Tag Archives: throne

Last Prop Stories in April

Metal 3D Printing Like Never Seen Before – 1st Century Roman Helmet Build – We’re all out of a job! Except that this took months of hand painting and finishing on top of the actual printing. Not to mention you still need to deal with 3D printing just like any other process, where you break your prop down into its simplest components and determine the best materials and methods to achieve those components. Still, this is an impressive looking helmet.

Inside Hollywood’s Prop Food Wonderland – Take a journey to LA’s Prop Heaven, one of the largest independently-owned prop houses in Burbank, California. Nearly a quarter of their stock is devoted to food and restaurant-themed furniture.

Fit For A King – A Nine Piece Rolling Throne – Jay Duckworth details his process of creating a rolling throne for the Public Theater’s mobile production of Henry V. Initially, the throne had to come out in nine pieces and be assembled by the actors onstage, before another actor jumped on the seat and rode around in it. Luckily, it was the only prop in the show!

Propmaster Annette Breazeale Brings WBTT Theater Sets to Life – Check out this lovely photo slideshow of the prop stock at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, where Annette Breazeale is the props master.

How Some Of The Best Cosplay On Earth Is Made – This video details one of the costume armor pieces created by Henchmen Studios, where over fifteen people spent five weeks fabricating every part.

A Prop-er End to the Week

First a quick announcement. For anyone going to SETC next week, the conference is in Greensboro, just a few blocks from where I work. We will be opening up our shop for an open house on Saturday, March 5th, from 2-5pm, if you wanted to see where I make things. And if you’re looking for a job, I’m looking for an intern next season. It’s August through May with a weekly stipend and shared housing. Check out the Triad Stage booth for more information.

Buzzfeed takes us to the scene shop where Arcadia is being built for the Sydney Opera House. There are some great photographs here.

Harvard University is recreating an Ancient Egyptian throne using Ancient Egyptian craftsmanship. They have also used an impressive array of digital scanning and fabrication tools to design and mock-up the throne, but for the actual construction, they are trying to learn how the Egyptians may have actually built a piece as exquisite and intricate as this.

Propnomicon reminds us to NOT burn the edges of paper when ageing it. Instead, there are a few more realistic and accurate methods for giving paper that antique look you desire.

The Unicorn Theatre over in the UK catches up with Alexandria Kerr, the prop maker for their production of Minotaur. She has a fantastic mask made out of Plastazote, which some of us recognize as EVA foam (more accurately, XLPE foam).

King Roger’s Throne

While in New York City this summer, I got word from the Santa Fe Opera that they needed an extra props carpenter for a few weeks. Though I had a lot of editing on my book to do, I jumped at the chance to head out there.

Beginnings of the structure and shape
Beginnings of the structure and shape.

One of the main projects I worked on was a throne for King Roger, a Polish(!) opera from 1926. The throne was meant to look like it was carved out of stone. It was also going to be on stage the entire show and the artists would be climbing and leaning all over it, so it needed to be strong.

Front view
Front view.

Perhaps the trickiest challenge was the back. The whole back had a curve to it, and the top of the back was also shaped in a curve. To top it off, the top surface was also beveled. A bevel on a compound curve is not really something you can do on a machine. I measured, marked and cut what I could, but most of it needed to be shaped by eye with a portable belt sander.

Back view
Back view.

All the sculpted and textured bits were going to be applied after the throne was built. I constructed it so everything had a surface to be attached to, than applied strips of different thicknesses to build up all the framing and molding.

Diapering the panels
Diapering the panels.

The photograph above has some of the textured panels as they are fit in. I had to cut all the pieces before hand so they could be painted separately from the throne itself. The larger panels would receive custom sculpted pieces, which were being made by Anna Warren (who runs the Fake ‘n Bake blog).

Lace as detail
Lace as detail.

Some of the panels were switched to pieces of stiffened lace to add variety. I also attached some cast resin balls to the tops of the front legs.

Final throne.
Final throne. Photo by Michael Chemycz.

I actually had to leave Santa Fe before King Roger opened, but Michael Chemycz, one of the other prop carpenters, snapped some great photos of the throne on stage during the dress rehearsal. Jest to dość ozdobny tron!