Author Topic: SHOWS: Glass Menagerie  (Read 4285 times)

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zayit shachor

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SHOWS: Glass Menagerie
« on: May 14, 2008, 11:23 am »
Does anyone have advice about acquiring all the little glass animals for Glass Menagerie?  Is there an easier and less expensive option than buying lots of real glass animals?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 02:16 am by PSMKay »

MatthewShiner

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Re: Glass Menagerie
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 01:09 pm »
Contact a theatre that has done it before.

You are pretty much stuck having to buy them, and then rigging that damn unicorn.

(almost as much fun as the card house for THE REAL THING)
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sievep

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Re: Glass Menagerie
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 03:20 pm »
You know, I've never actually made "glass" animals with hot glue, but I've made all kinds of sculptural props with hot glue.  It would take some time and patience and some careful molding of hot plastic, and would probably have to be done in steps, letting the hot plastic cool, but I bet it would work . . . .so in the right hands it could be good and cheap, just not fast.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 04:15 pm by sievep »
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ScooterSM

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Re: Glass Menagerie
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 05:55 pm »
A production that I worked on used the hot glue method to great success.  It takes a bit of an artistic hand to create something that looks like animals, but it is fairly easy to rig the unicorn (I think they ended up using a straight pin in the horn that stuck into a hole in the head).  If your audience is really close it won't work, but if not you should be ok.
I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful. Tony Church

spikesgirl

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Re: Glass Menagerie
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2008, 06:00 pm »
We acutally bought all sorts of little glass animals for our production, then loaned them to a local theater and they were returned in little itty bitty bits...they all swear that how they got them.

Go with the hot glue (or clear plastic) animals!  It's a whole lot easier (and cheaper) than the real thing...

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Aerial

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Re: Glass Menagerie
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2008, 06:36 pm »
The production I did a few years ago was a little more outside-the-box, and we had lots of little glass items, but the only actual animal was the unicorn.  What we did with the unicorn, was to coat him in epoxy, to make him sturdier.  It definitely helped, but by the end of the run, the poor little thing was made more of epoxy than glass after so many repairs.

zayit shachor

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Re: Glass Menagerie
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2008, 09:54 pm »
I'm intrigued by the hot glue method.  Can you provide more specifics on how to do it?  We don't have a props master, so I will probably be the one making them.

sievep

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Re: Glass Menagerie
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2008, 10:14 pm »
Well, hmm, I don't have the script in front of me, so let me start with what I know, and we'll work backwards.

There are two types of hot glue, one melts at a much lower temperature than the other.  The lower temperature version is the one you'll want to use. 

You know you need a unicorn.  In my mind, I'm picturing this unicorn laying down with his legs tucked close to him (ok, so maybe unicorns don't lay down, but unicorns don't exist, so work with me.) . .at least he's not standing on all fours.  So you'll want to start with a steady hand and lay down the first layer of hot glue on a surface that he'll either pop off of or you can scrape him off fairly easily once he's done.  Begin with the outline and just lay down one ring of hot glue in that outline, and let it cool.  Lay your next ring right on top of it once it has cooled a bit, and just create a hollow unicorn.  I know this doesn't sound easy, but you can always go back with an exacto knife to cut in some details.  I'd suggest researching glass animals, find one you like, and try to get as close to it as possible. 

Oh, make a butterfly.  That's easy.  A bird would be fairly easy too.  I would just avoid anything that actually has to stand on four legs.  If you can sculpt it so that it's laying down, you'd be saving yourself a bunch of time.  Am I making sense?  If not, PM me and we can talk further. 

By the way, I've made Candles, wands, pottery, vines, goblets, and similar items out of hot glue.  Really.
"This lovely light, it lights not me" - Orson Welles

ScooterSM

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Re: Glass Menagerie
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2008, 01:04 am »
Our props person made the animals in two halves on wax paper (or similar) and then attached the two pieces together.  She said since they were narrower than they were tall, it was easier to build them up that way.  Imagine bisecting them along the spine the long way and then laying them flat.  You would probably need to go back in and carve details as sievep said. 

I think we had a kneeling camel, a butterfly, a swan, some sort of tiger/lion laying down w/ legs out, and a standing unicorn (actually several since it was a long run) among others.
I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful. Tony Church