This topic has 6 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 11 months ago by AHOGAN.

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  • #14891
      • Experience: 5-10 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      Hey all,

      My students are working on a new work this fall called “Trade, Trade Love” and we are looking to do a false-proscenium that has the movement of fabric but hardened to hold its shape.

      Any suggestions on how to make this happen efficiently?

      My first thoughts were using a type of LW muslin or gauze with an aqua-resin coating and molding into shape while wet so that it can harden and hold the shape. It needs to have some fullness and billows and be in the overall shape of a wish-bone.

      I know Rosebrand carries molding clothe, but we also have quite a bit of other foam carving and other detailed scenic pieces, and I don’t think we can quite afford that given the rest of the set.

      I’m currently doing research on different fabrics and resins to see what will be the safest and most cost-efficient process.

      Thank you!

       Mary Novodvorsky
        • Experience: 20+ years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

        Member Member

        The Aqua Resin probably won’t give you enough open time to mold it into shape after you’ve coated it. It might if you change the ratio of the water added. Perhaps try window screen mesh with muslin glued to one side? I’m not sure if that will give you a graceful enough shaping though. It worked very well when we wanted to make very lightweight mountain facades.

         Tessa Broyles
          • Experience: 0-5 years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

          Member Member

          Is it a flat wishbone shape (no folds or billows)? Because my school did a similar thing once. We made a false proscenium out of fine gauze; at each side it was narrower at the top, swooped down in a curve to be wider at the bottom. It was designed so that it was just cut and hemmed in the right shape. It did have a few folds in it that came from how we hung it from the top of the proscenium and stapled it in place to the floor, and those folds helped hide the seam between the two side pieces and the top piece.

          Not sure if thats quite what you’re going for, but it worked nicely for us. I don’t know if attaching the photo worked, but I tried to show you kind of what we did.


          I’ve done two shows that had something similar. For both we used window screen to create the shape. One of the shows wanted a a big towering piece and we used just window screen by the roll in the smaller sizes. It’s cheap, it bends perfectly, it’s easy to cut but you do want to wear gloves for the edges. The other wanted to look like flowing fabric. We cut window screen to size, glued on muslin with a elmers/water mix, painted the muslin and then was able to create the flowing fabric shapes we wanted. It worked great! That time we used large industrial rolls of window screen because we needed a lot. Either way, check it out!


          [attachment=0]AndSoWeWalked.jpg[/attachment] Here is a picture of the finished product.


          a couple more[attachment=0]Tree Drop – SR cloud detail 1_preview.jpeg[/attachment][attachment=1]AndSoWeWalked-2.jpg[/attachment]

            • Experience: 20+ years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

            Member Member

            my FAVORITE way to give hard movement to fabric is to use old fashion SCENIC DOPE.

            (Reference pgs 280-281 in “Designing and Painting for the Theatre” by Lynn Pecktal for recipe)

            You make a mixture of either rabbit skin glue or white glue and water, add dry whiting and dip muslin or other fabric, and you mold or drape it into whatever shape you need, and it HARDENS. It can also take on some weight with the scenic dope, but it is wonderful and inexpensive.

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