The set for MotorTown was Prominade, with the audience walking around a concrete and brick estate, because of this we ended up having to create a lot of concrete and asphalt in different textures and states of wear. That would be seen from very close up by audience members.
Asphalt was made by texturing MDF with a Vermiculite and Bonding coat mix before being painted and glazed.
Concrete tiles were created using MDF cut squares with cracks added at random with a hand-held router cutter. Then textured with plaster and a bonding coat and finished with a mixture of paint washes and dry brushing.
In paint calls small details such as moss between cracks and cigarette buts were added.
A Brick wall created with a CNC’d MDF base covered with a Plaster and Idenden Mixture applied carefully to maintain the brick shape. Finished with washes of colour to create a worn brick wall.
The design for ‘Dance Nation’ consisted of six white boxes some containing small sets inside but all of them required filling, sanding, and numerous coats of white paint and gloss glaze to get the wanted image.
Two scenes happen inside of the white boxes in washrooms, a family bathroom and the toilet in the dance studio.
Both were designed with tiles, so a large part of my work as a scenic was working out how we could do this. In the end we used CNC’d MDF. We then painted and repeatedly glazed with high quality gloss glaze before covering all over with Idenden bondent and then wiping away to only leave the grout lines – just as you would on a real tile.
The Blue bathroom also had wall decals which were sourced images printed onto tissue paper, carefully cut out and then pasted onto the tiles with gloss glaze.
Wonder of the World
The set for Wonder had a ‘wiggly’ background made of individual MDF panels forced into shape. My main job was spraying the whole background white and black gradients with a spray gun.
Tartuffe is the most realistic set I’ve worked on with the whole set being a clear 4th wall view into a living room. From a scenic point most of the work was covering all the walls and ceiling with lining paper before painting and adding finishing coats of paint to doors and skirting boards.
In November of 2019 I worked as a scenic at Sherborne Girls School on their showcase of Tristan and Yseult. Although I was originally going in by myself to finish off the set, a handful of students showed an interest in scenic art and I ended up leading a team of 5-6 students through creating their own simple set through priming, painting and weather 8 A1 PVC vacuum-formed stone wall pieces.
I entered the project after the stone walls had been purchased and then sourced the necessary materials on a very restrictive budget and timeframe.
Although I was only there for a weekend and spent a lot of the time also supervising the work the students were doing, we did manage to dress the whole set and hopefully get some of the students interested in scenic arts.