Tag Archives: managing mischief

Video Blog, Really?

I have been asked by a few people to start a blog of my job. At first I said to them that I have a blog, but they said a video blog. Where I talk about my job and show some of the tricks of the trade. At first the idea scared the life out of me as I would prefer to be behind the camera but then I got to thinking, this would be classed as teaching wouldn’t it? Showing my students far and wide how to be a prop maker. I would be totally crap at first but hay, I’d get use to it.

So starting next week I am going to try and do a blog of my job. Showing a few techniques at how to do what it is I do. I’m all self taught so I might get an ear full from other prop makers but hay I don’t care. It’s all a bit of fun lol

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New recruits :-)

We are very pleased to welcome a new artist to our studio tomorrow. We understand that they volunteer for a small production theatre company and this lady has been responsible for putting most of their props together. I have invited her to come along to our studio because I have already seen what she is capable of and want to help her grow her skills further. I’m looking forward to working with her as I’m sure she can also open my eyes to a few things in the prop making world. I have also told her to bring along some of her on-going projects for us to take a look at and see if there is anything we can do to help.

With my Prop Making business, this is what I want to do. I love the idea of like minded students/individuals coming to my studio and working together. I understand that this lady is also self taught just like me so it’s a great way to get stuck in.

At the end of the day this job is my passion and if I can share that then I’m more then happy too.

If anyone is interested or you know someone who is interested in doing a little work experiences it us, then get in touch.

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Paper mâche. The tricks of the trade ;-)

Today I had a visit from a lovely lady who was struggling to make a prop for a production they were putting on. Now I don’t Normally give away my secrets but with this one, I couldn’t say no.

Where paper mâché is concerned it’s very easy to do but it’s not easy to get that smooth finish on your cardbored or plaster or expanding foam.

When I first started making props is want to get the job done quick so I would put huge pieces of paper on the item when using paper mâché. This would leave the ripple effect and raised paper instead of getting that smooth finish. So during my research I found out that if you use small pieces of paper (which will take you much longer) you get less raised pieces and a much smoother finish. Then this leaves you with a lovely surface to paint on.

I have attached photos. The first photo is of a very rippled surface which I used large pieces of paper to cover.
The second picture of of a very smooth surface which much smaller pieces of paper and no ripples.

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Safety First

One of the most important lessons in Prop Making is Safety First. This is easy to over look too but if your using a glue gun or slicing things on an unsafe surface it’s so easy to burn your fingers or cut your hand.

When I started using my glue gun I had no idea how hot the glue actually got until I got glue on my finger and the glue was replaced by a very large blister.

Then the first time I used expanding foam I couldn’t understand why I had such a bad head ache until my husband explained it is highly toxic. So from that moment on I have used all the proper safety equipment. Clothing, gloves, mask and goggles.

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Star Ship Enterprise

I havnt long come back from the studio this evening. So tired but I managed to get loads done. I have finished applying the lights to the Thundercats logo and all is now ready to be painted around the sides and the back. I have also started to add the rest of the Star Ship Enterprise I am making. It hasn’t been easy but we do love a challenge. So tomorrow it will be to carry of adding pieces and to also finish painting the logo. Then it is into the Star Trek logo. No rest for the very wicked he he he

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Only 5 weeks to go

The opening of my studio is in just under 5 weeks. It’s going by so fast. I still have so much to finish and time is catching up with me.

We had some amazing news yesterday though, Stand up Comic Tommy G will be performing on the night. Plus we will have a few exciting guests to watch out for too. My goodness I’m nervous. I just really hope it all goes well and we have a good turn out of guests.

