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Carved Wooden Cups

Used for a production of King Lear, these cups started their lives as a 4x4 lumber. After chiseling the shape and removing the inside using a hole saw and forstner bit though, they started to take shape. A layer of tea stain followed by a vinegar/steel wool stain give them their aged finish, and after adding the leather straps they're almost complete. The final step is coating the inside of them with wax, so they're actually food safe.

Kent's Leg Shackles

These shackles were worn by Kent (played by Jay O. Sanders) in a Public Theater production of King Lear. To make them, I started with 6" diameter PVC pipe, which was then cut down to fit the diameter of the actor's legs. The hinges are made from leather, and the hardware was all standard door hardware (although the hasps were reshaped to match the curve of the pipe. The insides were coated in neoprene to keep the actor safe, and then everything was coated in glue and canvas. After a few layers of different shades of grey and brown paint, these shackles were ready for the stage.

Tomato Plants

There's nowhere in the states the you can purchase fake tomato plants. In fact, the only place you can get fake tomato plants is from a company that rents them out in Germany. For a production of Much Ado About Nothing, prominently featured in the center of the stage was a garden, complete with a row of tomato plants. The plants were made by taking a dowel and using a bunch of smaller fake plants. They were attached to the dowel using wire and zip ties, and were then altered and manicured. Branches and leaves were removed and added until it looked like a tomato plant. When the shape was right, they were thoroughly wrapped up with floral tape to give them the color and texture of a real tomato plant. At a certain point we ran out of fake plants, so we started to put armature wire in a drill in order to create a larger gauge, which we then sculpted like the other plants. Once they were in place, the tomatoes were added. The tomatoes were attached with wire, so the actors could actually pick them.

Granma Mask

This is a mask for the character Granma from Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, which was used in a movement piece based on the play. The mask is made out of sculpey, which was stamped with real tree bark. It was heated with a propane torch, which also burnt the wood fragments left over from the bark in order to give it an earthy texture. The left side of Granma's face is the facade of the house that the Joad's must leave behind, and because of how much the house was a part of her she died when she was forced to leave it. A shawl was put around the mask, and when she dies it is used to cover her face. The inside of the mask was coated in flexible white glue and muslin to prevent cracking and make it impact safe, and neoprene was added in certain areas to protect the actors. It was held on with a one inch wide elastic strap that could be adjusted using a safety pin.

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