Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Overall I am pleased with how the staging has turned out. I am especially happy with how the tracing paper gauze has worked out as I was concerned that I would be unable to achieve the right affect. For me it was really important for things to be accurate and neat, this did mean that I had to cut some pieces out more than once in order to get them to be perfect. Similarly the problems that I had making and casting the temple column helped in the long run as it meant that I had a chance to correct mistakes and problems as I went along. 


I used two main lighting directions to show how the images on the gauze can be changed. By lighting the stage from the front the images on the front of the gauze are revealed and the reverse images are hidden. I also lite the set from the back and the side which showed the images from the back of the gauze and hide those on the front. On a full size stage a lighting team would be able to light each gauze individually with more ease and with an appropriate coloured light as to create a better effect.

Lighting from the Front
Lighting from the Back

Final Set Composition

The gauze is hung in staggered strips across the stage to semi-conceal the temple at the back of the stage, so that it can be revealed as the play progresses. The Temple would be reveal through a change in the lighting or removed into the flight area.

I decided not to paint or colour the flooring, but leave it a matt black as I did not want the set to become to complex. I like how the set pieces, the Temple and gauze, jump out of the set at the audience from the darkness of the stage. I felt that the dark seductive surroundings would add to the sinister eeriness of the chase through the forest. If I were to add anything else to the set it would be a smoke machine to held meld all the elements together and again add to the creepiness of the play.

Completed model box and Set

Monday, 17 January 2011


I used tracing paper to represent gauze. I used this instead of real gauze, as the weave of theatre gauze would have been too large for the 1:25 scale. Tracing paper also has similar qualities to gauze as it is still possible to achieve different affects and reveal different images depending on the lighting direction. For the column I reused my technical drawing as a base and used conte pastel pencils to add a hint of subtle colours in the same sandy brown tones as the temple. I decided to use a dead warped tree image for the gauze as its twistedness emulates the dark eeriness of the story as the wolf storks the girl through the woods. Once the gauze had been painted I glued a column and a tree back to back along a strip of card that is used to hold the gauze in place inside the box. By giving the gauze two sides it means that depending on the lighting direction the column could be changed into a tree and vise versa.



Legs and Teasers

I made some french braces out of mount board to support the temple and allow it to stand easily within the model box. This is also a representation of how the set would be supported at a 1:1 scale

French Braces
 I used black foam board to make legs and teasers to hide the wings and flight areas of the stage. The legs are angled back towards the stage at about a 45 degree angle in order to hide more of the side with as little material as possible. They took a bit of time to position into the correct place, as it involved getting down to the level of the theatre seating and looking at what the audience would actually be able to see from the most restricting seats.


Model Box with Temple

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Model Temple Paint Work

I painted the Temple in sand stone colours using a mix of yellow ochre and raw umber. To create the depth I followed the natural shadows that were formed from the model and then darkened them to add more tone and accentuate the shapes. Once the painting was finished I used a flicking/splatter technique to add texture and a further suggestion of a stone material.

Painted Temple

I also designed my own frieze based on the story of Little Red Cap to run along the base of the Temple. I used a simple design of wolves and a girl, painted it in a tromp l'oeil affect to suggest sculpted stone. When I originally decided to use a frieze it was going to run along the top of the temple as a sculpted architrave. However once I had built the temple I found that the space was too small for the design to look effective, so I moved it to the bottom of the temple.


Friday, 14 January 2011

Model Temple

Once I had cast the resin columns I then need to refine the finished pieces by sanding down any imperfection and removing any of the residue created through the casting process. Due to the nature of sculpey being soft and pliable the original column was not perfectly flat and level on the back, which would look untidy and botched on the finished item. To rectify this I used a small amount of sculpey to block in the sides and create a straight edge. I was concerned about putting resin in the oven, as I could not be sure what would happen, so I used my hairdryer on a warm setting to harden the sculpey.

