Author Topic: Taping glass props - advice needed  (Read 4541 times)

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retrofit

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Taping glass props - advice needed
« on: Oct 19, 2013, 03:33 pm »
Long time lurker, first time poster here.

Newly minted SM in Canada here, working on a low-budget, site specific piece under CAEA's Indie 2.0 agreement (profit-share).

Context: we have glass props in the show (wine bottles, clear glass candle shields). I've always heard people talk about wrapping glass props in clear tape to prevent a hazardous mess if the glass shatters during the show. Due to the low budget nature of the show, there is no props person to refer this problem to.

Issue: as far as I can tell this solution is aesthetically worthless. I can't seem to apply the tape carefully/meticulously enough to achieve a result that doesn't look like, well, a wine bottle wrapped in packing tape. The candle shields are even worse, since the curved shape makes even application nearly impossible. I've also tried regular clear Scotch tape, which surprisingly applies more evenly but still doesn't really work. My next step is trying self-adhesive plastic book covers (the kind used on school textbooks), but I just thought I'd see if anyone here has advice on a cheap solution. From what I recall, the self-adhesive covers were hard to apply in an even, airtight way even on the flat surface of a book.

Any advice?


Dart

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Re: Taping glass props - advice needed
« Reply #1 on: Oct 19, 2013, 09:14 pm »
I've never taped glass, so I don't really have firsthand experience. I've just had careful actors and stagehands, and thankfully have had no accidents. This has been the case even in high school (I was in Fiddler on the Roof and I and 8 other guys danced with wine bottles on our heads, and even those didn't get taped). The couple of accidents I've experienced have been swept up really nicely, usually by an in-character actor.

My armchair advice for this problem would be to try glue. If you find the right kind and apply it with a brush, perhaps more than one coat, you could make them mess-resistant while avoiding the bubbles/eyesore problem.

lsears

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Re: Taping glass props - advice needed
« Reply #2 on: Oct 20, 2013, 12:38 am »
I've had props people dip/brush/somehow coat bottles and glass items in shellac or glue, but always in houses where the audience was a nice distance away.  Fortunately for me, none of them ever broke, so I can't say if that helped at all in terms of either containing damage or making shards less hazardous.  I've worked with beer and wine bottles where we poured wax into them to give a little substance- to make it less brittle if dropped, and that did actually seem to help limit breakage, but I can't give anything more scientific than that.  The hazard level also depends a lot on what your floor type is, some are more forgiving than others.  Good luck!

Maribeth

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Re: Taping glass props - advice needed
« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 2013, 10:56 am »
Similar to the above posters, I don't have experience taping glass props (though I have heard of it before). But I have had glass props that were covered in a clear resin to protect them. It didn't stop them from breaking but did help the pieces stick together a bit, rather than flying everywhere. It does change the finish of the glass item to a more textured matte finish, so if it's something that needs to be shiny and smooth-looking this may not be the way to go. (It doesn't look terrible, but might be visible in a smaller house).

Aerial

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Re: Taping glass props - advice needed
« Reply #4 on: Oct 21, 2013, 10:14 am »
My current show has some flying light bulbs that wrapped in gel tape to protect them in case they swing into something else on their way out, but their height helps mask the fact that its not the prettiest tape job. 

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Re: Taping glass props - advice needed
« Reply #5 on: Oct 21, 2013, 01:36 pm »
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Sarah.E

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Re: Taping glass props - advice needed
« Reply #6 on: Oct 21, 2013, 03:32 pm »
I've taped glass with packing tape; it was ugly up close, even when done really carefully. I'd trying to find another option if you are in a small venue.