Season: 2013

Making a Scene: Forest Moss and a Giant Stump

Posted on May 21st, 2013 in Artists & Company
scenic artist

It's tough to stump this team!

By Sandy Phillips, Scenic Artist

The shop has been buzzing with preparation for the Elizabethan shows. Props have been rolling in—a fancy chair, several larger than life mushrooms to be used as stools. Tom Mulholand welded our huge two-story-high ring that will create the ring motif for Cymbeline. The ring will encircle the inner above and inner below and is covered with faux logs and sticks that match the set. Most of these are made of styrofoam, then covered in glue and draped in cheesecloth to give them a bark-like texture. Then comes the fun part: growing fake moss on the sticks. To do this, we applied Great Stuff expanding foam to the sticks and then threw on sawdust that we had previously painted green. When the foam had hardened, we highlighted the texture with a bright green drybrush. We used this technique all over the set to create the moss you will see. The ring was then wired with LEDs by the electrics department.

scenic artistPerhaps the most notable element that we have been working on is the enormous stump for A Midsummer Night's Dream. This six-foot-in-diameter monster will function as an entrance for fairies as well as Titania's bower. Initially a wooden base, the stump was sent to a company that uses spray foam to insulate walls. They covered our base structure with expanding foam that we could then carve into a slightly more desirable shape. We then used the same glue and cheesecloth draping method used on the ring to give the stump its bark texture. Next we sealed and smoothed the texture with our Jaxsan roofing material and painted it a bark-like color.

And there you have it: the outdoor shows march forward. One element at a time, we are fitting and adjusting for our exciting opening for first preview on June 4th!

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

And if you want to read Sandy's weekly blog on the OSF site, click the RSS feed button over in the red box on the right (the little tiny icon to the far right) to get the alerts.