Tag Archives: prop maker

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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Growing Up

My little boy is having his last day in nursery tomorrow before the summer holidays and then will be full time in September. Now as a self employed lady, this is a brilliant thing because I will now be able to work days instead of nights, but as a Mum, who will no longer have any more babies. This is so so sad.

He is my baby. The youngest of my 3 children and with no more babies coming my way, it’s the realisation that this is it. He’s going to big school. I want to hold his hand forever but I guess that won’t be possible. How long before he doesn’t want to kiss me at the school gates? How long till he doesn’t want to sit and have cuddles with Mum? It’s going to break my heart.

I am so very proud of my babies and I love them with all my heart but I guess they have to grow up sometime. Tomorrow is his last day and I’m going to be a total wreck. I’m normally quite hidden with my emotion and I treat every day the same but tomorrow will be different.

Harry and I spend Monday evening making a present for his teacher. He drew a picture and then we painted it together, then I used the soldering iron to write on the wood. We loved it but Harry couldn’t wait till the last day to give it to his teacher, so we gave it to her this morning. She was so touched. She’s such an amazing teacher. He’s only going to the class next door but it’s such a huge change. Oh my baby boy xxxxxx

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A Prop Makers New Toy

As there are hardly any prop making courses out there except London I have been doing a little research on line. Looking at new ways of making things and new effects that can be created with simple methods. It has really helped me to discover new ideas and just see how incredibly simple it is to get a scratched effect on fake metal.

One video should how the got a Predator helmet to look narrated a warn. They used an air brush to get the colours sprayed into the helmet and then took a simple nail file, put a little silver paint on it and used it across the parts of the helmet the wanted to get the battered effect on. It was just so simple. So I am going to be using these techniques on my Iron Throne.

I was told yesterday that my Iron Throne from Game of Thrones is going to be sitting in pride of place on the stair case in Margam Castle for the Heroes and Legends Autograph Show. I am so so so excited about this 😀

It’s a Mans world!!

Or is it? As you all know I am a prop maker. We use tools of all kinds such an sanders, drills, saws and many many other tools of the building, decorating and carpentry trade.

Yes I am a girl and yes I have long hair, long nails, wear make-up and batter my eye lids when needed but I am in the trade. I went into B&Q not so long ago to enquire about a trade card and when I asked the man behind the counter he just looked at me. He said “You have to be in the trade” I said “I know!” Grrrrrr

So I then went into toolstation and was wandering again how I was going to be treated but this time I was treated really well. They were so helpful and really nice , even though I was given some in-approving looks from some other men who looked at me like I really didn’t belong there.

Then I went into Travis Perkins and I was just stood there like I didn’t belong and all these men were just stood there looking at me, not happy at all but I took a deep breath and asked about Plywood. I new what I wanted so I new what to ask for. This I felt quite happy about. But then for some reason my trade card details wouldn’t show up so I felt really out of place.

Anyway, it’s all sorted now and I am now able to shop where I want at trade prices. This make a huge difference because the materials I have to use can get really expensive. I’m now really looking forward to working with my plywood now 😀

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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Fun days at home ;-)

Today my 4 year old and me decided to make some things out of air drying clay. He is as creative as his Mum. While I was busy playing with clay and making a new sword hilt, he was busy making burgers and then decided a bowl would be better.

I love the way they turned out. The first bowl was just us both playing and then the second he used the base of his cup and moulded it around the bottom. Then as a finishing touch, I wrote his name on the side so it will forever be his. I wander what we will make next he he.

The sword hilt I made was one I found on Google images. See if you can guess who’s it is? I really enjoyed making this one. It is now out in the sunshine drying along with Harry’s 2 bowls. Trying to keep myself busy but not work too hard after having a small op last Wednesday. I’m praying I can go back to work on Wednesday and carry on making my big sign 😉

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“Their behind you”

It will soon be apon us, Panto Time. It’s strange isn’t it that I’m talking about this and it’s only June but has anyone else noticed how fast time is flying this year? It’s crazy but I will soon be building sets apon sets for stage and I’m so excited about it.

I’ve been off from work since Tuesday last week and it’s driving me crazy. I’ve had a small op done and I’m not aloud to be in work for 5 days so I’m just itching to get back in the studio. 20140614-044752 pm-60472051.jpg

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