Posts Tagged With: flats

Associated Studies

 

 

We have just come to the end of our associated studies module with our first year students. This module aims to enable our students to gain some hands on experience in areas of technical theatre not already covered in their chosen pathways.

Over the two week  module our students have managed to develop their skills across all three areas of design realisation and have produced some really amazing work considering it was the first time many of them had worked in the workshops.

 


Here our some of our first years learning to use the bench saw, cross-cut (radial arm saw) and the wall saw (vertical panel saw) in our construction workshop.

Learning to use the Bench Saw  Learning to use the Vertical Panel Saw    

They then applied their newly acquired skills to the constructing of flats and treads for our opera.

image4 fixing plates with staple gun treads


In props our students were introduced to our machines with a ‘jewellery tree’ project. They were set the tricky challenge of cutting out their shapes on the band saw and had to assemble and refine their pieces using a variety hand tools. They also had a session to guide them through the ‘magic’ that can be created through paint effects and had a go at some marbling techniques.

Having been instructed through the use of the machinery and how to develop different paint effects, they were set the task of creating their own prop.

Here are a few examples of their work in progress.

jewelery tree miniature chest painting effects radio Stationery organisor

paint effects1paint effects2



In scenic art things got wonderfully messy! The students were set the task of reproducing a small section of a scale model, which consisted of an area of brick wall with a concrete bottom and a wooden hatch. They were shown examples of how each surface texture could be achieved using artex, rubber crumb, and sawdust, before being given the reigns on their own full scale pieces.

It was great watching the textures develop.

brick texture with artex  priming texture work  creating brick texture

After the texturing and priming their walls they then had the challenge of recreating the surface colours using different painting techniques.

adding colour to wall base colours for wall finished wall painting finished wall stencil

 

The finished pieces…

finished walls

The workshops across DR are in full swing now, with fit ups through the next two weeks, as we prepare for our two productions so keep an eye out for updates on how it’s all going.

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Blog is back for a Cunning Christmas

Hello world! Would you believe it?! Already the jolly season is with us and we are thus far blogless… No excuses I’m afraid other than being ear deep in set making and Design Realising, nonetheless; here comes the blog…

It’s been a very interesting term so far with two productions going out on the main stage at Silk Street: The Cunning Peasant and Her Naked Skin. While two more productions: True Dare Kiss and South Downs/The Browning Version – a double bill, were climbing the treads over at our Milton Court Studio Theatre. This blog is a quick run down of what went on during the build for The Cunning Peasant by Dvořák.

In the workshops it was a polystyrene skills fest bonanza as the team set to realising the darkly imagined Tudor timber framed Burton-esque vision of Thomas Hardy’s Essex as designed by Francis O’Connor.

First port of call on the build was – as it so often is – the construction of mass flattage. On this occasion steel frame flats were the order of the day, clad with 4mm ply to provide a base on to which we can glue polystyrene sheets which could then be carved into the herringbone brick infill. Strips of MDF cladding were fixed on top of the polystyrene to create a timber frame appearance synonymous with Tudor Period buildings.

Once the polystryrene had been marked up with the brick formation it was out with the kitchen knives and flat head screwdrivers to carve out the mortar lines and apply plenty of distressing to the edges of the ‘bricks’ adding to the realism. After this we use heat guns to consolidate the carved surface by slightly melt the surface of the poly before finally applying that ubiquitous flexible coating medium – Idenden; which provides a textured surface ready for painting.

Another element of the design which provided a great opportunity to hone our poly carving skills were the plentiful roof tiles. Each tile was cut from 8’ x 4’ sheets of foil covered insulation board, more often found insulating the walls and ceilings of buildings but as always we’re making use of everyday materials in innovative ways. So, the foil was peeled off and the edges of each tile distressed a little with the kitchen knives to look like slate, and once again the Idenden goes on prior to final paint effects, spatter, dry brushing and washes and voilà, roof tiles!!

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Some elements of the design were sky high and this called for some heavy industrial metal processing; time for our monster Ring Rolling machine to be rolled out so we could curve some huge sections of steel tubing. All of our best remembered geometry and GCSE mathematics knowledge were dragged up from the depths and it was best sohcahtoa’s forward to employ some marvelous numeric wizardry and where that didn’t work we bent it a bit more until it did fit!

Our Ring Rolling machine is able to create large or tight curves in anything from light to heavy gauge steel, in square section, flat bar, rod and tube. This section of the design was to be flown above the stage, yet appear to be a continuation of the curved walls, in order to provide enough strength across the span of this section we used 3mm wall mild steel scaffold tubing – which is a demonstration the power of this Ring Rolling machine. The curves were carefully calculated and welded together before extra sections were added creating a branch like structure, on to which more roof tiles were T-nailed into place to create a kind of deconstructing blown away house morphing in to a tree effect, as I perceived it, for me it was a rich and conceptual design which was both interesting and functional in drawing attention to the whole space.

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Two movable houses were also part of the build, one made from wooden flats and the other house from welded steel, as the 1st storey had to be fully functioning as a 1st floor. Both were mounted on wheeled trucks and both required more poly carving and of course roof tiles! End result; two extremely des-res, well-appointed – if a little compact, mock Tudor properties in a prime location in Central London. Not sure we can afford the rent on those, maybe we could use them as halls of residence for our new first years…

Speaking of whom….

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new first years who have thus far been inducted into the beginning of their technical theatre education. After spending the first few weeks sampling various areas of our cross discipline faculty we threw then head first into a major build for their self-led Design Realisation Project! Results were stunning BUT… I’m giving nothing away until January, when a full run down with photographic evidence will take the form of our first blog of 2015, that’s right I said it 2015! Ouch!

See you then blogland

Design Realisation

 

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Spring week 2…

It’s looking like week two here in the design realisation workshops; scenic art associated studies is taking place in the paintshop with first year students from other pathways getting their first taste of what it’s like to do scenic art here at the Guildhall School.  They are learning all about a variety of scenic art techniques ranging from creating textures, to wood graining…and a whole lot in between! What is interesting in the paintshop at the moment is that in addition to the associated studies bricks, which have been created using a brick template and artex, the paintshop is full of vacformed brick flats for the upcoming opera Pinocchio which the team are painting.  The effect for the opera is slightly different in that the bricks are much darker with a black base coat and layers of earthy colours dry-brushed and sponged on top.  They are going to have a dark wash on them as a final process which always makes such a difference with the bricks- tieing all of the colours together, ageing and adding depth.  I think you’ll agree they are looking really impressive…and huge now that they are put together and on the paintframe (thanks to construction!). 

Speaking of the construction team, they have been hard at work too; working on the rest of the set for Pinocchio.  Here they are making the Blue Fairy’s house flat, which involves working out and cutting quite a few angles.  The set design by Dick Bird is a fascinating one so over the next couple of week we should see some very interesting pieces being made.

The props department are also cracking on, tackling the vast amount of props for the opera.  As usual in props there are a lot of things going on at once and every time I walk through it’s all moved on three or four steps but here’s what I caught when I had my camera; the wig for Pinocchio being sculpted, masks in progress, puppets being sewn and drapes being measured…

Well as usual by the time I’ve written this and uploaded the photos the guys here in design realisation have moved onto something else so I’ll try to get more shots near the end of week.  Don’t go anywhere…

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