Advanced Hand Props, with Tom Fiocchi
Ohio University, 2016
The original clock was most likely several feet tall despite being a wall hanging. I downsized my clock to roughly 27”H x 11″W x 8-1/2″D.
The first thing I made were the spindles. I used rock maple for it’s strength in turning something both narrow and complicated. They measured around 1-1/2” at the widest diameter and stood at around 13” tall.The trunk was constructed from pine, poplar, ply, and some leftover moulding. The height of the trunk wasn’t determined until the spindles were cut to size. The spindle attachment points were left accessible during construction so they could still be removed.
The base was made from planed and shaped scraps of poplar and a wooden finial found in stock. The thick black paint was sanded off, and its detail returned with a dremel. The trunk was assembled after the base was constructed. The screws that held the bottom of the spindles in place were eventually replaced with the dowels used to create the lower finials.
The plinth was created using a base of pine and embellished with scraps of trim moulding, pressed wood appliqués, poplar, oak, and other findings. The plinth and base both had a set of small decorative finials. They were too delicate to lathe, so I used beads, knobs, and other wood findings to create similar shapes. The best shop finding was by far a perfectly sized lion brooch in the Costume Crafts Shop!
The back plate and pendulum insert were left removable so the clock itself and a plexi window could still be accessed for changing the time and cleaning purposes. The pendulum was of poplar and a pressed wood appliqué. The whole thing was coated in epoxy create a glossy surface for the paint. Small bits of coat hanger wire were brazed to create the fret and epoxied into the top of the pendulum. The source clock had a decorative plate with the model name “Gloria” engraved on it. I found a drawer pull with no mate in stock and shaped it with the dye grinder and dremel. As an homage, I christened this clock with my own initials.
Because so many varieties of wood were used, I chose to paint the clock in order to unify the piece. It was sealed with a polycrylic semi-gloss. The clock rim, pendulum, lion pendant, and name plate were all hit with the same gold spray paint and FEV treatment.
Intimate Apparel, by Lynn Nottage
Ohio University, 2016
The carpet bag was made from a single scrap of upholstery fabric, which was then interfaced with a thick muslin. The seams were reinforced with plastic boning to provide some vertical strength. The bottom of the bag was structured with a stiff board placed between the outer fabric and the inner lining. The handles were made from upholstery piping cord wrapped in the appropriate fabric and hand stitched back on itself. The carpet bag was lined with a matching fabric and had one inner pocket. The bag was used to carry a corset, travel sewing kit, a man’s jacket, and several letters.
Candide, by Leonard Bernstein
Scenic Design by James Noone
The Glimmerglass Festival, 2015
For the king of El Dorado’s entrance, four 11’0” x 4’0” bangled, two-sided coin-faced banners were carried on stage. I pulled my research from punchao, an ancient depiction of the Incan sun god, Inti.
Vacuform was the fastest and lightest weight way to achieve the detail, variety, and quantity requested by the designer. Two 15” ply faces and two sets of 24” rings were made so that there could be four different face combinations. Because the bed of the vacuform machine was 2’x4’, the outer rings had to be made in two halves to accommodate their size and depth of the coin face. The wooden forms were embellished using a combination of shaped plywood, carved MDF, and a variety of nuts, washers, rubber furniture feet, and other miscellaneous hardware. This allowed for a quick assembly and provided a durability able to withstand numerous pulls on the vacuform machine.
The pole was made from five quarter clear pine. Each stick was ripped down to 1-1/8” square before the corners were routed so they were 8 sided. The cross arm was half-lapped and screwed to the upright pole. 1/4” foam core circles sandwiched the pole to provide an attachment surface for the vacuformed plastic.
.035 PETG plastic was used for the outer rings of every banner and .035 white polystyrene plastic was for the faces. The plastic pieces were adhered to the foam core base with Hilti expanding foam. Separate scabs were also pulled to disguise the seams of the ring halves and attached with Hilti foam. In total, 8 faces and 16 sets of rings, and 24 scabs were needed to create the double sided coin faces. The faces were painted with Design Master Antique Gold and treated with a reddish brown FEV in the crevices to pop the depth of the imagery.
Over 700 ft. of beads, sequins, and piettes were strung from the cross beam and the face. The sequin beard was leftover trim from show related costumes. Decorative gold rope was used as lashing to hide the screws. The cross beams were fitted with 4” round finials to finish the look.