It’s a learning curve…

Whilst the rest of the design realisation department have been working on the DRP and finishing touches for Nicholas Nickleby Part 2 (which opened on Friday) the construction team have been working hard building the set for Chekhov’s Three Sisters, our first show to open in our new Milton Court theatre next year.

One of the scenic elements is a huge ellipse roof section which the construction department are currently working on.  In order to create the ellipse, large pieces of ‘rolled’ steel- steel which has been slowly bent into shape- have been ordered in especially, which form the outer edge of the window. 

Now that we are lucky enough to own our own ring roller we can roll the steel required for the centre of the window, two quite tight circles.  Here is a very happy looking Edd taking delivery of our new machine…I must say he didn’t look quite so happy when he realised how heavy it is and now awkward it was going to be getting it into the building!

Still it arrived safe and sound and so the process of bending the centre circles could begin.  Here is Andy, Edd and third year design realisation student Nancy with their first piece…

The ring roller consists of three main wheels, the bottom two which drive the steel to the left or to the right, and a third wheel at the top which puts pressure on the steel as it passes through the rollers in order to gradually bend the steel.  The whole process is quite a long one with the centre wheel moved slightly closer to the bottom two after each pass; you can see Andy adjusting the wheel here…

After a while the steel is really starting to take shape and it isn’t long before the first section is finished…

In order to ensure the rolled steel is accurate, one half of the ellipse is plotted onto the workshop floor using the ‘trammel method’ which uses trammel heads that run along the vertical and horizontal axis in order to plot points on the ellipse.

Blocks of wood are then nailed to the floor to trap the steel in place so that it can be laid out ready for welding.  You can see here how the centre circles which were rolled in-house and the ellipse pieces are supported by lengths of steel acting as ‘spokes’ for the window section. 

Stay tuned this week to see more process pictures of the window section being made!

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “It’s a learning curve…

  1. Pingback: Check out the Chekhov ceiling… | Design Realisation (Scenic Art, Scenic Construction and Prop Making)

  2. Pingback: More than just Design Realisation… | Design Realisation (Scenic Art, Scenic Construction and Prop Making)

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