The list for my to do list is getting longer and longer. I have just ordered my dress which was cheep but very nice. Most of the bottles of bubbly are ordered now it’s just a few things to put together and also the food. I just want everyone to enjoy them selfs and behave lol. Some of my guests will be new faces I’m looking forward to meeting and some will be long time friends. It is a really exciting time for Prop Maker Wales. This year had been brilliant so far 😀

For those of you who are interested in coming along, please email me at propmakerwales@yahoo.com

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It just keeps getting better ;-)

As a new business it’s very hard to get off the ground but you still hope that it will and pray you won’t go it alone. Well I have been in my studio for 4 months now and I just love it. Proper paid work is extremely slow but that’s what happens. At the moment I’m just concentrating on getting the Prop Maker Wales name out there. I still have so much to learn though because incase you didn’t already know, I am all self taught. Not bad for a woman who became a Mum at the age of 18 and is now 34.

Some people have said “why are you doing this? What do you think you will achieve?” Well I’m doing this because I love it and have done for a year and a half, and I’m hoping to become far more skilled in this field and also pass on my skills and talents to students. I want to expand. Do well as a business. To me it’s not about the money, and it never will be. It’s about being known for doing well and spending my life making my kids and myself proud. I love it and I will continue to love it for a very long time to come.

I have a very busy year now, but first I am off for a week for a little op. Then it’s back to work all systems go till Christmas.

🙂 xxxx

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Wer BACK!!!!

I’m back in my studio tomorrow evening. I’m so excited. I have got soooooo much to get finished over the next 2 months that it is going to be my biggest challenge yet.

I need to pace myself as best as I can though, because other wise I am going to run myself into the ground and this will not do.

I’ve had my relaxing break and am feeling really refreshed for the next 2 months. Watching this space friends because there is far more to come 😉

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What a week!!!

What a week and weekend it’s been. Honestly I havnt stopped, I’ve even been getting up early which, if you ask any of my friends or family, I just don’t do that!!!!

As most of you know I finally finished the Gargoyle Wings for a truly lovely customer who is going to be performing with them in London in June. I am so excited to see this myself. After completing them, they were then on their way to their new home at 11pm on Friday night. I was glad to finish them and I don’t miss them because they look so incredibly amazing on the lady who they were be-spoke made for 😉

Audrey 2 is coming along. The leaves are all finished, all 35 of them lol. These leaves are quite big. All hand made and painted, then latexed to get that rubbery/waxy feel to them. So I will be attaching them to the vine and decorations that. I have a large ceramic plant pot for her to sit in. For that I think I will use expanding foam so she’s safe and doesn’t move.

The finished prop is going to be displayed in the Gwyn Hall next week to advertise the production of The Little Shop of Horrors.

I’m really looking forward to it myself 😀

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The ‘WAX’ Factor!

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to figure out how to creat the waxy leaves on the Audrey 2 I have been asked to make to promote the production of “The Little Shop of Horrors” at The Gwyn Hall, Neath.

It was driving me totally mad. How on earth could I do this with the limited products I had at the studio plus a limited budget?

I first turned to the thin foam boards I had and started to cut out leaves. Then I used the glue gun to apply string to creat the leaves vains. I then applied tissue paper to the leaves to try and get a good back ground to paint for the colour and texture. It turned out stiff as a bored. My husband said it looked great but it wasn’t suitable for Audrey’s waxy and flexible leaves. He was right. I wanted people to touch her leaves and for them to feel real, and what I had created just wasn’t suitable.

So I then turned to the leather effect fabric I had used for the Gargoyle wings and I started to cut out leave shapes. This stuff is a total pain in my arse but on one side the glue from the glue gun for the sting would stick which was brilliant. Again I applied the tissue paper using PVA glue mixed with latex and then once that was dry I applied the paint.

At first the leaves were stuff because of the tissue paper I had used, but I turned to the think latex I had bought from B&Q. I brushed the latex all over the leaves, front and back. Once the latex had dried, the leaves had gone back to being floppy and playable. Just perfect for the effect I wanted. The best part was that the latex made the leaves feel waxy and real. I was completely thrilled. Now all I have to do is produce the rest lol.

I’m loving this Audrey 2 so much. She’s going to be epic 😀

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