Season: 2013

Makin' a Scene: Floor of a Bombed-out Bar

Posted on Feb 19th, 2013 in Artists & Company
Artisan creates tiles for floor

Creating a realistic floor for The Unfortunates

The Unfortunates has really started to get rolling. Out at the warehouse, the paint crew has started painting some of the many layers of backdrops and scrims, and at the home shop, we have taken on a detailed tile floor.

First, the shop cut more than 700 individual tiles from masonite, a board made of wood pulp and glue. We then sorted them into stacks to be painted in three different styles. Two are relatively plain, while the remaining 400 display a fairly intricate five-color cloud and triangle pattern.

To create this intricate pattern quickly and efficiently, we decided to use the vinyl cutter to create a stencil. The vinyl cutter is a fantastic tool in the likeness of a printer, but instead of printing with ink, the printer is equipped with a tiny knife that cuts a design into a giant vinyl sticker that we buy by the roll. The cutter can make many copies of the same sticky stencil very quickly, and then all we have to do is apply the design to the tiles and paint them as we would a stencil.

Stencils for floor tilesWe first remove the sections that are to be painted grey, paint them, then remove more of the design and paint them the next color, blue, and so on. In this way, we can paint each color of each section and then finally remove the last of the vinyl, leaving a perfectly clean painted tile. Then we seal them to look glazed.

Now comes the fun part.

Since the tile floor is part of a bombed-out bar, the tiles needed to look old and broken. In some cases, all we needed to do was chip the paint or let some of the vinyl rip some paint off leaving a burnt look, but with others, we actually broke the tiles in half, or broke off corners to give them a chipped look. All of the tiles will get an uneven brown grungy wash. The final look will be achived when they are mounted in the Thomas Theatre in their patterns around the traps in the floor to look like open holes left from a bombardment.

To learn more about Sandy, go to her blog on her website.

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