Author Topic: PROPS: Breaking a vase  (Read 5271 times)

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BeccaGee

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PROPS: Breaking a vase
« on: Jun 30, 2015, 09:56 am »
Hello all,
I'm working on Abi Morgan's Splendour in london, we are currently talking through options for the "expensive venetian vase" being broken.
The designer has found a murano glass (lovely but expensive) vase which he would like on stage, however as this needs to smash every night and there is only one of the original, we need an alternative solution such as sugar glass or resin. However, for the entire run we will need around 80 of these, any ideas of how to achieve on a low budget?

I'd be specifically really interested if anyone has any experience of pre-breaking a vase or a copy of the vase, so when dropped it falls into pieces of which can be put back together like a jigsaw.

Many thanks in advance!

lsears

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Re: PROPS: Breaking a vase
« Reply #1 on: Jul 01, 2015, 08:24 am »
I don't know the specifics of your moment but I did do a production of Private Lives where we 'broke' a statue onstage each night as part of a fight.  Our props person made a statue out of foam and coated it with something, then cut it into pieces and attached velcro strips between the cuts so they separated when thrown to the ground.  The statue had to be mounted on a wooden base so that there was a secure way to pick it up without breaking and also to help give some noise when it hit the floor.  Not sure if for a vase you'd be able to pull off something similar.

For La boheme we had to break a dinner plate (and not hit anyone on the very crowded stage and then clean up very quickly in a pause) and found the easiest way was to cover a plate with white clear tape so that you hear the sound of it shattering but the pieces stayed attached.

Good luck - let us know what your props department comes up with!

loebtmc

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Re: PROPS: Breaking a vase
« Reply #2 on: Jul 01, 2015, 10:59 am »
We also built a breaking plate by pre-breaking a plate and then gluing it back together nightly. It worked beautifully, and we were able to use cheap but nice-looking items from the discount store, which saved a lot of money too!

SMMeade

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Re: PROPS: Breaking a vase
« Reply #3 on: Jul 05, 2015, 05:48 am »
Admittedly, I don't know Splendor, but is it possible to do mis-direction? As in, throw/toss a vase into a pillow or heavily padded area, and have ASM/crew break something (cheap) offstage? Murano is very patterned so it would probably be easier to hide pre-made cracks like loebtmc recommended, but I always like a bit of trickery onstage.

Loebtmc, with the plate pre-broken, did you have to be cautious of being cut by the ceramic? I got a nasty cut from a broken plate once, so I'm curious.

MatthewShiner

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Re: PROPS: Breaking a vase
« Reply #4 on: Jul 05, 2015, 06:56 pm »
Children's Hour - broken Cat statues was unfired greenware.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - we tried sugar glass for a lamp, but it melted - we went to a plastic globe, pre-cut.  We did use commercial made sugar glass for a bottle break.

Other times, we used pre-broken items that fell apart.  In Candide, we had a foam cupid statue held together by magnets that shattered into four or five big pieces when someone use it to break over someone's head.

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loebtmc

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Re: PROPS: Breaking a vase
« Reply #5 on: Jul 07, 2015, 02:24 am »
Deliberately broke into large pieces - which is not as hard as you think. I tested a few super cheap plates to see how they broke when dropped, hit and so forth, then repeated what worked best. As I recall (it was a long time ago), a flat drop from about 2 feet worked best. But you can also use a hammer in specific places.

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Dart

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Re: PROPS: Breaking a vase
« Reply #6 on: Jul 14, 2015, 08:12 pm »
This may be tangentially helpful - for a recent show we had to break a plate onstage each show, so we bought a bunch of plates from a thrift store and did break a bunch of them, but our problem was that the pieces kept shooting into the house and I was really worried somebody would get hit or cut by a random piece. We tried a couple of different things to keep the smashing down and what worked best was 3m rubber/vinyl spray adhesive. It kept the smashing but limited the distance the pieces flew!

 

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