Day Eleven- March 13

Day of the frozen feet.

Painting the backdrop. It is a warmer day than it has been but the day is still overcast/rainy/chill. Of course it is also the day I am painting in my socks. The cold is seeping up through the concrete and into my bones. In between layers I am standing in front of the heat vent trying to thaw my feet. Even two layers of wool socks is doing nothing. I told the boss that *when* we move the shop I want radiant floor heating.

But anywho here is the progression of the back wall. It is a very wet and watercolor approach to the painting. All the green areas are intended to have a layer (or more) of painted erosion cloth over them.





Once dry I pulled the staples and rolled it up.

Layout rock and first of the four trees. Oh these f*cking trees.


Day um...Ten- March12

aka...the day I forgot my camera.

This is also the day of strike for Time After Time. I remained at the shop to paint, but I did help unload the trucks when they got here. I also unloaded the surprise lumber delivery.

The back wall is an odd thing in this show. It's sortof a ground row, but one that is nearly 12 feet tall. So it's sort of a wall too. The designer really wanted a seamless look, so what we decided to do was paint a large run of muslin and stretch it over the flats that create the wall in space. Again, because we have to get the whole set into the space through a standard door, this was the easiest way to go.

I used the top row of flats with the hill edge to layout the muslin. Apparently 140" muslin actually means 138", which means we lose some of our edge to wrap. We'll have to trim down the tallest hilltop. Once I had the top of the wall marked, I primed the fabric with a tinted primer.

Then I based it with the yellow ochre base coat. Using vine charcoal, I sketched in the color transitions that I would be painting next.

Day Nine- March 9th

I started the day by spraying a few more coats of sealer on the floor. While that dried, I continued to goo the rock.
Once it was safe I picked up the floor and labled it on the back as well as on the drawing. There's less chance of screwing it up if you go overboard. Carpenters tend to be notorious for not really paying attention to small differences in the painted finish, and there are a few sections of the floor that could easily be switched around.

I'm thankful I laid down the plastic before the floor went down because it saved a lot of heartache regarding gluing it to the paper. Once it was all cleaned up it was time to layout the fabric for the back wall and starch it.

I went home feeling pretty good that the floor was done and up. Now it was time to make cake pops for my daughter's birthday party.

Day Eight- March 8th

I hate Jute. (just so you know)

I finished cutting the jute for tree foliage while wracking my brain to figure out how the hell we are going to pull this off.

I coated the rock with Jaxsan roofing compound to give it some more strength and make the plywood top seem less plywoody.

Paint pattern on floor.
 The designer showed and we played around a bit with options. The final process ended up being extremely uncomplicated and fast. I laid down pieces of the erosion cloth radiating out from the areas where the trees are going to be placed. Then I sprayed a dark green with a hand pump sprayer, keeping away from the outer edges of the cloth to avoid a hard edge. Pick up the cloth and repeat. It idea was to position the cloth as if it were the root structures of the tree along the forest floor, as oppose to just random areas of texture. It really gave a beautiful look to the organic areas. Can I just say that wet jute smells awful. I'll sure I'll elaborate on it later when I'm doing the rest of the erosion cloth for the trees and back wall.



Once I sealed the floor all sorts of subtleties and depth crept through.  Even though I still liked the walk of fame area better before the spray to lighten it, I love the overall look of the floor. And besides, done is my favorite color. ;)





The one thing left to do on the floor is the brass dividers between the types of terrazzo. The paint pens I will be using for this are reactivated by the poly; so to avoid a smeary mess, I'll be lining it in space after installation.

And a Happy Birthday to my little girl. This is the day she turns one year old!

Day Seven- March 7th

Wrapping up the floor...or as far as I can without the designer here.
  He wasn't sure where he wanted to go with the next step so I had to wait for him to come in. So I jumped projects and moved onto the rock. Our master carpenter made the rock and did the  bulk of the foam carving. I went in at the end and finessed it all. Then we started gluing on cheesecloth over the foam to give it some more strength. The actors will be climbing all over this rock, not to mention all of the stuff that is going to be rolled on and off stage. I'm looking to make the finish of the rock as indestructible as possible. Oh, and the whole thing has to be in pieces that will fit through a standard door. (Well actually the whole set does. That is the hitch in this load in).

