Fountain Statue

Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
Ohio University, 2015

Triton Blowing a Conch Shell by Adriaen de Vries (c. 1615)
Designer Research Image

*This was a collaborative and interdepartmental project. I guided a fellow student through the base carve process and then finished the rest of the sculpt. Other artisans created the four fish and the pedestal, and the Scene Shop handled the build of the fountain base and the plumbing.*

fountain-statue-daniel_raderThis production was set in post-WWII Italy. The piazza was restored from wartime destruction to revitalized beauty in several phases. This included a destroyed fountain that was repaired in two segments: pedestal and statue. Additionally, there was a running gag where each time the maintenance man worked on the fountain, he was sprayed in the face with water.

In order to achieve the water effects, two sump pumps were hidden under the stage with hoses that lived in the fountain base. One hose was used to connect to the hard plumbing within the pedestal, which split to run to three fish. The second hose connected to its mate embedded in the body of the statue which was fed through the pedestal. By the end of the play, both the fish and statue worked.

The statue was made of several layers of rigid foam with a hose running through the center of it. Expanding foam, microcell foam, and masking tape were also used to create the body shapes and details. The statue sat on a plywood base to stabilize it. A new foot and a leg were carved separately and attached with a steel rod. The whole form was paper mached before it was coated in epoxy resin and painted by the Scenic crew.

Oval Back Chair

The Glimmerglass Festival, 2015

The original straw, horse hair, and cotton stuffing was replaced with foam and new batting. The sporadic, heavily embroidered fabric was a challenge to upholster over the round chair seat. As a final detail, the original windmill medallion was replaced with a small upholstered lauan plate with the new fabric.

Stage Combat Katana

Rashomon, by Ivor Benjamin
Ohio University, 2014

katana-winters_rashomonThe tsuba, or hand guard, on traditional Japanese swords served as a way of communicating social standing and other personal information about the owner. The design of this tsuba was inspired by the samurai’s wife’s butterfly motif and bamboo leaves. It was carved out of 3/16” plate steel. The rough shape was cut with a jig saw. Then the small areas were hand filed, and finally the detail was laid in with a dremel.

This production had a modern style with Japanese influences. Because of this, we made the handle in a sleek rosewood rather than a traditional cord-wrapping. The blade was purchased, and its was tang inlayed into the wood. 2-1/2” were taken off the tip of the blade for better balance. Three shaped 3/16” steel rods were drilled through the handle and tang and secured with epoxy. The rods provided structural support as well as grips for the actor’s hands.

The pommel was shaped out of 1-1/2” steel round stock and welded directly to the end of the tang. The bamboo motif was repeated here and finished with a good polishing.

Skeleton Keys

Advanced Steel Techniques with Tom Fiocchi 
Ohio University, 2014

 An afternoon project project made with scraps of 3/16″ steel rod, slices of pipe bent in a vice, and other steel scraps. Each key was around 4-1/2″ long.



Magic Flute

The Magic Flute, by Mozart
The Glimmerglass Festival, 2015
Scene Design by: Troy Hourie

Designer Renderomg
Designer Rendering

For this production of The Magic Flute, the design team wanted Papagano to be able make the flute light up whenever he played it. I placed the button central to where the singer held his fingers in rehearsal, and the action worked seamlessly. This project was the first time I experimented with wiring, and the small venue in which it all had to live and still be accessible to Stage Ops was the big problem to solve. I began with a 1-1/2” clear acrylic tube. On one end I wedged a section of dowel with a bit of PVC glued inside to create the mouth piece. On the other side was dowel padded out with a bit of 3/4” plywood. Both pieces of closet pole were hollowed out just enough to suspend a smaller dowel that ran through the length of the tube.


