run by Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (of Mythbusters fame), and it has a lot of other cool stuff inside, such as this video showing some models Adam Savage has made for films.
I love the show Parks and Recreation, not least because Nick Offerman is an honest-to-goodness woodworker. The show also regularly features some fun and memorable props. Entertainment Weekly has talked with prop master Gay Perello about her five favorite props from this year’s episodes. You not only get to see some imaginative props, you also get to hear the challenges involved and the process in arriving at a solution for all of them.
An interesting page came through the Prop Masters list this week. The Museum of American Packaging is a photographic collection of thousands of product packages, mostly from the mid-twentieth century. You can call it “doing research” if you want, but I would look at these pictures even if I didn’t have a show set in this time period.