Gluing cheesecloth over the foam on the rock.



When all that was done I started cutting all the erosion cloth that will be hung in strips from the grid to represent the tree foliage. Yeah, this sucked. Horribly.


Day six- March 6th

Floor, floor and more floor. amazing lack of photos on this day. I must have forgotten the camera.

Then I had a little fun finessing the carving of the rock. There is something very satisfying having a big bread knife in one hand, a rasp in the other and going to town on some foam.

Day Five- March 5th


Good news: it looks like we may have a little more time. Our TD feels that we can push off load-in about a week because it won't take very long to actually get the set up. Hooray!!!

Line between the Walk of Fame tiles.
Pretty self explanatory. I must remember to build a new lining stick this summer. This one is not quite four feet and that gets annoying. 

Touch up the terrazzo on stars. Again self explanatory. I had to fix some areas due to the stencil issue.

Prime out the organic area.
 I had the designer mark out where the edge of the organic forest floor area as my two drawings showed completely different layouts. Then I started with a tinted primer. I rolled up to about a foot from the line. Then I went back and bushed in the rest fading it out, letting the stars walk bleed through.


Start laying in the color of the organic sections.
 Apparently I didn't take pictures of this step. 

Day four- March 2nd

It's Friday!! I'll need a break after all this stencil cutting.

Finish cutting stencil and seal it. Look at all those little holes. Am I not insane or what?

And then the designer showed up. Apparently there was some miscommunication and he wants the floor lighter than the actual Walk of Fame. So a dusting with the airgun lightens it up. And now I hate it. I feel like it's lost all the depth that I put in it. Hopefully that will return when I seal it.

Stencil, stencil, stencil
I put some tape around the edge of the stencil to give it a little more strength and some masking so I don't roll paint where I don't want it. 

Unfortunately I had a little mishap with the stencil. Ideally the stencil would have been made out of plastic. But lacking any in my shop large enough I just used bogus paper, and this is what happened.

I did manage a repair and all was well.
Doesn't that look far more beautiful than just a spatter would have. Sometimes it is about the small (and insane) details. Like me. I'm small and insane.

Sample for the rest of the floor then go home and forget about the show for the whole weekend. :)

Day Three

Today wasn't as productive as I had hoped it would be, but I did make progress. The real drag on productivity was cutting the second terrazzo stencil as you will see.

Floor is ready for the star stencil.
  Here is what the black terrazzo looks like:

Stencil the pink base for the terrazzo star.
   The stars are on every other tile in a checkerboard pattern. Here is the stencil in place ready to go.

And the first layer of paint

A shot of me painting the stars. The weird white/grey blobs on the floor are plastic lids to mark the tiles that get stars. I didn't trust my sleep deprived brain to get it right on its own.


Unfortunately they did require a second coat.

Cutting the star terrazzo stencil.
   Yes this is insane, but the end product will be the payoff.  If this were being played in one of our larger theaters I'd probably use a spatter method and move on. But this production is in our blackbox theatre and the audience is right on top of the set. Greater attention to detail is required. 

    And still cutting.

    Yep. Still cutting.

By day's end I still hadn't finished the star stencil yet but this is what the floor looks like so far.

Let's hope tomorrow sees more results.

Day Two

Continue sprays on base.
  I rolled the first layer of black. The next few layers were sprays of varying degrees of inky black to a dark charcoal grey. 

Seal floor.
  I sprayed on sealer to keep from marring the floor as I continued to work on it.

Cut and seal stencil: main terrazzo and star base.
   I made these out of bogus paper and sealed them with Sculpt or Coat. Here is the stencil for the white on black terrazzo.

Stencil main terrazzo.
    I used a small spongy roller to apply the paint. The stencil is significantly smaller than each 4' by 4' tile. I did that for ease of moving the stencil and to allow for variation between the pattern on the tiles. 

Seal the floor.
  Again, another spray to protect what I had done.