24 LED lights were soldered in 6 runs of 4 in series, in parallel. The LEDs were secured to the dowel according to a numbered dot pattern. A hole had to be drilled through both sides of the the tube and dowel to accommodate the button. Cheese cloth was used to create the wood texture. After final details and a base paint job, Scenic added the shimmer treatment. The battery was accessible though the bottom of the flute.

magic-flute-img_6241 magic-flute-img_6126

The Quiver
A very soft sueded leather was provided for the quiver. It was very floppy and it was hard to get the flute in and out quickly, so a .065 ABS plastic spine was hand sewn to the quiver to add stiffness down the singer’s back, as well as hold the opening open for easier handling. magic-flute-img_6222

Roast Beef

La Boheme, by Giacomo Puccini
The Glimmerglass Festival, 2016
Scene Design by: Kevin Depinet


A quick afternoon project: a block of rigid insulation foam, shaped and coated with Flex Glue and sawdust. Once dry, it was painted and twine tied into the divots. It was finished off with a rich FEV to pop the depth of color, tone down the twine, and seal the paint. It was wrapped in brown paper for the stage and lived in a basket of other foods.

Candy Tray

La Boheme, by Giacomo Puccini
The Glimmerglass Festival, 2016
Scene Design by: Kevin Depinet

candy-tray-img_9765For Act 2, the Quartier Latin, dozens of people populate the stage including various street vendors selling wares. This candy tray was for one such vendor. The petit fours and the little donuts and cakes were pulled from other trays in stock. The tray itself, sugar cookies, lollipops and baggies of chocolates were the additions I made to the tray.

The sugar cookies were made from a collection of surplus vacuform pulls we had in stock, painted and and sprinkled with glitter.  They were back-filled with Apoxie Sculpt to make them more durable. The chocolates were made from buttons and some Apoxie Sculpt, painted, and sprinkled with a combination of glitters, sawdust, and plastic shavings. The baggies were made from circles of pink tulle. The round lollipops were created from some round styrofoam balls stuck onto on a skewer, painted and coated in 5 minute epoxy. The twirly lollipop was made from leftover Apoxie Sculpt twisted over another skewer. It was also coated in 5 minute epoxy after being painted. Most of the candy was adhered to the tray, but several remained loose to be given out to people on the streets.

Egyptian Sphinx Sculpture

Advanced Hand Props, with Tom Fiocchi
Ohio University, 2016

Research Image
Research Image


For this class project I challenged myself to be able to not only replicate a particular object, but to be able to duplicate my own work. This meant choosing an object that was essentially a mirror image of itself. The Sphinx’s body was essentially symmetrical except for the placement of the tail. It was also my  intention to challenge myself with carving the human form again. It’s smaller scale (18” L x 10” W x 14” H) added another layer of difficulty for me since all other carving previous to this project were at a life size scale.

I started with 4 layers of rigid insulation foam and carved down from there. I started with a hot knife to take away large chunks of material, and the rest was done with snap knives. I continued to carve the body until I realized I needed more information about the wings. I chose to carve the wings in poplar so they would be more durable. Each wing had a visible front and back side. I used a dremel with a sanding drum to lay in the feathers.

When it came time to insert the wings, I dug two slots into the foam and adhered them with expanding foam. Shrink wrap kept the wings in place until it cured. I also used the expanding foam to add material back where I had carved too much away. Masking tape took care of any additional imperfections. Upholstery tacks created the eyeballs, a bundle of twine was used for the tail, and microcell foam pierced with wires established the flourish in front. The statue was attached to the wooden base with contact adhesive and a thin bead of caulk for security. Sculpt or Coat unified all the surfaces before being painted.


Intimate Apparel, by Lynn Nottage
Ohio University, 2016


This project was a modification of an existing 1930’s quilt. Much of the original fabric was too thin and worn to trust, so to reinforce the structure, as well as to integrate the quilt into the world of the show, new patches pulled from costume show fabrics were sewn on top of the quilt.

A new back was required to accommodate the stress and wear of a trick pocket. The chosen fabric was too bright, so it was dyed down with Pearl Gray to fit into the environment.

The script specifically called for the crazy quilt to have a hidden pocket where the main character saved her money. The pocket had to be both cut open with scissors for a few bills to be pulled out, and then only a couple of scenes later, ripped open to reveal a large sum of money.

Two pockets were inserted on either side of the seam of the quilt back. The pocket was re-stitched each night.