Resin Column Before

Resin Column After
 The Temple base was cut out of foam board, because it would be holding all four resin column and further foam board detailing I used mount board to strengthen it. This was achieved by cutting out 1cm wide lengths of mount board and gluing them on their side to the back of the board in a grid formation.
Mount Board Supports

I used a mix of foam board and mount board to create layered architrave and mouldings for the temple. I cut strips of board and layered them on top of each other, I angled some of the edges whilst leaving others square. I used a strong PVA based glue to attach the columns to the base board. While making the model I added another 2cm to the height of the Temple as I found it looked disproportionate to the size of the columns. Because the temple is at the back of the stage the extra 2cm did not affect the overall look of the set or become lost in the flight area.

Fully Constructed Temple

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Paint Work

For the scenic model I wanted to keep to simple subdued brown/stone tones so that they were not too striking and distracting for an audience. I focused around yellow ochre and raw umber tones to subtly bring out the areas of shadow and light.
 Paint Work


 The columns were made of Super Sculpey on a base of foam board, card and dowel. I used a mix of board and card to create an initial frame work which the sculpey could then be worked into. To create the detail on the capital I used a cake making leaf cutter to cut out a basic shape that could then be applied and moulded to form the foliage decoration that is present on a Corinthian column. As I was unable to purchase 22mm diameter dowel I used 18 mm which meant that I could apply a layer of sculpey that could then be moulded to create the fluting detailing on the shaft of the column. The basic fluting detail is not quite accurate due to the 1:25 scale which made parts of the model too minute to mould. However, on an 1:1 scale it would be easier to produce the finer details. Through the paint work I am hope to suggest more of detail. I only made half a column as they will be placed on the temple at the Back of the stage, so did not need to be a whole column.
Column Profile
Column Back

 Once I had made one column I made a mould using silicone rubber. The first mould was unsuccessful as I did not have enough rubber to cover the whole column. Despite being an initial disaster this turned out to be an helpful experience, as the detail on the capital was too complicated to mould properly.

Original Capital Detail

Revised Capital Detail

Finished Column
 When I baked the sculpey the foam board the foam shrank and caused some cracks to appear in the base of the column. I used super glue to repair the damage before I remoulded the column.

Mould Preparation

Silicone Mould
 Once the mould had cured I then cast four columns in resin. I also used the resin the further repair any damages an imperfections.
Resin Columns

Column Construction

Miriam kindly shared this "how to" make a column. It was very interesting, unfortunately I had already made my column out of super sculpey

Model Box

I began the model box over Christmas using a mix of black foam board and black card. I stuggled with the curve of the seating boxes and front wall that leads to the procemium at first which was due to the PVA glue I was using which was not strong enough to hold the foam board together. Due to the constant application of glue and adjustments the edges of the board became quite soggy and tired looking so i re-cut the piece and used a strong wood PVA glue the pieces held together. Once the front section of the model was in place the rest of the model fitted together with few difficulties.

Original Model Box

At first I was unaware that the sides of the model box were meant to be kept open in order for lighting and set adjustment experiements to take place. As I had aleady attached solid side walls I was reluctant to take them off and risk destroying the whole box. Insread I carefull cut a side window into the wall sections, whilst leaving a structural border around the edge to maintian some of its initial strength.

Model Box with added side opening

Temple Revisements

Before we were informed of the Theatre we were working with I was hoping to build a large temple at the back of the stage. Due to Margate Theatre Royal being quite small I was forced to revise the size of the temple. I reduced it in size from having four columns on each side to two.
Smaller Temple

Smaller Temple Dimensions

When I started experimenting with making the columns for the temple I found that they were too small to be made easily with the shaft of the column being less than 20mm. Once again I revised the design of the Temple and adjusted some of the measurements so that the columns could be made slightly bigger and simpler to mould.

Smaller Temple Revised Column Dimensions
Revised Smaller Temple