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Archive for May, 2015|Monthly archive page

“Spraying and Relocating!” from Randy Wong-Westbrooke

In Assistantship, Scenic Paint on May 27, 2015 at 11:31 PM

Wong-Westbrooke_Sprayer

This last week has been full of new things. Scenic art is full of so many tricks and techniques to achieve the faux finishes and textures we create onstage. To recreate the texture and sheen of a rod iron fence, we mixed graphite with black paint and applied the gloppy mixture onto the wooden cutout. Once dry, you’d sand away and most of the graphite remains giving that sheen. A coat of sealer is needed unless you want the graphite to rub off on everyone’s hands and costumes.

Next with my final design for the Juneteenth Banner getting approved on Friday, we started to mix colors and put them into air powered paint spray guns. I only worked with a spray gun once last summer at Cal Shakes, but I will say that I hardly remember anything. There are a lot of bits and pieces to keep track of when assembling the gun and a few knobs that control the amount of air being used, the amount of paint, and the nozzle. It will definitely take practice. Next we learned out to square a drop on the paint frame – also a new tool and method. Because the banner is long, but narrow, we got a feel for how to spray on paint evenly on the excess muslin underneath the final.  However, even before we started on the final we had to learn how to drive the lifts. Having not driven a car in nine months it was hard to get back into it with no help from the joystick controls. Once we were lined up though, I will say I was more comfortable spraying than driving.

This project is on hold until I return after this week. For the main season set pieces, the paint shop has not been overwhelmed the last couple weeks and my charge, Gabriel, has set me up with Rick Anderson in the Scenic Design Studio to help him with some model boxes. I also haven’t built any model boxes in about eight-nine months so I was nervous. I was expecting him to say this is how I want you to build a ¼” model of the Bowmer, but instead he gave me the printouts and two already built, yet slightly different older boxes to compare with. I was free to go about it however I wanted and that is liberating, yet also nerve wracking. It took some getting used to being in a different space without the tools I’m familiar with. I did discover, however, that the larger shell of the theater is fairly similar to the proscenium stage we have back at Ithaca College, minus the proscenium part obviously. Today I will probably be working on making the clouds above the stage and the walls with boxes for lighting on the sides of the theater. It’s really neat to look around at Richard Hay’s immense collection of art, history, theater, and design books filling up the shelves around me while I hold some glued pieces together to dry. Let’s hope I’m keeping up a good pace!

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